Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Day 9 And The Shocks Just Keep On Coming!!

(Photo Credit: Aeltc - M. Hangst)

After all the drama in the ladies quarter final people were wondering if the same was going to happen again. It sure was. With Federer out of Wimbledon does this mean the men's draw just got a whole lot wider?

Roger Federer the king of grass was certainly out played in his match on centre court. Berdych was on fire today. After winning the first set against the champion were we about to see a repeat of day one? It would be unfair to say Federer was playing badly. While this is true Berdych was also playing the game f his career (so far) and so the strange air at Wimbledon just kept on going.

Next up on centre court saw Andy Murray take to proceedings. It's fair to say that Tsonga was biggest person to get in his way he wasn't able to keep up with all Murray had to throw at him. It was a close first to sets. (A little too close at times.) But Murray did what he does best. He made Tsonga work hard and just kept on hitting till he couldn't take it any more. I'm really hoping that Murray can go all the way. Nobody deserves it more than him after how well he has played this tournament. I've seen him play this well since he got to the Australian Open final.

The other two semi-finalist consist of unsurprisingly Djokovic and Nadal. I was hoping Soderling was going to show the same kind of magic he showed at last years O2 however Nadal soon got back in the game. I think all of the men who are now in the semi's all deserve to be there. It's certainly going to make for a different men's final.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Day 8 Is The Women's Draw Wide Open?

(Photo Credit: Aeltc T. Lovelock)

There was something funny in the air at Wimbledon on day eight of the championship. Everyone was fully expecting a Williams final.

All that soon changed once play got under way. Pironkova played the game of her life today against world number two and five times Wimbledon champion. Pironkova really had her head in game right from the get go. She didn't seem at all fazed by court one. Or by her opponent.

After a rocky win yesterday I really thought Kim Clijsters was going to take charge on centre court. She was definitely out played by Kvitova. But Clijsters wasn't going to pull the same tricks she played at the US Open last year. At least she didn't make it too easy for Kvtova though because as you would expect at this stage of the game it did go to three sets.

So now I have to adjust my predictions for the women's final. Looking at who is left in semi's I think it's going to be a Williams verses Pironkova final.

Looking ahead to tomorrows men's quarter finals matches, I think the following are all going to come through. Federer, Djokovic, Murray and I think Soderling has a real change at beating Nadal.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Day 7 Not Everyone Keeps A Clean Sheet!

(Photo Credit: Aeltc - N.Tingle)

The second Monday of Wimbledon saw some people fall and some just enjoying the ride. The weather was still bright with not a drop of rain calling off play.

First up was the Kim Clijsters match against fellow Belgian Justin Hennin. The two ladies had met each other 24 times, with both winning 12 times. The match couldn't be any more evenly matched. Some thought Hennin was going to have the edge and for the first set of the match at least it looked like Kim was going to be going home on a two set loss. Clijsters was able to do a complete u-turn on the court today and was able to successfully go through to the next round.

Andy Murray continued on his smooth sailing ride that is Wimbledon 2010. Being the only top seeded player to not drop a set over the tournament. While he was a little up and down over the match it never looked like Querrey was going to get in Murray's way.

The biggest upset of the week so far though comes in the form of Yen-Hsun Lu. As he beat Andy Roddick. In a five set match that was very close in the fifth set. Nadal and Ferderer both went through and Djokovick was able to beat Hewitt.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Day 6 Nadal Struggles While Murray Flies High

(Photo Credit: Aeltc - N. Tingle)

Middle Saturday is usually a good day at Wimbledon and this year was no different. With the weather hot hot hot it was a good day for tennis fans.

Nadal surprised everybody by going to five sets against Petzchner. He really gave Nadal a run for his money today, pushing the world number one to another five set match. What is it about this years Wimbledon that has seen the top three seeds dropping sets. Maybe they're confused because they have not had any rain delays. There were too many times during this match that I thought Nadal was going to loose. I know he has won the match, and Wimbledon before, but Nadal is proving this is not his best surface to shine.

Andy Murray oh yes. He's done it again and without dropping a set. After all the negative talk and play he was having before the tournament he has really been able to shine this year. I think Murray is playing some of his best tennis since he got to the final in Australia in January. His match against the French man Simon was supposed to be a difficult match but Murray proved once again why he is in the top four and deserves to be there.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Day 5 Crash & Burn, Aussie Spirit & Serbian Master Class

(Photo Credit - Prosport S. Wake)

Day five at Wimbledon saw another day with John Isner on court. Unfortunately but not surprisingly it was only for a short time on court. The last couple of days proved too much for the American and new fan favourite.

John Isner had proved to many things over the last couple of days at Wimbledon 2010. Great athlete and great mental strength. But it was all too much for the guy today who after 72 minutes on court was out of the tournament.

Lleyton Hewitt proved why he is still a contender for another Wimbledon title. With his fist pumping he is able to pull himself out of tricky situations. He uses his frustration at key points to a huge advantage.

Djokovic can be hit and miss sometimes. However today he was in cruise control as he went through in straight sets. Could he be an underdog this year? Only next week will tell.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Day 4 And The Drama Continues

(Photo Credit: Prosport - T. Hindley)

It's hard to believe it is only day four of Wimbledon. Already this week we have seen Federer dropping sets, Murray doing really well and Nadal being pushed to five sets with a guy ranked somewhere near the 150 mark.

As if all that wasn't enough drama. We've also seen the longest, emotionally draining match ever seen finish on court 18. A lot of people, myself included, wondered if Isner and Mahut would even be able to walk. But boy were they ready once they set foot on court. After yesterdays marathon match these two guys lasted another 21 games. These two guys proved just how much shape both physical and mentally that you have to be in to play this sport.

As if having a record braking day wasn't enough. The Queen also made a very nice appearance at the tournament. Her presence seemed to be a good omen. With Andy Murray winning rather easily in front of The Queen. After all the last time she was at Wimbledon we had a British winner. So here's hoping for more drama to continue.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Day 3 A Never Ending Match

(Photo Credit: Prosport T. Hindley)

History was made today on court 18. The longest 1st round match being played. This is a week where we haven't had any rain.

Tuesday night saw Isner and Mahut ending play due to bad light. Little did the world know these two guys would still be slugging it out a day later. When they came on court at 12 noon little would they know that the following would have happened: England, USA and Germany all book there places into the next round of the World Cup, that they would brake records all across the sport, that they would have hit 196 aces between them (and still counting) and that gone 9pm on Wednesday night they would still have not finished this epic game.

In no other sport would you see two men still fighting to win. This proves what I have argued for years. Tennis players are the ultimate athletes. After playing all day these two guys are not showing any signs of ending soon. What's even more amazing is that neither of these guys have thrown up, collapsed or dehydrated while on court. I'd hate to be either of these guys shoulders after the number of aces these guys have shown us today.

So tomorrow is another day and hopefully these two guys will have finished their match. Oh yeah and apparently there's going to be a very special guest tomorrow. The Queen is visiting Wimbledon, her first time since Virginia Wade won, and that was 1977.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Day 2: Murray Happy, Nadal Through & Sun Still Shining Bright

(Photo Credit: Reuters - S . Wermuth)

The second day of Wimbledon saw Andy Murray getting off to a great start. Nadal sailed through on Centre. No drama on day two of the championship.

While the second day of Wimbledon didn't have the same amount of drama as day one. I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief to see Murray not making life difficult for himself. I like Murray a lot. As a player he is underestimated by the British public. But the guy has gotten to not one, but two grand slam finals in his career thus far. So with his Wimbledon 2010 tournament off to a great start, here's hoping he'll be flying the British flag further into the tournament than the England team.

After not being able to defend his title Nadal was looking to get a clean sheet on his opening day. The world number one was able to do just that. With no drama Nadal showed the lucky people on centre court why he is number one.

Here's hoping that the drama continues tomorrow at Wimbledon and team Roddick breeze through to another round.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Day One Wimbledon: Sunshine & Great Tennis

(Photo Credit: Reuters - T.Melville)

Another year. Another two weeks of expectations. It can only mean one thing it's Wimbledon time once again.

I will admit I do love this time of year. The sun shining. It's great to see tennis played on the grass courts of Wimbledon. Who would have thought that on the opening day we nearly saw Roger Federer loose. Federer was really pushed in his match against Falla. Not many people would have thought the 'King of Grass' would be pushed to five sets. It's no surprise I'm not the biggest of Federer fans. I was really rooting for Falla to clinch the match and put Federer in his place. After all Falla played an amazing match. He should be so proud of himself at pushing the former world number one to a five set match. A match that was not easy, by any means, for Federer.

The same couldn't be said for my favourite lady on the WTA tour. Kim Clijsters didn't waste any time with her match today. It's great to see her back on the grass courts of Wimbledon. She's a top class player. A player, who doesn't seem at least, to make anything phase her.

So with day one of Wimbledon well under way here's hoping there are more great matches to watch. After all the World Cup is not proving to be all that exciting at the moment.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

England v Algeria Post Match Post

So there it is. England reduced to a laughing stock once again. A team so rubbish that even some of the most die hard supporters were ready to walk away.

All I can say is England were a disappointment last night. Where was the England team that qualified for the World Cup? Did the players forget they were playing an important match? Did they think this was just a kick about amongst friends?

If England ever play another match the way did last night then they don't deserve to go into the next round. Where was the Gerrard from the USA game? The biggest disappointment from the tournament so far is the total lack of enthusiasm from Rooney. A guy who was so instrumental in getting us this far seems to be a completely different person playing in South Africa. This team needs to get a grip of themselves and quickly.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

England v Algeria Pre-Match Post

Ever since Saturday night England fans have been getting into a tizzy about there part so far in the world cup. Sure we drew against USA, a team everyone thought they would win, and sure Algeria won there opening match. But isn't this just what we do? Make life harder for ourselves?

It's safe to say Rooney wants to get his name on the score sheet. After a fairly mediocre first match I'm hoping he'll be the player we all know and love on Friday nights game. I'm hoping Gerrard plays with the same passion he was showing last week. Now then I know most people were unhappy with Green's goalkeeping skills against USA. However do you really want to end the guys international career before its even begun? I hope not. Fabio Capello has said he already knows who he is going to have in goal, and in true Capello fashion, we are not going to find out till match day. I'm hoping we're going to see Green walk on that pitch with his head held high. He played a good 2nd half.

The England team have to gell together more ahead of there match against Algeria. We know they can do it and so do they. I'm sure we are going to walk away from this next match as winners.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

My Top 5 Players to Watch out for at Wimbledon 2010

Roger Federer

Born 8th August 1981 considered by many people to be the greatest player of all time. Up until the beginning of June 2010 held the number 1 world ranking for 237 weeks (one week behind the record holder Pete Sampras).

With 62 career titles under his belt he isn't showing any signs of slowing down any time soon. He has been in 22 Grand Slam finals. Winning the Australian Open 4 times, French Open once, Wimbledon 6 times and US Open 5 times. He is one of only nine players to have ever won a Grand Slam after being a dad.

Federer has proven that he is the king of the grass courts and is still the player everyone on ATP tour wants to beat. He is currently ranked number two in world.

Andy Murray

Born 15th May 1987 Scottish Andy Murray has a turbulent time while on the ATP tour. Andy Murray has won 14 career titles on tour.

A lot of people but a lot of pressure on Murray's shoulders and seem to forget that he has been in two Grand Slam finals since turning pro in 2005. Loosing both times to Federer. In 2009 Murray had his best Wimbledon to date reaching the semi-finals.

Andy Murray is the only British player in the top 100. His current world ranking is world number four.

Andy Roddick

Born 30th August 1982 is a former world number one player. Andy Roddick has the fastest serve on tour. Many thought the American was going to win multiple Grand Slams after his US Open win in 2003. Unfortunately for Roddick the peek of his career has come at a time when Federer wanted to break records. However since being on the tour Roddick has won an impressive 29 career titles.

Andy Roddick is a crowd favourite at Wimbledon having been in three finals. Roddick played one of the most exciting finals of his career last year taking Federer to a memorable and emotional five set match.

Andy Roddick is the only American in the top 10 on the ATP tour. His current ranking is world number seven.

Kim Clijsters

Born 8th June 1983 Kim Clijsters is also a former world number one (August 2003), and a fan favourite.

Clijsters has had an impressive career with 48 WTA titles. (37 singles and 11 doubles). Kim Clijsters made the biggest comeback of anybody in the game to win the US Open in 2009, having only played a couple of tournaments. She has won four Grand Slams (2 US Open singles (2005/2009) as well as French Open and Wimbledon doubles title in 2003.)

Kim Clijsters is back and stronger than ever being one of the few people to have beaten both Williams sisters on her way to victory in 2009. Her currently ranked nine in the world.

Laura Robson

Born 21st January 1994. Laura Robson is definitely a face for the future.

Robson really showed her talents at this years Hopman Cup, a warm up to the Australian Open. Teaming up with Andy Murray to get to the final.

After turning pro in 2008, she entered the WTA tour in 2009. She is currently ranked 262 in the world.

For more information on the men's and women's tours go to Men's Tour and Women's Tour.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

England v USA Post Match Post

It took 4 minutes for Steven Gerrard to start England's world cup campaign. A lot of people underestimated how good a team USA were going to be. But with the help of a lucky goal we proceeded to make life difficult for ourselves once again.

England's starting lineup: Green, Johnson, King, Terry, A Cole, Lennon, Lampard, Gerrard, Milner, Heskey and Rooney.

It took England six months and four minutes to get on the score sheet of the 2010 World Cup. Though it pains me to admit, I thought, Steven Gerrard was the best player on the pitch last night. He settled into the England captaincy like a pro. And so he should. After all he should be used to it being captain at club level with Liverpool. Milner was playing well, until he was taken off and replaced by Wright Phillips, but I think it was a good call by Capello after all the last thing we needed would have been down to 10 men.

Most England fans will be waking up this morning and thinking did it really happen? Did Green really let that ball in? Now then we the English are (on the whole) a pessimistic bunch. But I think we should look at this with a positive attitude. Yes Green made a blunder and let USA have a chance but we also know that he can move on from it. Many goalkeepers in the past would have let that get to them, but Green came into the 2nd half of the match a determination not to let it fase him. (The same couldn't be said for other players on the team in the 2nd half who lost some of there momentum from the first half.) I just hope that Capello doesn't see red and decide to leave him out of the team.

Only the next match will tell how England are going to recover from this blow. But don't forget. It could be worse. We could have lost to USA. So all I can say is 'Bring it on!'

(Photo Credit: Ian Walton - Getty Images)

Saturday, 12 June 2010

My Love Affair with Politics

I have been voting since I was 18. The year was 2001. I walked into my local polling station and cast my first Labour vote. Little did I know that voting would always be important too me.

I am a strong believer that everyone must vote. I think it's every ones right. Not just because I'm a woman and 60 plus years ago I would not have been able too. But because we are lucky in our country that we can hold elections and not be forced to vote one way or another. It also frustrates me when people complain about the wrong people being in power. These are the same people who never vote. At least by voting you know you have done your part.

As it is glaringly obvious. I am a Labour supporter. I will probably always vote for the party. I will listen to what 'Tory' voters opinions are, but will more often than not not agree with what they are saying. So the last few days twitter has been all a buzz with the labour leadership race. Including various 'twibbons' where individuals can show there support. I believe that whoever (and I'm hoping David Miliband) becomes the next Labour party leader has the chance to really make a difference.

For young adults (18 to 30) we have be more invested in politics. After all it's our future that is in the politicians hands, no matter which party you support. All that I ask is that we should all do our bit. If there are things you are unhappy with let your local politicians know. How else are we suppose to get our voices heard.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

England v USA Pre-Match Blog Post

(Photo Credit: Jamie McDonald - Getty Images Europe)

Steven Gerrard now has to lead England to victory. I must say that combined with Fabio Capello, England's no non-sense manager, I'm looking forward to World Cup 2010. Of course all this starts with England's opening game against USA on Saturday 12th June.

When you think about football, or soccer as the Americans like to call it, you don't automatically think of the USA. However that said this will be their sixth straight time entering the world cup. While their road to South Africa has not been a simple one they have fought hard for their place into the tournament. Having gotten to the final of the Confederation Cup 2009, playing Brazil.

Having not won a World Cup since 1966 England fans have been waiting 44 long years to lift that trophy again. Of course every four years England fans across the country get their hopes up only to get them trampled on year after year. We have some of the best players in Europe on the England team with many of them having success in Europe at club level. Though Capello has not yet released his full team, sports networks worldwide are confident it's going to be an England victory Saturday night.

So as we all look forward to the weekend ahead here's hoping our boys don't make me eat my words Saturday night. Here's hoping Capello can carry on with the discipline that he has done to get them this far.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Race for the Labour Leadership

On 6th May Labour no longer had the majority of votes to run the country. It soon became apparent that Gordon Brown was not going to be leader of his party for long. While I have always felt sorry for Gordon Brown, I too thought the party needed a new face.

David Miliband seems to be the frontrunner at the moment. I personally think David Miliband should be the most logical next party leader. He has been with the Labour party since 1994. Though wasn't elected to parliament till 2001. He also has the right mix of youth (44 yrs old) and experience (last Foreign Secretary). The most promising thing in David Miliband's rise is that he is part of a small group of Labour politicians known as 'Primrose Hill Gang'. These are advisor's and Labour politicians who were said to look beyond Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. And look to the future of the Labour party.

Ed Miliband, younger brother of David, is also seen as a good candidate. Though he is a lot less known than his older brother he too is said to be a member of the 'Primrose Hill Gang'. Ed Miliband seems to be the only person who can give David Miliband a run for his money.

Other candidates include: Ed Balls, Dianne Abbott and John McDonnell. All three are seen as key Labour party members. However they like the support from their peers that both Miliband brothers have inside the party.

(Photo Credit - Getty Images)

Lisa Marie

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Four Girls, One Film, Lots of Fun!

Every so often you go on a evening/night out and it turns out to something so much more than you could have imagined.

That night for me and the girls was Thursday 3rd June. It was a first for all, four of us. Sat outside on a hot summers night watching a film in Manchester. The location Spinningfield Manchester city centre. The film 'Dirty Dancing'.

But what a great atmosphere it was. All sat outside some sat on deckchairs (or in our case camping chairs provided by Jen) and some were just sat on blankets. It was a night that had it all great company, drinking and not forgetting everyone getting up and dancing at the end. After Patrick Swayze's most memorable line “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” got a huge cheer off all the ladies watching. Not a single person was sat down once the title song started to play. Including myself and my friend Lisa singing along to '(I've had) The Time of My Life' at the end of the film.

Every Thursday they will be showing a different film. Some old like 'Dirty Dancing' some a little more up to date. For more information on up and coming films being shown just use the link below.

Now then we had a great time and I've been humming the songs since.

Lisa Marie

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Capello's 23 Men

The likes of Twitter, and the web in general, news was spreading fast and wide even before the official list was released at 4pm. The FA kept putting the time back on the official announcement, but that didn't stop media outlets all over putting there opinions out there.

England's world cup squad has been released today and I for one am happy to see Joe Cole on the list. I think he's a player who not only has experience at playing in a world cup, but is also a pretty good player.

Capello was always going to disappoint people with his list. Theo Walcott was the biggest upset with people following all afternoon online. So now we know the official list as followed:

Robert Green, Joe Hart, David James
Jamie Carragher, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand, Glen Johnson, Ledley King, John Terry, Matthew Upson, Stephen Warnock
Gareth Barry, Michael Carrick, Joe Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips
Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey, Wayne Rooney

So let the countdown begin to England's first game of the World Cup 2010.

Lisa Marie