Caroline Wozniacki

mcillroy_wozniacki_broke_up_over_phone_600

The French Open tennis Grand Slam began with early round play a couple days ago and a summary of who’s in and who’s out (e.g. what happened Serena?) will be coming out soon. Plus, cheap you won’t want to miss my notoriously wrong picks. But the big story now is what has happened off the court.

This has been a busy time for gossiping golfers and tennis players. The huge headline is that our favorite sports power couple Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki have broken up just weeks after their wedding invitations had been sent out. The big question was who will recover first?

This past week it has become very apparent on who is struggling and who is not. Rory recovered so strong that he won the BMW PGA Championship in Virginia Water, England on Sunday. He finished out his winning round with a birdie and seemed to find an escape from his personal drama out on the course. However we must keep in mind Rory was the one to break off the engagement (over the phone!) so we cannot help but wonder if this was somewhat of a weight lifted off of his shoulders.

Photo: Darko Vojinovic, AP

Photo: Darko Vojinovic, AP

However for Caroline it seems like the weight of the world is crashing down on her!

In her first round at the French Open she had a pretty tough first-round draw. She had to face off against number 64 ranked Yanina Wickmayer. Wozniacki was ranked number 12 and it seemed like she should win without issue, but Wickmayer is an excellent player who was once ranked number 12 and was a semifinalist at the 2009 United States Open. We also need to remember that Wozniacki has had a season filled with injuries. She has endured injuries to her wrist and knee and has not been fully focused on her tennis career.

So the big question remains, was it the breakup that accounts for her loss? Or is it the slew of other factors? With a final score of 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-2, Wozniacki is out of the French Open in the first round and questions came flying. She responded: “I don’t really want to talk about my personal life.” She has admitted to the breakup being a bit of a shock and we know that that must have some affect one her personally.

Our hearts go out to Caroline Wozniacki and we hope she will recover from her heartbreak.

A big shout out and thanks to Smashing intern and Lehigh University golfer Nicole Feierberg for the research for this article.

Smashing Golf & Tennis - Made in Chicago

Smashing Golf & Tennis – Made in Chicago

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Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon

For the first time in 77 years a Briton has won the Men’s Singles Champion at Wimbledon. No. 2 Andy Murray won a hard-fought victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in three thrilling sets 6-4, advice 7-5, site 6-4 on Sunday. The last Brit to win at Wimbledon was Fred Perry, who won three in a row in 1936.

The final game was a nail-biting battle in itself, with Murray seeing three match points slip by from 40-0 lead and fending off three break points before Djokovic netted a backhand to end the contest.

Djokovic Congratulates Murray (Images: BBC News)

“I have played in a lot of Slam finals, all against Roger or Novak. Roger is probably the greatest player ever, Novak is one of the mentally strongest ever. I never had experience on my side, to beat him was so tough, it was such a tough match.”

“Winning Wimbledon is the pinnacle of tennis,” Murray said afterwards. “I worked so hard in that last game. It’s the hardest few points I’ve had to play in my life. I don’t know how it will change my life. I hope not. I hope not too much. But the atmosphere today was different to what I’ve experienced in the past.”

Don’t Forget Mom

Andy Murray Hugging his Mom (Image: Telegraph.co.uk)

During the celebrations after winning the title, Andy Murray forgot to kiss his mom. Murray made the traditional climb into his player’s box to celebrate winning Wimbledon with his team. He hugged coach Ivan Lendl, kissed his girlfriend, and hugged trainers and hitting partners and high-fived anyone who extended an arm. Murray began his descent from the stands, but fortunately reversed course and realized he had forgotten to hug and kiss his mom, Judy.

Marion Bartoli Wins First Major Title

Marion Bartoli def Sabine Lisicki (Photo: dailyfinance.co.uk)

In an error-filled, one-sided final that was far from a match destined for the highlight reel, Marion Bartoli, the 15th-seeded Frenchwoman won her first Grand Slam title by beating 23rd-seeded Sabine Lisicki of Germany 6-1, 6-4 Saturday.

At the outset, Bartoli looked jittery and double-faulted twice in a row to drop the opening game. But then on Lisicki’s first chance to serve, she double-faulted on break point, to tie the first set 1-1. They combined for 39 unforced errors and 11 double-faults .  But Bartoli prevailed, winning 11 of 12 games.

Bartoli became the first woman in the Open era to win Wimbledon without facing anyone seeded in the top 10 – her highest-rated opponent was No. 17 Sloane Stephens of the United States in the quarterfinals. That was due to of all of the injuries and surprises, including exits for No. 2 Victoria Azarenka, No. 3 Maria Sharapova, No. 5 Sara Errani, No. 7 Angelique Kerber, No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki and No. 10 Maria Kirilenko by the end of the second round.

Lisicki, meanwhile, had to face and defeat defending champion and top-seeded Serena Williams – ending her 34-match winning streak in the fourth round. Lisicki also defeated major champions Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur, along with No. 4 Agnieszka Radwanska, last year’s runner-up.

“Just hearing `Wimbledon champion,’ that kind of sounds good to me,” Bartoli said afterwards. “I wanted that so badly. … It was like: Dare to dream. I kept dreaming. I kept my head up. I kept working hard. And it just happened.”

BBC Apologizes for Comments

Marion Bartoli (Photo: Huffington Post)

The BBC faced mounting pressure on Sunday when John Inverdale, one of their high profile announcers criticized the appearance of Marion Bartoli.  Inverdale provoked listeners when he asked the audience if they thought Bartoli’s father told Bartoli when she was little that she would never be “a looker” like Maria Sharapova so she would have to fight harder for success.

The BBC did apologize for the comments after a storm of protests on Twitter, admitting the remark was “insensitive”.

Men’s Doubles – The “Golden Bryan Slam”

2013 Wimbledon Men’s Doubles (USA Today)

Bob and Mike Bryan beat Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to capture their third Wimbledon title and fourth Grand Slam championship in a row.

The Bryan brothers are the first men’s team in the Open era to hold all four majors at once, plus an Olympic gold medal from last year’s London Games – the so-called “Golden Slam.” If they win the U.S. Open in September, they’ll join Ken McGregor and Frank Sedgman as the second men’s team to complete a calendar Grand Slam.

 

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Will the Magic of Monfils Continue? (Getty Images)

If you’ve been watching the first week of the French Open, drugstore you’ve probably noticed the less than perfect conditions. The first five days of the French Open at Roland Garros have been unusually cold and rainy causing long delays and postponed matches, levitra however, there’s still been plenty of upsets, drama and exciting play to discuss.

Maria Sharapova was unable to finish her second-round match against Eugenie Bouchard on a rainy fifth day of action in Paris and the officials finally suspended play and will pick up where they left off on Friday. Match play has been delayed, but with the hope that Friday will bring better weather and a chance to finish the remaining second and third round matches before the weekend.

In the meantime, some highlights from the week so far.

Men’s Singles

Nadal First Round Scare

Rafa in Disbelief in early 1st Round (Gallo Images)

French Open favorite Rafael “Rafa” Nadal had a very scary first two sets in the first round.  Rafa struggled during his opening-round win over German Daniel Brands after dropping the first set—only the 15th set he has lost at Roland Garros—and falling to 0-3 in the second.

Of course, Rafa then made it look easy and then went on to win decisively in four sets, but it was exciting to watch live and wonder if my prediction would fall on only the second day of play.

Monfils the “Magician”

Monfils “The Magician” (Washington Post)

The biggest upset on the Men’s side this week so far has been fifth seed Tomas Berdych’s shocking loss after five sets by unseeded Frenchmen Gael Monfils on Monday 7-6, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 7-5 in a thrilling four hour and two minute match.

Monfils continued to perform his magic to the delight of local crowds Wednesday by beating 40th ranked Ernests Gulbis  6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 6-2, in what was one of the most entertaining and competitive matches so far.

Ironically, a Frenchman has not won at Roland Garros since Yannick Noah, the father of Chicago Bull, Joakim Noah,  in 1983.  Monfils will next play 34th ranked Tommy Robredo on Friday, who’s first 2 rounds have not have been as hard fought as Monfils, but the local crowds will be cheering on for more of Monfils magic and will be a match not to be missed.

The Other Top Seeded Men

Roger Federer (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic eased into the third round with decisive 6-2, 6-0, 6-2 win over Argentina’s Guido Pella Thursday, and Federer barely broke a sweat defeating Somdev Dewarman of India in the second round 6-2, 6-1, 6-1.

Women’s Singles

Mattek-Sands Shocks 2011 Champion Li

Bethanie Mattek-Sands (Photo : AFP)

Unconventionally dressed American Bethanie Mattek-Sands delivered the biggest upset of this year’s French Open so far by beating the 2011 champ and current #6 Li Na of China  5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Mattek-Sands is renown for her unusual style and says “I’m kind of doing my own thing, I want my tennis to do my talking.”  This week at the French Open, she did just that.

Serena – Inevitable Champion? 

Serena Williams (USA Today)

Serena Williams easily extended her winning streak to 26 matches Wednesday by beating #114th ranked Caroline Garcia of France, 6-1, 6-2 in the second round.

The No. 1-ranked Williams seeks her first French Open title since 2002. She hasn’t reached the semifinal since 2003 and lost in the first round last year at Roland Garros.

Other Upsets

Former top-ranked and current #10 ranked Caroline Wozniacki lost 7-6 (2), 6-3 to 47th ranked Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia in the second round of the French Open on Wednesday.

Who to Watch Friday

(Roland Garros)

Due to the rain suspended play on Thursday, the match schedule was not finalized at time of writing.  Check link for Friday final schedule of play at French Open.

However, the following matches should be worth watching.

Men’s Singles  

  • Rafael Nadal vs. Martin Klizan
  • Gael Monfils vs.Tommy Robredo

Women’s Singles

  • Maria Sharapova vs. Eugenie Bouchard – To finish rain delayed match, currently at 6-2 4-2
  • Serena Williams vs. Sorana Cirstea
  • Agnieszka Radwanska  vs. Dinah Pfizenmaier

The matches get started at 4 a.m. on ESPN2, and will run on that channel through 9 a.m. The Tennis Channel will then pick up coverage from 9 all the way through 6 p.m., so there will be plenty of opportunities to watch on Friday. The Tennis Channel then has the French Open Highlights at 6 p.m. and this program runs again at 9pm.

Smashing Golf & Tennis – Made in Chicago
(Photo: Mike Caplan)

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