Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tennis is around the corner!

Christmas is over and for tennis fans we know what that means - the tennis players are leaving the wintery weather and heading for the sun drenched land down under!  And even though New Years Day is still close to a week away, top names will be dusting off their racquets and getting in their groove to prepare for the important first major of the year, beginning in a little over two weeks time.

Many have been much anticipating Rafael Nadal's return to the court after a six month hiatus.  His plan was to play at the Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament to try to shake off the rust and get himself slowly back into form in what is a prestigious event, yet doesn't count for any points on the tour.  However, he was ordered by his doctor to withdraw after catching some form of stomach virus.  He is still scheduled, at this point, to take part in next week's 250 level tournament in Doha.  Still participating in the exhibition, which begins the 27th of December, will be top players Djokovic, Murray, Ferrer, Berdych, Tipsarevic and now Almagro in Nadal's place.  Noticeably absent from the event this year is Roger Federer, who reportedly was not asked to participate as he "hasn't won the event before."

Speaking of Federer, he is choosing not to play a warm-up event to the Australian Open this year, preferring to spend the lead-up in a large block of practice time instead, which will hopefully pay off for him, as he said he didn't have enough time to practice in the busy 2012 season.  Given that he also played six matches this month in his South America tour, hopefully this has also kept him somewhat in form.

There are several tournaments leading up to the AO, one of them the Hopman Cup, which is a fun no-points event played between countries, one man and one woman playing for their country, also with a mixed doubles match thrown in.  Some notable participants are Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic playing for Serbia, while Venus Williams pairs with John Isner for the U.S.  There are also several small tournaments for both men and women individually in such places as Brisbane, Chennai and Sydney to name a few.

With a longer off-season this year, it actually felt pretty short to me given that there were the fun events from Federer's South American exhibition tour.  That really helped to get through what would have been a very long stretch with no tennis.  My intention to watch several of the past Federer grand slam wins didn't end up happening as much as I anticipated, so at this point I am itching for some competitive tennis once again.  I can't wait to see all the scenarios begin to play out for the 2013 season ahead.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Roger Federer - Great video + Sportsman of the year!

Here is a fun video of Roger right before he left Brazil.  I love the scream when he's in the boat!

Also, Roger once again had the honor, after a five year hiatus, of winning Switzerland's sportsman of the year award.  This is the fifth time he has won it, but not since 2007.  This time he was able to take a flight straight from his exhibition in Columbia to be there in person to receive the award in Zurich.  Here's a great picture of him there:

Now it's time for him to get back with the family, enjoy the Christmas holidays, and begin his training for Australia.  I still have to catch up on a few of the exhibition matches I missed while I was away and then it will be surviving on old matches for the next four weeks until the glorious days of the Australian Open!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Roger Federer helps Brazil kids get tennis court

This video is such a cool representation of what a wonderful guy tennis hero Roger Federer is.  Watch this and see how much it means to him to be able to help these kids in Brazil get their own tennis court to play on.  It's an honor to be a fan of such a caring person who genuinely loves to help others in so many ways.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Surviving the tennis off season

I don't know how most are handling the off season, but for me I feel a mixture of missing tennis, but at the same time, with the busyness of the holiday season, knowing it would be stressful to try to keep up with a tournament.  So what is a person to do?  How about some snippets of the best of the best to bring some moments of tennis joy.  If you haven't seen them, here are the best Roger Federer shots of 2012, in two parts:

Also, here is a great interview that Roger just did where he talks about his early tennis life and his family.  For some reason I can't seem to embed this one, so here is the link to it: