Sunday, July 29, 2012

Andy Murray and the quest for Gold

In case you missed this Tweet of TTA?'s the other day, I'll repeat it here—or at least the gist of it:

I'm picking Andy Murray to win Olympic Gold.

His campaign has gotten off to a nice start with a solid win against Stanislas Wawrinka in the first round. Sure, Stan's not as great on the grass as some other Swiss tennis players we might know, but it's still a solid win against a perennial top-20 player.

There are a couple of reasons tied into each other on why I'm picking the "hometown" favorite to win. For one, grass is a tricky surface to win on for the majority of players out there, Murray not so much as he's proven with a few grass-court titles and deep Wimbledon runs over the years.

That segues some into my next point: the best-of-three format to the finals is going to shake things up a bit. You'll see more upsets than you would during Wimbledon, but the more accomplished grass-court players will find the format to their benefit.

And as he's shown over the years, Murray's much more a threat against the players ahead of him in two-out-of-three sets.

Does that make sense? In essence, the shorter format on grass helps him more. I guess we'll see how right I am in a few more matches!

(Photo: The Associated Press)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Andy Roddick: Your Olympics snake in the grass?

Andy Roddick won his second out of his last three tournaments over the weekend in Atlanta. Granted it wasn't something on the caliber of Miami or any other Masters 1000 or a Slam, but a win's a win. And knocking off someone like John Isner along the way is nice, too.

Now, it's off to London for that little event called the Summer Olympics. Serious competition abounds on the grass courts of Wimbledon, but crazy enough, I think Roddick can consider himself among the top-flight players. I say crazy because who pegged A-Rod for a contender at the beginning of 2012?

I don't know about a medal but I am sure he will be doing some damage on the grass courts. One thing's for sure, his preparation couldn't have gone better.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The summer of Serena?

And just like that, we're back!

Truth be told, I hate posting posts where I lead off with being out of commission for a bit, but I feel it's something I shouldn't ignore. I just started a new freelance gig and it's doing work I've never done before, so it's been an adjustment period. I'm going to do my best to get back here as frequently as possible the next few weeks. I'm even typing this right now as I'm on a mini-vacation to Disney World. Talk about dedication!

Anyway, it seems like things are pretty much in order on the ATP and WTA Tours—If this was 2005 or something! Roger Federer's on top and it looks like Serena Williams is close to getting there. She just followed up her stunning Wimbledon win with victory at the Bank of the West tournament, beating Coco Vandeweghe in the finals.

This could be a very interesting summer for Serena with a Grand Slam and nice-sized tournament win already. Then next week the Olympics are starting. The U.S. Open'll be right around the corner, too. Provided she's healthy, she could conceivably win out over the next few months—and I honestly mean that.

There'll, of course, be great challenges on the way in the form of a Maria Sharapova or Agnieszka Radwanska or Victoria Azarenka. But a motivated and healthy Serena is a dangerous one. Stay tuned for how it all plays out! (And by "stay tuned," I'm referring to here at TTA?! I'll be back again—promise!)

(Photo: The Associated Press)