Author Archive

AUSTRALIAN OPEN: Top Ten Stories – Farewell Federer, Hello Madison

WEEK 1: TOP TEN STORIES 1. ROGER STRIKES OUT: Picasso once kicked over a can of paint. Federer lost a tennis match and, for the first time in 12 years, will not reach an Aussie Open semi. It’s been 14 Slams since Roger has won. 2. MADISON KEYS – FUTURE GIRL: It wasn’t just that […]


HIGH DRAMA ON HISENSE By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia — Too often tennis burdens us with desperately routine matches. But then it explodes with pure unfiltered emotion, high drama and a sporting ferocity that shakes bones — such glee, and a sense of wonder. What else matches it? It’s Saturday night and life is summer-good […]

Australian Open: Madison Keys — Future Girl

By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia — Somber Saturday, that’s what they called it. After all, for far too many years, by the time most Grand Slams got near the end of their first week, a vast swath of the US contingent had been swept aside. Americans were left with a vacant feeling. “Oh dear,” we […]

Australian Open: The Day Roger Federer Struck Out

MELBOURNE, Australia—The man rocks the first weeks of Slams. For 13 straight years, Roger Federer has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open. For 11 straight years, he has reached the Aussie Open semis. His best records reveal an astounding Lou Gehrig-like consistency. He reached 23 Grand Slam semis and 36 Grand Slam quarterfinals […]

Australian Open: Venus Williams—Serene at the Edge of a Volcano

By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia—She was thin, wide-eyed, a tad scared, and not so sure what she was getting into. That was Venus Williams when I saw her play her first pro match at the Oakland Coliseum in 1997. Just 16, she was a waif taking on the world. The New York Times and CNN […]

Australian Open: Rafa Nadal—The Warrior Who Wouldn’t Be Denied

By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia—Didn’t we just do this? Didn’t a commanding champion, Maria Sharapova, twist and dance on the precipice of disaster against a no-name? Didn’t a seemingly lopsided second-round match between a high seed and an unknown longshot turn into an improbable, tense and compelling battle at Laver Arena? Didn’t tennis give us […]

Australian Open: Like Stealing Sugarpova From a Baby

By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia—It was going to be just another ho-hum second round putdown, another Russian rout by tennis’ prime Putin pal, Maria Sharapova. After all, the icy elegant icon, who is celebrated from Moscow to Manhattan Beach, who has won more millions and Porches then you can imagine, sprinted out of the Rod […]

Australian Open: Toppling Seeds, Topsy-Turvy World

GERMAN BOMBS, SERBIAN SLUMP: Serbia (Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic) and Germany (Angelique Kerber, Andrea Petkovic and Sabine Lisicki) lost all of their seeded players in the women’s first round. TOPPLING SEEDS: Eleven of the women’s seeds lost in the first round, tying a record—the same amount fell in the first round of WImbledon in 2002 […]

Australian Open: The Most Blessed and Cursed Star—Ana Ivanovic

By Bill Simons MELBOURNE, Australia—Could it possibly be? Could Ana Ivanovic be both the most blessed and the most cursed female star in tennis? After all, you wouldn’t be all that wet if you claimed that she sports one of the more poignant back stories around. (As a kid, during frigid winters she played in […]

Australian Open: Men’s Singles Preview

By John Huston 1. NOVAK: THE ODDSMAKER’S FAVORITE Australia has been Novak Djokovic‘s domain. Melbourne is where he staged his Slam breakthrough, straight-setting Roger Federer on his way to his first major title in 2008. The Aussie Open counts for four of his nine Slams, and he finished 2014 at No. 1 with a win […]