Archive for July 10th, 2012
Once they closed the roof of Centre Court at the All England Club in Wimbledon, the Scottish Andy Murray simply held no chance to defeat the Swiss Maestro. Roger Federer was as dominant and as hungry for titles as he has ever been, and gave Murray no chance despite the support he was getting from the locals. Murray became the first British man to reach the finals at Wimbledon since 1938, so sure enough, the fans had their hopes set on 25-year-old Scotsman. And for a moment there this was certainly his best shot ever at winning a Grand Slam. Roger Federer proved that at 30 he’s still got a lot to give and that his career is far from over. The Swiss Maestro grabbed his 7th title after beating Andy Murray 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday.
Let it there be no doubt: Roger Federer has recovered the No.1 spot in the ATP rankings and has done so in spectacular fashion. He managed to conquer his record-tying 7th title at the All English Club in Wimbledon, and got his long-awaited 17th Grand Slam title, just to make it clear that he really does have a strong argument to hold the title for the best tennis player ever. He is now officially reaching his 286th week as the top-ranked player in the World, reaching the all-time record holder Pete Sampras, and surely, it’s now going to impose and take over. So, the correlations are all there. For those who had ever made a case for Sampras been the best player ever, little by little and before reaching his 31st birthday, Roger Federer is coming down and breaking all the records.
His 7th Wimbledon title ties him with Pete Sampras, and you would have to go back to the XIX Century to find another player who has won 7 titles here. Only 1880s player William Renshaw has also won seven Wimbledon titles. Then again, this came at a period in the tournament when the defending champion was given a bye into the following year’s final. So, it’s certainly not the same thing, but you get the idea. Still, the local fans had their hopes set on Murray, but once the roof was closed and there was no more wind, Federer won 65 of the 117 points played indoors, and it was all over for Murray.
This was a big win. This is going to fuel him into the next few seasons, and hopefully give him what it takes to clinch his 18th Grand Slam title. Even Pete Sampras came out to talk about his success. “He doesn’t want to stop now,” Sampras said in a telephone interview in regards to Federer’s win. “He knows he’s going to continue to play well and try to break seven, and he could very well end up with eight or nine Wimbledon titles. I just think he’s that much better than the other guys on grass, and he loves the court the way I loved that court. He’s a great champion, a classy champion, and I’m really happy for him.”
The chance is still out there for the Brooklyn Nets to get their way, but it’s going to take a very complex negotiation to land Dwight Howard. We have to give it up for the squad’s persistence; they are really doing absolutely all they can to land the big man from Orlando Magic. Now, in order to make this happen, the Nets and the Orlando Magic need to find a way to get the Cleveland Cavaliers and the LA Clippers involved in a lengthy and multi-player deal that would ultimately land Howard in the recently relocated team.
For what we have been able to draw out, the deal will most likely follow these general lines. If things go as planned the Brooklyn Nets would receive Dwight Howard, Jason Richardson, Chris Duhon and Earl Clark. The Orlando Magic would get Brook Lopez, Luke Walton, Damion James, Shelden Williams, Armon Johnson and three first-round picks. These picks would include two from the Nets and a lottery protected first from the LA Clippers. The Cavs would get Kris Humphries, Quentin Richardson, Sundiata Gaines, a first round pick from the Nets and three million in cash. The Clippers would receive MarShon Brooks. I was a bit lost too when I first read the description and can only guess how intricate the fine print in this contract is going to be, and yet the Nets are willing to push this one off. Now, to top this off, Lopez, Humphries, James, Williams, Johnson and Gaines would all have to agree to sign-and-trades before they can be transferred.
Now, there are a couple more issues involved in this move. The Nets and Magic want to be really clear about this move, so they have already exchanged medical information on Howard, who had back surgery, and Lopez, who had foot surgery. Now, considering that both Howard and Humphries are both represented by the same agent, Dan Fegan, he could eventually get these guys to play nice and help pull off the deal. Now, the Nets already have secured the services of Derron Williams and Joe Johnson and adding Howard would certainly make them, at least in paper, a title contender coming off from the East.
Now, some of the smaller market teams have been a little reluctant to show much empathy to these big budget teams who can buy as much talent as they can secure. The big issue here is that the Brooklyn Nets are trying to pull off this move just a couple of days after the LA Lakers managed to get this clever negotiation: get themselves the services of point-guard Steve Nash. So, the trend is here: one can earn a title by buying the best talent around. Point be taken: the Miami Heat got their title after LeBron James finally had enough of a supporting cast, including two other All Stars, to be able to get his fist title. So now what? That seems to be the big question. It is clear that the new collective bargain agreement was created to try to avoid having a league plagued with teams that are impossible to beat, and effort to make the league as competitive and diverse as possible. And so we wait and see.