Archive for the ‘Milos Raonic’ Category

Britain's Murray kisses trophy after defeating Serbia's Djokovic in the men's singles final match at the US Open  tennis tournament in New York

The moral degradation of society continues unabated. This isn’t about barbaric laws, athletes committing crimes or authority figures abusing their power.

Professional tennis has come to symbolize everything that is wrong with us.

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On Wednesday, Rafael Nadal will make his long awaited return, entering an ATP world tour 250 event in Chile. Tennis Channel will carry the match live at 4 PM. The major networks are leading their Tennis pages with the Nadal story. Undoubtedly, it’s big news. The sport needs Nadal on the court, not on the sidelines.

But why is he garnering the headlines today? The timing is curious considering a scintillating weekend of Davis Cup tennis just concluded. Led by Milos Raonic, Canada will make their first foray into the second round after beating powerhouse Spain in Vancouver. Sam Querrey battled back from a set down in the final rubber to send the States past underdog Brazil. The Czech Republic and Switzerland contested the second longest match of all time. Emergency replacement Fabio Fognini led Italy over Croatia, setting up a match-up with the Canadians on April 5th.

In brief, the Davis Cup creates story lines the tour cannot. Frank Dancevic is not going to beat Andy Murray at Wimbledon. That didn’t matter on Friday night, when the 151st ranked player in the world gave Canada a 2-0 lead. Nicolás Almagro and Radek Štepánek don’t play in Grand Slam finals. It’s a different story when their country is involved. The 2012 Davis Cup final was an epic, lasting four sets. Stepanek emerged in the end, and the Czech Republic captured their second Davis Cup title. Watching the ensuing celebration at the O2 Arena in Prague was pretty damn cool.

Unfortunately, the Cup is on the verge of irrelevancy. A wonky schedule and the absence of stars have combined to make it a non-event in the eyes of casual tennis fans and more frighteningly, the players themselves.

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British Eurosport – that’s a Television channel apparently – is where good announcing goes to die. During Monday’s singles match between Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Canada’s Milos Raonic, Virginia Wade battled incompetence while Ross Hutchins struggled to justify his place on the weakest three-person commentary panel ever assembled. However, it was the third man in the booth who attracted the collective rage of Canadians rising early out of bed to watch their countryman perform. It was through the network that the motherland took one last shot at trolling their son, employing Greg Rusedski on their tennis panel as Raonic attempted to achieve the unfathomable.

My anger, while extremely petty, is not directed at them, however. I thought Monday morning would be the start of something huge. The columnists of our esteemed national newspapers would swoop in for a 500-word piece on the monumental feat in Melbourne. How would Rosie Dimanno manage to write a terrible lead while also getting the story terribly wrong? The headline would include a play on ‘while you were sleeping.’ Unfortunately, we’ll never know.

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