#TheWashingtonPost – #Tennis: #Why #RogerFederer is the most graceful athlete of our time.

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Roger Federer arrives at the French Open tennis tournament this weekend not just as the king of the courts and an icon of class, but also a poetic inspiration with a racket.

It’s not only the ancients who looked at athletes and saw classical ideals and paragons of beauty. To many hardcore sports fans and tennis lovers, as well as to the passionately idiosyncratic Fedfans, the 37-year-old Swiss belongs equally to the realm of aesthetics as to sports.

Of course, there may be skeptics on this point. To think there’s such a thing as a poetic tennis player! And yet, why not? Let’s agree that Federer is unique in stature, and if his place in tennis history is far from settled, there are plenty who consider this holder of 20 Grand Slam titles to be the all-time greatest of the sport. But his record and ranking are somewhat beside the point here. We are interested in the living, continuous, moment-to-moment pleasure of watching him play, and the artistic value of this.

Read more at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/theater_dance/why-roger-federer-is-the-most-graceful-athlete-of-our-time/2019/05/23/1f3a6c30-7bf8-11e9-a66c-d36e482aa873_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.fd481e9ec5a8

#FOXSports – #OCanada: #Hockey hotbed now produces #Tennis players, too

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ROME (AP) — It’s typically Canadian that Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Bianca Andreescu are each children of immigrants.

What’s not typical is that they have simultaneously broken into the world’s elite ranks of tennis players — and will all be worth watching when the French Open begins Sunday.

The 20-year-old Shapovalov burst onto the scene a couple of years ago when he upset Rafael Nadal at the Canadian Open. He is now up to No. 23 in the rankings.

The 18-year-old Auger-Aliassime’s breakthrough came at the start of this year when he reached the final of the clay-court Rio Open.

Then things really started heating up in March when Andreescu, who is also 18, beat five seeded players when she won the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California , as a wild card entry; and Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime — as a qualifier — both reached the semifinals of the Miami Open.

“I grew up with Felix and Bianca and to see how far we’ve come, to see Bianca lifting up a Masters trophy, my mind is exploding,” Shapovalov said in a recent interview.

Read more at: https://www.foxsports.com/tennis/story/o-canada-hockey-hotbed-now-produces-tennis-players-too-052419

#Bloomberg: The Next #Tennis Superstars Will Come From #China, #Sharapova Agent Says

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The sports agency that helped make tennis champions Roger Federer to Maria Sharapova even richer on endorsements says China is poised to produce a wave of new stars.

IMG, which also has engineered millions of dollars in brand deals for legends including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, said global marques are increasingly seeking players to boost their profile in Asia’s fast-growing economies. The U.S.-based agency has already found success in the region with Li Na, the only Chinese player to win a Grand Slam tournament, and Naomi Osaka, the 2018 U.S. Open and 2019 Australian Open champion from Japan.

Read more at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-22/next-tennis-superstars-to-come-from-china-sharapova-agent-says

#TheGuardian: How did #Canada become a #Tennis superpower? It’s complicated

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Bianca Andreescu, Denis Shapovalov and Félix Auger-Aliassime, who arrive at Roland Garros seeded and poised to make an impact, are the faces of a Canadian revolution.

Canada is the toast of pro tennis right now.

The country’s rising young stars – Denis Shapovalov, Bianca Andreescu and Félix Auger-Aliassime – can’t win a match without being asked how a winter-sport nation with a sparse, spread-out population of 37m has produced three champions-in-waiting at the same time.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/may/23/how-did-canada-become-a-tennis-superpower-its-complicated

This entry was posted on May 23, 2019. 1 Comment

What the Childhood Years of #TigerWoods (#Golf) and #RogerFederer (#Tennis) Can Teach Us About Success

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The boy’s father could tell something was different. At six months old, the boy could balance on his father’s palm as he walked through their home. At 10 months he could climb down from his high chair, trundle over to a golf club that had been cut down to size and imitate the swing he’d been watching in the garage. At two—an age when physical developmental milestones include “kicks a ball” and “stands on tiptoe”—he went on national television and used a shoulder-height club to drive a ball past an admiring Bob Hope. That same year he entered his first tournament and won the 10-and-under division.

At eight, the son beat his father for the first time. The father didn’t mind, because he was convinced that his boy was singularly talented, and that he was uniquely equipped to help him. The boy was already famous by the time he reached Stanford, and soon his father opened up about his importance. His son would have a larger impact than Nelson Mandela, than Gandhi, than Buddha, he insisted. “He has a larger forum than any of them,” he said. “I don’t know yet exactly what form this will take. But he is the Chosen One.”

This second story, you also probably know. You might not recognize it at first.

His mom was a coach, but she never coached him. He would kick a ball around with her when he learned to walk. As a boy, he played squash with his father on Sundays. He dabbled in skiing, wrestling, swimming and skateboarding. He played basketball, handball, tennis, table tennis, and soccer at school. “I was always very much more interested if a ball was involved,” he would say.

Though his mother taught tennis, she decided against working with him. “He would have just upset me anyway,” she said. “He tried out every strange stroke and certainly never returned a ball normally. That is simply no fun for a mother.” Rather than pushy, a Sports Illustrated writer would observe that his parents were “pully.” Nearing his teens, the boy began to gravitate more toward tennis, and “if they nudged him at all, it was to stop taking tennis so seriously.”

As a teenager, he became good enough to warrant an interview with the local newspaper. His mother was appalled to read that, when asked what he would buy with a hypothetical first paycheck from tennis, her son answered, “a Mercedes.” She was relieved when the reporter let her listen to a recording of the interview. There’d been a mistake: The boy had said “mehr CDs,” in Swiss German. He simply wanted “more CDs.”

The boy was competitive, no doubt. But when his tennis instructors decided to move him up to a group with older players, he asked to move back so he could stay with his friends. After all, part of the fun was hanging around after his lessons.

By the time he finally gave up other sports to focus on tennis, other kids had long since been working with strength coaches, sports psychologists and nutritionists. But it didn’t seem to hamper his development. In his mid-30s, an age by which even legendary players are typically retired, he would still be ranked No. 1 in the world.

In 2006, Tiger Woods and Roger Federer met for the first time, when both were at the apex of their powers, and they connected as only they could. “I’ve never spoken with anybody who was so familiar with the feeling of being invincible,” Federer would describe it.

Read more at: https://sports.yahoo.com/childhood-years-tiger-woods-roger-112134798.html

#Forbes: #Rafael #Nadal Beats #Novak #Djokovic To Win #Italian Open As #FrenchOpen #Tennis Full Of History Looms

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Rafael Nadal finally has a title in 2019.

Nadal, the No. 2 player in the world, beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, to win the Italian Open on Sunday in Rome for his first win of the season and his ninth title at the event. It was Nadal’s first clay court final win over Djokovic since the 2014 French Open. It was the 54th meeting between the two rivals, and Djokovic now leads 28-26.

Read more at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamzagoria/2019/05/19/rafael-nadal-beats-novak-djokovic-to-win-italian-open-as-french-open-full-of-history-looms/#3b9c20a672fe

#FoxNews – #Tennis: #Andy #Murray receives #Knighthood from #PrinceCharles

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Two-time #Wimbledon champion #AndyMurray received his knighthood from #PrinceCharles on Thursday, more than two years after he was awarded the honor by #QueenElizabeth II.

Murray was dubbed by the Prince of Wales during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, in recognition of his services to tennis and charity.

The knighthood was announced in the queen’s 2016 New Year Honors list after a year in which he won a second Wimbledon title, retained his Olympic singles crown and finished the season as No. 1 in the rankings.

Read more at: https://www.foxnews.com/world/andy-murray-receives-knighthood-from-prince-charles