ATP Tour Blog: July 2012 in review

We get to visit the All England Club twice this month...what a treat!

It’s been a historic month of July on the men’s tour!  Wimbledon was epic, and set the stage of Roger Federer to climb back to the top of the men’s game.  We’ve seen a couple players reach personal milestones this month, and others climbing the rankings again trying to resurrect their careers.  And to top it off, the Olympics are underway at the hallowed grounds of the All-England Club.  Let’s take a look at the top storylines from July 2012.

On the ATP side…

-This month, King Fed has reclaimed his throne as the top ranked player in the world after winning his 7th Wimbledon singles title and record 17th major singles title.  He then proceeded to break Pete Sampras‘ record of 286 total weeks as the top ranked player in the world.  Just another historic month for the Swiss all-time great.  As the #1 player in the world and the defending champion of Wimbledon, he has to be the favorite going into the Olympics.

34 year old Tommy Haas has re-established himself in the ATP top 50 this month.

-We’ve seen yet another incredible resurgence from the 34 year old Tommy Haas.  Once again, he’s recovered from injury and come back as strong as ever!  In June of 2011, his ranking had plummeted into the 800s.  A little more than a year later, he’s back up to #35 in the world.  He’s had 2 top 5 wins this year, including a win over Federer in the finals of Halle for his first title since 2009.  This month, he had two top 20 wins and reached the final in Hamburg before losing to red hot Juan Monaco.  Can the veteran German continue his climb or will he get bit by the injury bug once again??

Philipp Kohlschreiber reached a career high ranking of #16 in the world this week

-Two guys reached personal milestones in their careers this month.  Juan Monaco has had a career year, and after winning the ATP 500 title in Hamburg he’s climbed into the top 10 for the first time.  Hot on his heels is German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has climbed into the top 20 for the first time after reaching the final in Kitzbuhel last week and reaching the quarterfinals of Wimbledon.  He’s currently at a career high ranking of #16.  And, do you know who had the most aces in the men’s draw at Wimbledon?  That’s right…5’10″ Philipp Kohlschreiber, with 98 aces in five matches.

Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci has been playing some high level tennis of late

-Watch out for Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci!  He’s only lost two matches this month, and both to top 10 players (Tipsarevic and Tsonga).  However, he avenged his loss to Tipsarevic the very next week in the final of Gstaad to take the title, and his first round match against Tsonga at the Olympics might have been the best match of the first round.  Tsonga served unbelievable and proved why he’s one of the best grass court players in the world, but Bellucci gave him a run for his money, losing 6-7 6-4 6-4.   The lanky lefty clay-courter got a rough draw this week, but in the last month he’s gone from #80 in the world to #42.  Look for the big hitting Brazilian to continue his hot play into the summer.

Olympic Preview:

With only three weeks to recover between Wimbledon and the Olympic Games, the grass at the All-England Club is playing more like a classic grass court than the slower courts seen at Wimbledon in the past few years.  The courts are playing lightning fast, balls are staying low and taking strange bounces, and footing is a struggle.  Look for the veterans to handle the adversity the best over the next couple weeks, and look for some of the top players to get driven crazy with the tough conditions and get upset.  My predictions? I expect to see a Roger Federer / Andy Murray rematch in the final.

Stay tuned for more pro blogs in the coming weeks!  Thanks for reading!

-AG

WTA Tour Blog: July 2012 in review

To consistently describe the inconsistency of the WTA in one word? Unpredictable, and July 2012 was no different.

The revered indoor court at Wimbledon and now, being used for the Olympics

This may seem to be a pessimistic approach, because we view consistency as a positive thing, and inconsistency as negative, but do not be deceived. Yes, the ATP currently has its top 3. And its top 10. It has its regular winners, its champions, its talented predictability of high level players. But, BUT, the WTA is offering us a different way to view top tennis. It’s an even playing field. Sure, you can see this as a weak field, a lack of top players, (there will always be people that see this negatively and not want to watch the WTA – each to his own, I say) or you can see this as there being a high level of play all round.

Everything moves in cycles, and right now the talent is evenly spread. With hard work, mental strength and hard-core physical training, many WTA players can earn themselves the opportunities to beat players much higher than themselves for those elusive points, or even to win a Grand Slam. There is no given in the women’s tour. There is some domination, but it’s dog eat dog, and that’s exactly how this month went. Let’s take a look:

 On the WTA side…

Serena is through the first and second round

- Serena. Oh, Serena. Wimbledon Champion, Wimbledon tournament leader (for men and women) with 102 aces for the tournament, with serve speeds up to 120mph, a 38-3 win-loss winning record in 2012 (sorry, I know that’s not July but I have to say all of this), Stanford Champion, and this month, an 8-0 record.  Let’s see if she can end out July with no losses at the Olympics, because, as people in the office around here have been saying lately, “She’s on fiyahhhhhhhhhh!!!”

- Ok, I’m going to go here because I got a lot of stink about putting her as a hot contender in my “Who’s Hot and Who’s Not” blog. Sara Errani was doing so well with her career high rankings and her success at Roland Garros, but keeps doing things that have started to scare me off. I still maintain that she is someone to watch, but I think she picked up a little bit of a “shock factor” reputation. Coming into July, she got her magical, mythical, unicorn of a golden set (ouch) against Svedova (in her defense Shvedova hit four aces and 14 winners in the 15-minute set – she was basically treeing on Errani). She then came back from that blow out to win the Palermo tournament, to then get crushed in the Olympics by Venus, who coincidentally hasn’t won a match since May. Errani still sits on her career high ranking though, so what can we expect from her? Let’s get her off grass and stop this nonsense.

- Here’s something for the States: an American to keep an eye on would be 23-year-old Julia Cohen. She’s #134 and just lost in the final of the Baku Cup, which is her best result in a WTA Tournament. She’s green, but if she continues the way she is going, it will be interesting to see if another American can crack the top 100 and see some success. Keep your eyes peeled on her.

Olympic Preview:

Radwanska is out of the Olympics with a 7-5 6-7 6-4 loss to Julia Goerges of Germany

And the rest of the ladies? We’ve mostly seen all round consistency this month from Azarenka, Radwanska and Sharapova: until now. Three-setters for the first and second seeds saw Azarenka through and Radwanska out. Sharapova took charge with a 2 and 0 win, while Serena has stepped it up and won her first two rounds with ease. I am predicting a Sharapova vs. Serena final, so let’s see who takes charge of the grass one more time and comes out with gold.

Stay tuned for more pro blogs in the coming weeks!  Thanks for reading.

Siobhan

Letting the cat out of the bag… Puma’s newest apparel items!

It’s no secret Puma produces some great styles to wear both on and off the court. Their most recent women’s collection covers everything from various colors, such as a bright pink to a cool grey, to clothing options for different weather conditions. If you’re looking for a collection with multiple outfits for various occasions, the Puma Fall Group has got you covered.

Puma Women's Fall Cover Up

One noteworthy item that offers both comfort and versatility is the Puma Women’s Fall Cover Up. With a similar style to the Stella McCartney Performance Hoodie, fitting looser at the shoulders and chest, this relaxed top is very, very, (oh why not, I’ll add just one more to get my point across) very comfortable. The long sleeves are great for cooler weather, but it’s also lightweight enough to wear on its own when it’s a little warmer out. Take my word for it, the Fall Cover Up is one casual top that’ll be hard to take off (I’ve been wearing mine for days now).

Puma Women's Fall Capri Pant

A big contender to compete with the Fall Cover Up in this collection’s “Most Comfortable” category is the Fall Capri Pant.  Put them together and they make an unstoppable pair! Perfect for wearing during warm-ups or for a laid-back day around the house, this knit capri pant is the definition of comfort.

Puma Women's Fall Tank

Another item from the group that shouldn’t be overlooked is the Fall Tank. I know, I know. You’re thinking there’s only so many basic tanks that can grab your attention before they all start looking the same. What differentiates this one from the rest is that it fits longer than average; your top riding up and showing skin will be the least of your worries when playing in this tank.  Not to mention its supportive built-in bra and fun contrasting stripe sets this tank apart from the others!

Puma Men's Country Cat T-Shirt

Like Tiffani mentioned in one of her most recent blogs, Puma also released some men’s shirts that feature a few countries’ flag. Talk about a perfect tee to wear for the upcoming Olympics games! (Which I am so excited for! Remember that scene from the movie Elf where Will Ferrell screams, “SANTAAA!!!!!”? I have to do everything in my power to keep from yelling, “OLYMPICS!!!!!” throughout the office everyday. I might scare some people.) These stylish t-shirts will have you looking great while cheering for the home team!

~Karly