Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tennis Anyone?

Looking at the calendar and the last thing on any sports fan's mind is tennis but the 2009 season is almost here. It seems like yesterday that the tennis season ended but for me I tend to turn away from tennis right after the conclusion of the US Open in Flushing Meadows New York. This year, after Federer won, I completely drifted away from tennis and the "minor" tournaments that occurred after Labour Day weekend.

But this year it seems that there will be plenty of action and questions to be answered. At this point last year we all thought it was Federer who was going to come and take over the career Grand Slam title away from Pete Sampras but it turned out that Roger was human after all. Losing in his first three Grand Slams Federer was thought to be in his twilight of his career until his run at the US Open.

This time around there are more story lines than just Roger and his pursuit Grand Slam immortality. We have a new #1 in Nadal, we have young guns Djokovic, Murray, and of course the unpredictable American Andy Roddick. All these guys bring a true sense of competition to the table and I am glad they are here. It is nice to see Roger win, I have enjoyed his success, but at times it just seems too easy and this bores me. Watching guys slug it out for 3-4hours through 5 set matches filled with tie-breakers is what entertains me and what all fans should be rooting for. This is excitement, this is where tennis players show us who they really are, and most importantly this is where the fans sit on the edge of their seats or stay glued to their screens. This is how the game will grow it's audience and bring new faces to the game of tennis.

I think tennis needs a season filled with multiple winners and fierce battles that last longer than straight set championship wins. With Nadal and the young guns trying to take the spotlight from Federer. I want to see Federer come back and prove his age isn't catching up on him and show the world he is ready to take what was once his, the thrown of tennis.

Not only will this competition bring me back to tennis it will bring new fans and reinvigorate fans, like myself, who have drifted away from the game because of the lack of surprise and lack of excitement.

January 5th, Qatar Open, the season begins.

Photo Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports.

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