Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Poll: Who is More Likely to Lose Their Number One Ranking ?

2012 Prediction: Clijsters Wins Big


We predict Kim Clijsters will win a slam in 2012. The star from Belgium is recovering from injuries, but is working hard for 2012. In her prime, she is probablly the best hard court player on the tour. Her best odds will be at the US Open and the Australian Open.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

John McEnroe to USTA: "Make tennis sexy"



John McEnroe thinks one of the biggest problems with tennis in America is that tennis does not have the same appeal as other sports. Here are some possible solutions to fix this problem.

- Improve the Atmosphere

We don't suggest letting the crowd yell during points, but how bout some loud music during changeovers. Cheerleaders during breaks between sets could help spice things up.

- Make the game quicker

Not faster, but quicker. Quick in the sense of the matches shorter. Make the players play lets. Make catching a toss a fault.

- Diversify

Tennis has become much more diverse in the last couple decades, but at its core tennis is an upper-middle class and white sport. Bring more courts and more professional tournaments to urban areas. If more inner-city girls could see Serena serve at 120 MPH, maybe more will want to play.

- Market Wisely

The most marketable players aren't always the best players. Ashley Harkleroad caused one of the biggest stirs in recent tennis history when she posed nude for Playboy Magazine. Who could interest more people, her or Mardy Fish ?

Can Federer Regain the Top Spot ?




CLICK FOR STORY

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Photo of the Day: Maria, Maria, Maria

Philadelphia Freedom: Elton John's Song to Billie Jean King


Sir Elton John and tennis legend Billie Jean King have been very close friends for over three decades now. To honor his friend, he decided he wanted to write a song for Billie in 1975. He decided he would write the song "Philadelphia Freedom" after her World Team Tennis team. Elton once said "Thank God she didn't play for the Boston Lobsters." The song became a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted on the R&B charts a well. The song has become an institution for the city of Philadelphia. You can find the song lyrics painted on the walls in the Hard Rock Cafe in Philadelphia and is played at all the Freedom's home matches. It is performed at almost every single Elton concert and the song has been covered by famous artists such as Hall and Oates. The two have an enduring friendship, which culminated in the forming of a yearly tennis charity, which raises money for the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 Prediction: Bogmolov Climbs


Alex Bogmolov Jr. will climb in the rankings. The young American has lots of potential. Look for him in 2012!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Don't Start with a Man Who Has Ten More Slams than You

2012 Prediction: Li Na Fades


Li Na had an incredible 2011 season. Despite winning the French Open, she had little succes the remainder of the season. Look for Na to make no slam semi-finals, but still have a decent year.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

What The Players asked for Christmas...


Serena Williams- Anger management classes

Rafael Nadal- A new set of knees

James Blake- Patience

John Isner- Speech therapy

Martina Hingis- Electro-shock therapy

Roger Federer- Time machine to last years US Open

Caroline Wozniacki- A grand slam

Andy Roddick- Hair club for men

Merry Christmas from TENNISCRACK

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Most Famous Weaknesses

To be a great player, you do not need every shot in the game. Some players get by on their big serves or gritty groundstrokes. Sometimes, this leads to big disparities between one players different strokes. Here are some of the most famous examples of great players with that one huge liability:

Monica Seles Volley



Monica Seles was the first woman to be able to hit a winner from any point on the court...except the net. Crafty players such as Sanchez Vicario or Navratilova would try their best to bring her in. Seles got better as the years went on, but could never make herself fully comfortable.


Nalbandian Serve



Saying Serena Williams has a better serve than Nalbandian is probablly an understatement. His career was illustrious, but his serve was a powder-puff. This is what probably kept him from winning a big one.


Elena Dementieva Toss



Arguablly one of the fittest players ever with one of the best return of serves and baseline game along with a very strong net game. Despite this, watching her toss was kind of scary. It gave her zero confidence in her serve. If her serve had of been just decent, no doubt would she have won a grand slam.


John McEnroe Fitness



Johnny Mac is probablly the worst physically fit number one player ever. He had so much raw talent and the greatest net game of all time to fall back on. Ironically, he is now one of the most fit players on the senior tour.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Poll: Who is the Better Net Player ?

2012 Prediction: Mardy Fish Out of Top Ten



Mardy Fish just has too many points to defend next year. We believe he will not be able to post the same numbers and play at such a high level as he did this year. Look for Mardy to be ranked in the top 25.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Coolest Tennis Families

One of the unique aspect of professional tennis, is seeing the players boxes. You get an iside glimpse into who raised and help the players along their way. Here are some of the coolest family members of pro players.

1. Uncle Toni

This one was a given. Rafael Nadal's Uncle Tony is the man most responsible for his nephews rise to greatness. With a strict family focus, the Nadal's still train in Majorca, their home.

2. Mirka

Fed's wife has been a staple of tennis the last decade. Not only did she give birth to their twins (how many is 16 slams times two?), but she has been with Fed through his highest of highs and lowest of lows. She's a looker also.

3. Richard Williams

He's the only man in history to be able to say "My two daughters have been number one in the world." From teaching his girls tennis in Compton, all the way to seeing his daughters win slams and gold medals, you got to respect the man.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Upcoming Guest Podcast!


This upcoming week I will be a guest blogger on "What About Peace ?", a political blog. Myself and the Editor-In-Chief of "What About Peace ?" will be discussing the significance of tennis pioneers Arthur Ashe and Billie Jean King.

For more info on "What About Peace ?" please visit www.whataboutpeace.blogspot.com/

Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 Predictions; Andy Strikes Out


TENNISCRACK predicts that Andy Murray will not win a grand slam in 2012. Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer are still the top dogs and Del Potro will be healthy next year. Muray just plays too passive in the big moments.

Photo of the Day: Rest and Relaxation

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Most Improved Shots

It is extremely hard to improve any shot . Here are some of the most improved shots in tennis.




The Roddick Backhand-  Roddick's backhand used to be a big liability. It was also technically flawed. His arms were way too stiff and he got very little knee bend. Despite the past flaws, his backhand is pretty solid now. He also added a nice slice.

                                                                            
The Ivanovic Toss- Ivanovic has had one hell of a rollercoaster type career. From winning the French Open, to having her ranking plummet. Her biggest problem during her losing streak was her toss. It was so far to the right, it looked like it was going to hurt someone. Now she has fixed it and her serve is finally back. Look for her to possibly compete for some slams.

                                                                             
Djokovic Return of Serve- This shot was never a weakness, but was just plain good. He has turned a good shot into one of the greatest returns of all time. This was one of the biggest keys to his year of dominance.

Shop Tenniscrack

Here at Tenniscrack, we offer the full tennis expereince. Now you can experience Tenniscrack addiction even when your not on your computer ! Check back in as more items will keep becoming available.


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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photo of the Day: We Love you Dick



He just had to leave us for baseball. 

Serena Williams: Tantrums and Tiaras

Serena Williams is one of the greatest women athletes of all time. She is tenacious, fearless, powerful, but not always graceful. Here is a look at some of her most famous meltdowns.

2004 US Open- The Call Heard Around the World

This was one of the very few times where it is hard to fault Serena for getting angry. In a match against fellow American Jennifer Cappriatti, Serena blasted a winner down the line, but was called out. Video Review shows the ball being clearly inside the line. This shot was probablly what led to the current challenge system.

2009 US Open- One Small Step for Man, One Giant Foot Fault for Serena

Perhaps the most famous moment of tennis in the last twenty-years, Serena completely goes off on a line judge who falsely called a foot fault on her serve. The call gave Serena's opponent, Kim Clijsters a match point. After Serena threatened the line judge with threats of violence, the chair umpire awarded a point penalty to Serena, giving the match to Clijsters. Some argue this is one of tennis's darkest moments.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Clay: Is it too Quick ?


Most of the modern complaints among court surfaces nowadays, seem to be aimed at the slugglishly slow grass courts of Wimbledon, which were once lightning quick. Clay seems to get "brushed" under the rug. The clay used to be known for it's excruciatingly slow style of play. It was a battle just to hit a winner. That was then, but now it is a different story. The crushed red brick is almost an entirely brand new surface now. It is fast. Some can argue that the players are just stronger and the racuets are better, but that is besides the point. The fact that John Isner was able to bring 6- time French Open Champion, Rafael Nadal to 5-sets at the French, is evidence the clay has changed. Brad Gilbert once said "You have a better chance hitting an ace out here than you do at Wimbeldon." What an eye-opening quote. The homogenization of the court surfaces presents a real problem for tennis. It was great when you knew that McEnroe was at a huge disadvantage playing Bjorg on clay and Bjorg was at McEnroe's mercy playing on a fast indoor court. Clay is quicker and grass is faster. It is a real shame.

Soderling Withdraws from Aussie Open


Click for Details

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Photo of the Day: Before Andre and Steffi

Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert were actually once engaged.

The Best Facial Hair in Tennis

Tennis players come in all shapes and sizes, but finding a professional tennis player with a killer beard or mustache is tough. Here are the top 5 pieces of faicial hair in the history of tennis.

1. John Newcombe and His Mustache


The Greatness of this stache speaks for itself.

2.  Bjorg Beard

Bjorn Borg was quite the ladies man. Why? His beard of course.


-Dishonarable Mention-

Nadal has a beard of a freshman in high school who hasn't shaved for 6 weeks straight.



3. Ion Tiriac's Stache

    We were unaware that John Oates played tennis.    

4.   Tursunov Overall               

                         
Is it unfair he has a red beard? Yes it is. Extra point for the muton chops as well.

5. Robby Ginepri


Ginepri makes the list at 5 due to the lumber jack look.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Photo of the Day: Goolagong the Graceful

The Worst Mechanics in the Game

Technique is not everything in tennis, but at the highest levels of the game it is extremely important. Just because a shot is poorly executed does not mean the shot is bad. Here are some of the worstly executed shots in the game.

Wozniacki Forehand



Wozniacki's forehand is by no means a bad shot, but she certainly has one of the worst forehands ever for a number one ranked player. Her grip is a semi-western borderlining on a regular western. It is a grip not often used in women's tennis. She does not get much body rotation on the ball and most of it comes froms the shoulders not the hips.

Venus Williams Forehand


It is hard to remember a shot that used to be one of the most intimidating shots in tennis faulter down all the way to where it can be considered a liability.Venus has literally almost no knee bend on her forehand. She also has little topspin. This is a recipe for disaster. This gives her very little room for margin. She is also famous for hitting off of her backfoot when playing tight.

Gael Monfils Serve


Martina Navratilova was once asked "What is the benefit to putting your feet directly together on your serve?" Her response, "There is none." That pretty much somes that up. Why Monfils has his feet glued together for his serve is a mystery.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

2012 Predictions; Number Two, Federer Wins a Slam


Thats right, 2012 will be a great year for Roger Federer. He clearly has the most momentum going into 2012 and his healthier than Djokovic and Nadal. He'll make some big runs and win a big one.

Record Breaker Thursdays: Longest Winning Streak


In 1977, the Argentenian great Guillermo Vilas won an astounding 46 matches in a row. The same year, he won the French Open and the US Open and made the Australian Open final.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2012 Predictions; Number One: Williams back in Action


Tenniscrack predicts that both of the Williams sisters will be back in the top 20 by the end of 2012. Both are looking in good form. They have been playing tough exhibition matches and are physically at their best they have been in years. Never bet against a Williams sister !

Photo of the Day:...Sorry Andy

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tennis Etiquette: Should I Hit the Ball at my Opponent ?


Our new series "Tennis Etiquette" will explore some of the social components and dilemma's that occur during, before, or after a tennis match. Todays question deals with when it is ok and not to hit your opponent when they are at the net.

Please keep in mind, whenever you consider trying to aim directly for your opponent, please remember that doing this will most definitly increase the chances of them trying to do the same to you.  Now, that is out of the way lets get started

When it is Ok:

1. Playing a Serve and Volleyer

Any player who serves and volleys realizes that they are going to be hit with the ball every once in a while. There is only so many times you can pass or lob.

2. As a Change of Pace

If you do not go for blood every time someone is at the net, it makes it much more kosher to do so. You do not want to be known as the kid who tries to aim for the family jewels. What comes around goes around.

3. You are extremely comfortable with your Opponent

If you are playing a good friend and it is mutually understood that you both will do whatever you need to, to get the job done, then go for it.

When Not to do It:

1. For the Sake of Doing It

If you have a huge opening for a passing shot, take the passing shot. Do not just try to hit someone just because you can.

2. On an Overhead

If you have an easy put away and your opponent is at the net, just put the ball away. Hitting someone on an overhead is one of the lowest things you can do in a tennis match.

3. Being the Guy in Mixed Doubles

This may sound sexist but if your a guy playing a game of mixed...do not hit the girl. Making her hit a tough volley or body serve is totally fine, but don't try to hit her ! If you do, the entire place will probablly go very quiet and you will get plenty of dirty looks.

Player Profile Mondays: Maria Sharapova


Mario Sharapova has become one of the most well known international athletes. Upsetting Serena Williams at the 2004 Wimbledon Singles Final, Sharapova launched herself to the top of the sportting world. Sharapova was originally born in Russia. Her and her father immigrated to the United States hoping to get accepted to the Bollettieri Tennis Academy. Both came to America knowing zero English.

Born: April 19, 1987 (Age 24)
Country: Russia
Education: High School
Plays: Right Handed
Current Singles Ranking: 4
Current Doubles Ranking: N/A
Career Prize Money: $16,643,327
Career Highlights: Australian Open Champion (08); French Open Semi-finalist (07), (11); Wimbledon Champion (04); US Open Champion (06)