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August 30, 2011
Sliding into shots, like on clay, now trend on hardcourts
NEW YORK – Once upon a time, sliding was for clay only. Gliding on grass signaled a loss of balance. On hardcourts it was nuts and risked serious injury.
August 29, 2011
U.S. Open: Novak Djokovic's dream season
With his lifetime goals of the No. 1 ranking, a Wimbledon title and Davis Cup championship bagged in the last nine months, Novak Djokovic has realized the implausible ambitions he and his family laid out for him as a child growing up in the mountains of war-torn Serbia.
August 15, 2011
Tennis stretches to every corner of the globe
Earlier this year, women's tennis hit a geographic milestone: For the first time since computerized rankings in 1975, the WTA's entire top 10 hailed from different countries.
June 28, 2011
Success in tiebreakers proves to be a tricky barometer
WIMBLEDON, England — A maxim of sport is that champions perform best in the clutch. So why doesn't this rule apply when it comes tiebreakers, tennis' version of sudden death?
June 10, 2011
Isner-Mahut Wimbledon marathon never really ends
It was the tennis match heard round the world.
May 22, 2011
Power off ground: Women's game closes gap on men's
According to a pilot study from instructor and sports researcher Vic Braden, women have closed the gap on men when it comes to the amount of time between groundstrokes.
May 19, 2011
Once the third wheel, Novak Djokovic now the big wheel
With a 37-0 start to the 2011 season — the best in 27 years — the surging Serb has shaken up the hierarchy of the men's tour and set the stage for his own ascension in Paris, where the French Open begins Sunday.
April 13, 2011
Humbled Wayne Odesnik tries to get his career back on track
A year ago this month, Wayne Odesnik was battling for a second consecutive final berth at the ATP Tour event in Houston.
March 15, 2011
Serena Williams depressed but determined to return to top
Serena Williams has not driven a car since July. Just the other day, she hopped on an exercise bike for the first time in weeks. ''Now I'm going out for lunch today, so I'm excited,'' Williams said Tuesday.
january 16, 2011
Flooding Doesn't Dampen Australia Open
The Australian Open begins Monday — in a part of the country which is not inundated by floods. This first, grand-slam event of the year also serves as the launch of the 2011 tennis season. NPR's Liane Hansen previews the Australian Open with USA Today's Doug Robson.
January 1, 2011
American men's tennis in 'a crucial period of transition'
With names such as Sampras, Agassi, McEnroe and Connors, the USA has been the most successful tennis nation in the post-1968 professional era by almost any measure.
Death Match. The curse of the 2004 Frenchopen lives on.
Part comedy, part tragedy, part psychological thriller, the 2004 French Open final between Guillermo Coria and Gaston Gaudio bordered on the Shakespearean, played out on a dirt stage.
November 29, 2010
Lana Lawless' suit puts gender in sports in spotlight again
A basic tenet of modern athletics involves separation of the sexes. Yet that principle is increasingly being challenged on the court and in the courtroom.
September 8, 2010
Nadal brings bigger, better serve to New York, and it's paying off
NEW YORK — The knock on Rafael Nadal when he first emerged was his serve. If it wasn't exactly a liability, it wasn't something opponents feared. It lacked pop. Some saw a slight hitch. It was attackable.
September 6, 2010
Climbing ATP rankings turns tougher for teen players
In decades past it was not unusual to find some peach fuzz intermingling with tennis ball fuzz on the men's professional tour. Boris Becker blasted his way to the 1985 Wimbledon title behind his booming serve at 17, the same age Michael Chang scampered to the French Open crown in 1989. Nineteen-year-old Pete Sampras won the first of his 14 majors at the 1990 U.S. Open.
August 29, 2010
Let's get physical: Long, taxing season arrives at toughest test
Jamea Jackson didn't expect to be the one in her athletic family forced out of professional sports before her 22nd birthday. After all, her father, Ernie, played for three NFL teams during the 1970s.
August 28, 2010
Life in doubles lane: It's like a business, and a marriage
Some tennis doubles partnerships make perfect sense. Identical twins Mike and Bob Bryan have spent a lifetime sharing toothbrushes, completing each other's sentences and polishing a sixth sense on the court.
July 4, 2010
Serena Williams continues climb up Grand Slam ladder
WIMBLEDON, England — Serena Williams loses count of her major titles. Her trophies are tarnished and scattered around her two homes. Even the championship moments are starting to blur.
June 29, 2010
New-look WTA Tour: Teen phenoms rare, veterans thrive
In women's tennis, gray is the new blonde.
June 24, 2010
Nadal takes advantage of new technology in strings
WIMBLEDON, England — The evolution from wood to metal to various kinds of space-age materials has long cornered the debate on equipment technology in tennis.
June 19, 2010
Still-hungry Roddick carries hopes for USA at Wimbledon
A tentative backhand volley might have separated Andy Roddick from the thing he covets most: a Wimbledon championship.
May 27, 2010
Indian, Pakistani thrive as a team, but they aim higher
PARIS — India and Pakistan are uncomfortable nuclear neighbors at best, warring enemies at worst and fierce cricket rivals whatever the situation.
May 20, 2010
Rafael Nadal back on track, but punishing game takes a toll
If anything has defined Rafael Nadal's career from his days as a promising youth in the relaxed climes of Mallorca to the top of the tennis heap it has been the controlled fury with which he attacks the game.
If established doubles partnerships are like marriage—and many players describe them as such—mixed doubles is the equivalent of the occasional assignation. The man woman pairing is infrequent, often hastily arranged and rarely lasts.
January 11, 2010
Sharapova opens 2010 healthy, motivated ... and still golden
Six seasons since a little-known 17-year-old triggered a worldwide commercial revolution by capturing Wimbledon, Maria Sharapova's Madison Avenue magic continues to keep sponsors spellbound.
December 29, 2009
Former No. 1 Henin believes she can be better than before
Will a more mature Justine Henin be better? That is among the questions at stake when the pint-sized former No. 1 from Belgium jumpstarts her comeback in Australia next week.
November 9, 2009
Agassi opens up about his life, tennis and new book
The book, Agassi said a few days ago in an interview at his eponymous charter school, is a "love letter" to those that stood by him as he tried to find himself and a blueprint for others who feel trapped by circumstances.
September 22, 2009
Another unretirement in tennis: Do players need sabbaticals
Justine Henin's announcement Tuesday that she would return to competition after a 16-month break adds to the growing list of high-profile but temporary retirements in the sport.
September 15, 2009
Clijsters happy to be champ, but there's still some disbelief
NEW YORK — A little more than 12 hours after Kim Clijsters consummated one of the great comeback stories this decade, she was busy cutting vegetables for the travel-size steamer she and her husband, American basketball player Brian Lynch, use to prepare lunch for their 18-month-old daughter, Jada.
September 9, 2009
Getting to the top in tennis, stats say, is all about the return
NEW YORK — When Andy Roddick bombed his way to the 2003 U.S. Open title, it signaled the rise of another dominant server in a sport where first delivery always has been paramount to success. In reality, it signaled an anomaly in the evolution of the sport.
August 30, 2009
Twin pursuits drive Federer: Family, the push for history
MASON, Ohio — It's an hour past sunrise on a muggy Midwest morning near Cincinnati, and Roger Federer already is drilling two-on-one against his traveling coach, Severin Luthi, and retired pro Justin Gimelstob.
July 24, 2009
Federer ready to adjust after wife gives birth to twin girls
With Pete Sampras' majors mark behind him, Roger Federer's latest hurdle involves the personal realm: dealing with not one but two new additions to his family.
Second act: Clijsters back for many more returns
When Kim Clijsters returns to the women's tour next month, don't expect the preternaturally pleasant Belgian to snarl at the competition like a mother bear with a newborn cub — even if her 17-month-old daughter, Jada, will be in tow
June 26, 2009
Two Americans find size isn't all that matters at Wimbledon
Wimbledon's slick grass has long been a boon to power players, where height and wingspan create added leverage in two key areas: serving and net coverage.
June 21, 2009
22 and counting: U.S. men struggle to find Slam success
WIMBLEDON, England — Lost amid Roger Federer's chase for history entering this year's Wimbledon is a record of more dubious distinction: the 22 majors (and counting) American men have gone without winning one.
May 20, 2009
Can anyone stop Nadal's drive for five at Roland Garros?
Rafael Nadal is so ridiculously dominant on clay that theories on how to beat him have become tennis' theater of the absurd.
April 9, 2009
She's Got Game
Women's professional tennis has cleared the way for an intersex player to compete on the tour. But with all of the questions her case raises about gender and biology, is women's tennis ready for Sarah Gronert?
March 31, 2009
10,000 appeals later: replay, challenges routine in tennis
Jamea Jackson perhaps won't fill many pages in the annals of tennis history, but in one regard the U.S. player who's 260th in the world ranking will always be first: She opened the instant-replay era with an unsuccessful challenge.
March 15, 2009
After the sadness, Haynes is finding joy on the court
Angela Haynes is showing signs that a career derailed by personal tragedy is slowly getting back on track.
Ten years ago, Amélie Mauresmo came out of the closet after her breakout run to the finals at the Australian Open. Two Grand Slam titles and several dives in the rankings later, is she putting her formidable backhand to bed forever?
January 18, 2009
Grand Slams' popularity creates space squeeze for tennis fans
When the gates were flung open at the Australian Open today, organizers were confident a global economic recession would do little to keep record crowds away.
September 8, 2008
Back at No. 1, Serena aims to stay on top
NEW YORK — The days when Serena Williams showed up at majors far from her best shape and wondering if she could pull off the title are in the past.
August 26, 2008
'Learning curve' finally starts to bend the right way for Querrey
The body of work for Sam Querrey is still a work in progress. But the 20-year-old with the aw-shucks persona and laid-back 'tude wastes no time in pinpointing the low point of his young career.
June 22, 2008
Federer's reign hinges on yet another run at Wimbledon
The sword of Damocles dangles over Roger Federer's head, held up by a blade of grass.
June 22, 2008
Still standing: Williams sisters ready to pounce at Wimbledon
Throughout their careers, Venus and Serena Williams' pursuit of outside interests and light playing schedules have been questioned. By being less committed, some critics have said, the sisters have failed to maximize their talent.
June 9, 2008
New book allows tennis ace Sampras to open up, speak out
Throughout his record-setting career, Pete Sampras revealed himself only in fragments as he adhered to a "disciplined quest to accumulate Grand Slam titles," he writes in his new memoir, A Champion's Mind.
May 21, 2008
King Rafa readies for return to clay-court palace
The French Open's playing surface is a complex arrangement of distinct materials: crushed pebbles, ash, limestone and a fine coating of crushed brick that gives the clay its burnt-orange hue.
The Doyenne of the Dollar Bill
Gladys Heldman,the driving force behind the ﬁrst women's pro tour, lived and died on her own terms.
March 30, 2008
Israeli doubles team says little on Dubai no-show
Following their groundbreaking win at January's Australian Open, Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram spoke eagerly and publicly of their intention to become not only the first Israelis to win a Grand Slam event but also the first from their country to play an ATP Tour event in the Persian Gulf.
February 15, 2008
Peace and tennis? Israeli Peer to play in Qatar
Can rackets and balls help abate bombs in the Middle East?
January 17, 2008
Five-set success indicates fitness, little more on court
When Roger Federer bounced back from a fifth-set deficit vs. Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon last July, it represented a statistical aberration. It improved Federer's career five-set mark to a pedestrian 10-10.
December 18, 2007
Match-fixing allegations put tennis officials on high alert
As tennis takes its seasonal breather this month, the governing bodies have little time to exhale in the wake of this year's gambling revelations that hint at dangerous cracks in the sport.
November 27, 2007
Patrick McEnroe has quietly become a renaissance man
The caption for the 1971 Tennis USA group photo identifies John McEnroe as the nation's seventh-ranked 12-year-old and "at right, younger brother, Patrick, 5."
June 22, 2007
All that racket: Players have appreciation of wooden past
Novak Djokovic held it lightly, feeling the contours as if he were examining a T. rex bone at a natural history museum.
Jaeger now in service to next calling ... helping kids
Andrea Jaeger darts around the fourth floor of Childrens Hospital like she once sprinted along the baseline when she tore up the women's tennis tour in the early 1980s.
January 9, 2007
New spin on the old tennis game
For a sport distinguished by its glacial pace of change, tennis has hit a global-warming trend
In 2006, the U.S. failed for just the second time since 1988 to produce a Grand Slam champion. Was it a blip, or a sign of things to come?
May 24, 2006
Borg still making the shots
As the front man for the explosion of tennis in the 1970s and early 1980s, Bjorn Borg was iconic and enigmatic, cameras flashing wherever the blond-locked, bowlegged superstar went.
April 18, 2005
The Washington Post
Professional Tennis at Age 15: Too Much to Young?
Many Wondering If Joining the ATP Hurts, Not Helps Teen's Progress
The Game in Spain
The Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona, training ground of Andy Murray and Svetlana Kuznetsova, is Europe's answer to Bollettieri's. What's the secret to its success?
May 24, 2005
Let the stat freaks worry about the match points the french win; we're more impressed by their style points
November 18, 2003
Tennis legend ages in style
Thirty years after her pro debut and nine years since retiring, Prague-born Martina Navratilova again is representing her adopted country on the tennis court.
Finnish flag bearer
Unlike his nordic neighbors from Sweden, Jarko Niemen hold his nation's tennis fortunes on his own racquet. But the rising APT star is the right man for he job.
June 28, 2006
Jackson finding stroke in streak
Don't refer to her as the instant replay girl. Jamea Jackson has bigger ambitions
August 25, 2003
Open door for Clijsters
With champion athletes for parents, a boyfriend who is a two-time Grand Slam winner and tomboy charm, Belgian tennis star Kim Clijsters embraces being a jock.
June 25, 2006
Grass welcome sight for Roddick
With his supercharged serve, edgy personality and eagerness to promote tennis, Andy Roddick has willingly and effectively played lead guitarist for the current generation of American male stars
San Francisco Magazine
Grand Master Slam
Best known for remaking an underachieving Andre Agassi, Bay Area native and tennis Svengali Brad Gilbert has taken 21-year-old Andy Roddick under his wing
Venus Williams lifts her game in attempt to rise back to top at Wimbledon
For Venus Williams, grass is greener. A dozen years into her future Hall of Fame career, Williams doesn't snap up titles like she used to — she's won five in 34 months.
September 28, 2004
Five of the world's Top 10 players are russian, but it was one of the least known, Svetlana Kutznetsova, who was the last woman standing as she captured her first major
Nadal's passion should play well
For a kid used to the carefree cadence of soft Mediterranean breezes, Rafael Nadal seems ill-equipped for the chaos of New York.