Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., and for young athletes who smoke, kicking the habit is even more important than it is for most people. Smoking reduces your ability to exercise, so if you want to perform at your peak, quitting is essential.
The Championships, Wimbledon 2016 has started and we are super excited to see what this year brings. Screens around the nation during these two weeks will echo the sound of gasps, whacks, grunts and wins.
Countries all over the world will come to participate and support at Wimbledon. When such events happen, things can get lost in translation or language barriers may hold some back. But once the contenders get on the court the sole purpose of the game unites everyone together. And it’s truly magical.
His recent loss in the semi final of the Monte Carlo Masters against Spaniard Rafael Nadal meant that Andy Murray’s search for a first title of the year continues as we reach the end of April. As a result, Murray has had to fight back against critics who have pointed to the recent arrival of his first child as a reason for his on court shortcomings so far this season. However, the world number two admitted that his first priority now lies with being a good father, with tennis having to take a backseat for now. Murray suffered an early exit at the Miami Masters last month, and now begins the clay court season looking to make his mark on his least favourite surface.
Novak Djokovic won the Miami open for a record sixth time on the 3th of April and he seems impossible to beat. As well as making history in Miami the Serbian won his 28th Masters title surpassing the record he jointly held with Rafael Nadal. Winning the title in straight sets Djokovic was able to match the six victories in Miami set by Andre Aggasi.
Djokovic Still The King
Djokovic had a storming run to the final beating David Goffi and Tomas Berdych in the quarter and semi-finals, before dispatching Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3. The world No.1 looks unstoppable at the moment, rarely making a fault across the whole of the tournament. It was Djokovic’s 40th Masters final and now has a winning percentage of 62%.
Even when Djokovic doesn’t play well he still wins. His ability to grind out results is second to none and his opponents need to hit three or four winners to get themselves a point. He didn’t play his top tennis whilst in Miami but still didn’t drop a set across the whole tournament.
At 28 Novak must be thinking that he will reach Federer’s record of 17 grand slam titles and even be able to surpass it. With 29 wins and one loss this year, which was due to an eye infection, he looks the hot favourite for the French Open.
Nishikori Can Still Claim Top Prize
Although the world No.6 was dismantled by Djokovic, there is no doubting his talent. The Japanese star is on the edge of glory and is surely the closest threat to the big four of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Rodger Federer and Andy Murray. With Federer reaching his twilight years and Nadal seemingly off the boil with injury and form, there could possibly be a space within the tennis elite, up for grabs and Nishikori could be one to fill it.
Nishikori did start well and got off to the best possible start in the final, breaking Djokovic in the first game. But the Serb quickly gained control of things and with the opening set at 4-3, he went on to win the next four games. Nishikori has beaten Djokovic in the past and has proved that up against the best he can perform, however, he must work on the physical aspects of his game, if he is to really challenge the monopoly at the top of the tennis game.
‘It’s tough to find his weakness, honestly. The biggest thing is he has great defence and it’s tough to open up the space’. Said Nishikori.
The Youngsters Are Coming Through
Miami is one of the biggest Masters on the tour. Arguably Miami is the modern home of tennis, several of the top players make Florida a base for practice. The weather allows for yearlong training, along with the humid conditions it makes players more adaptable for different climates. The Ricci Maci academy seems to be a conveyor belt of talent, previously producing talent like Sharapova and the Williams sisters.
Nick Kyrgios became the only player under the age of 21 to enter into the top 20 rankings, after his performances in Miami. He perhaps summed up what Miami is about; he is finally starting to produce some good performances. The Australian is never far from controversy and even got into an argument with an umpire in Miami, after hitting a ball into the crowd. However, he did overtake fellow countryman Bernard Tomic as the top Australian on the tour after reaching the semis.
With the Masters tournaments being so well respected on the tour and offering 1000 ranking points. Djokovic’s achievement is highlighted even more and his dominance is surely only going to continue.
‘The King of Clay’. One of the names that Rafael Nadal has picked up during his illustrious career. The Spaniard has been a force of nature since making his breakthrough in 2005. Nadal broke through the ranks in steamrolling fashion, winning the French Open, becoming only the second male to win the tournament, first time of asking, and the player since Pete Sampras to win a slam title still as a teen.
But what now for Nadal? At 29 he is possibly approaching the end of his peak years and starting to enter the twilight phase of his career, coupled with the emergence of a new generation, will he remain a super power in tennis?
Andy Murray lost another grand slam final in a white-wash of a match against Novak Djokovic. The Serbian wiped out Murray in straight sets and is reaching another level in his ability on a tennis court.
You cannot deny that the Scotsmen has had a fantastic career having won two grand slams titles and claiming gold at the Olympics in London 2012. Murray also managed to shake off the weight of a nation and get over the line at Wimbledon.
Although Murray lost in Melbourne and became only the second player to lose five finals at the same slam in the modern era, he is still a tennis hero. Despite his now cult status, Andy had a difficult start to his tennis career, never sharing a positive relationship with the English press.
Jokingly admitting that he would ’Support whoever England were playing’ at the 2006 football world cup caused huge issues for Murray. This comment would come to haunt him for many years and he lost the support of a host of England fans. It was slightly unfair on the young man who was only 19 at the time; the comment was pulled out of him in an interview with Tim Henman.
There came a point when Murray had to release a statement saying he wasn’t ‘Anti English.’ This was after troubling messages. ‘’I was still a kid, getting things sent to my locker like: I hope you lose every match of your life.’’ Said Murray.
This was certainly a low point for Murray who had struggled at his first Wimbledon going down with cramp. People were beginning to question his commitment and ability.
It wasn’t until 2012 when things really turned round for the Olympic champion. After two grand slam final defeats, Murray made the decision to hire coach Ivan Lendl as his mental ability to handle big game points had come into question. Lendl had a big influence on his game as Murray became the first British player to reach a Wimbledon final since Benny Austin in 1938.
Murray suffered what was perhaps his worst ever loss. After going a set up against Rodger Federer he went on to lose the next three as he couldn’t hold out against the wizardry of the Swiss star. It was heart breaking for the Andy as he broke down in his post-match interview. ‘’I just feel like I’ve let everyone down.’’
It had been an agonising three years for Murray who had come so close, yet so far losing three grand slam finals, two against Federer.
Despite the agony of Wimbledon, 2012 would in some ways be the best year of Murrays Career. Two months after losing the final, Murray was back in SW19 on Centre court competing in the London Olympics. After beating Djokovic in the semis, Murray would be competing against nemesis Federer for the only title which had eluded his him entire career. Fortunately for Great Britain, Murray came out triumphant beating Federer for the first time in a best-of-five sets match. ‘’ It’s number one for me – the biggest win of my life.’’
Murray would go from strength to strength after the incredible Olympics win. He won a silver medal in the mixed doubles alongside Laura Robson and then went on to become US Open champion. Murray was up against another combative performer in the presence of Novak Djokovic and would eventually overcome the Serbian in five sets, including the longest tie-break game in a final (12-10).
It was a whirlwind 2012 with arguably his worst loss and best wins coming in the same year. An OBE marked an incredible year for Murray who went into 2013 in some of the best form of his career and reached his third Australian Open final. Once again though he was up against a formidable opponent in Djokovic and lost to the Serbian once more in Melbourne.
Despite another grand slam final defeat Murray entered into Wimbledon in fine form, having won the Queen’s Club tournament for a third time and was undefeated in his previous 11 matches on grass. Murray would continue that streak reaching the Wimbledon final where he would play Djokovic once more in the finale. It was a very tense game with neither player really being able to take control, as the pair continually broke each other. Despite the nerve racking tension and unpredictability of the game it was Murray who came out on top, beating Djokovic in straight sets.
His win sparked wild celebrations which saw Murray turn and celebrate to the press box, claiming it was for all the ‘stick’ he had been given in previous years.
Even though Murray was unable to defeat the all-conquering Novak Djokovic in this year’s Australian Open final, with fatherhood on the way, it will be fascinating to see how Murray does in 2016 and if another grand slam title isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
The WTA Finals have finally started, and it is still unclear which player has the best chance to lift the trophy.
Of course, if Serena Williams did not have a shock loss to Roberta Vinci in the US Open and consequently withdraw from all competitive tennis this year, there would have been no question of her winning the WTA Finals in Singapore. But she’s not playing, and that makes it much more interesting.
World number two Simona Halep has had major fluctuations in form: from winning at both Shenzhen and Indian Wells to losing prematurely at Roland Garros and Wimbledon. She has started the tournament very strongly: despite losing four of five previous meetings with Pennetta, she won a surprisingly quick win against her on Sunday (the game lasted only an hour and 10 minutes and ended 6-0, 6-3).
The 2015 Wimbledon tennis Championship is one of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events of the year. The greatest players in the world will feature in the tournament and battle it out for one of tennis’ four majors. In the last few years, across both the women’s and men’s competitions, viewers have been treated to some epic contests, shock victories and some phenomenal tennis. This year’s tournament could be one of the best yet, and players will have an extra week to recover after the French Open as Wimbledon was pushed back a week in order to give players time to adapt to the grass courts. We take a look at both competitions and discuss some of the key players for the event, while we also discuss Britain’s hopefuls in the respective men’s and women’s tournaments.
There never seems to be a dull moment when it comes to German tennis legend Boris Becker. Among his many TV commitments at, what seems like every Grand Slam tournament, Becker also pursues many hobbies outside of tennis. But the surprising thing is that one of these pursuits is at professional level – a feat that very few are able to accomplish.
The US Open is well underway at Flushing Meadows and we have already advanced into the quarter-finals of the competition. While the opening rounds are widely considered to trim the numbers, so to speak, rather than decide who will ultimately win the competition, we are now down to the championship deciding match-ups – for both the men and the women. We take a look at several player’s prospects who are still competing, whilst also assessing what a US Open exit could mean for several stars.