31 December, 2011

Bloggers Bar Volume II: 2012 Tennis Predictions

A few rounds deep, we're back at the Bloggers' Bar.  This is the second in a series of posts where some of my favorite tennis writers/bloggers and I will talk through some of the important tennis topics of the day.

At the (virtual) bar today are:
In Volume I we focused primarily on the top players and our outlooks for them going into 2012.  In this installment, we're looking at the tour and making our biggest, boldest predictions for 2012.

Once again, this isn't a private conversation, feel free to get involved in the comments, we would love to hear what you have to say; unless, we wouldn't, in which case, we'll politely ignore you.

29 December, 2011

Bloggers' Bar Volume I: 2012 Tennis Predictions

Even though the pro tours flit from Melbourne to London and virtually every spot in between over the course of a year; the tennis world remains a relatively small community.  When I started (officially) working on Blacklabel Tennis last summer, I also started reading a lot more tennis writing and interacting with some of the talented people behind it.  We might be spread out across the world, but when Sharapova's yips rear their unpretty head deep in the third set or Nadal hits a shot that seems a repudiation of the laws of physics, these are people with whom I'm virtually sharing that WTF moment.  While we tweet and e-mail, we never get the opportunity to really spend much time shooting the shit about tennis.

Thus, the Bloggers' Bar.

This is the first in a series of posts where some of my favorite tennis writers/bloggers and I will share our thoughts, ideas and delusions on what we deem to be the important tennis topics of the day.

28 December, 2011

Australian Open 2011 Flashback

Extra effort from Andy Roddick

In early 2011, I had the opportunity to attend my first (and hopefully not my last) Australian Open.  As we start to gear up for the 2012 tournament, and start seriously jones-ing for the beginning of next season, I thought it would be a good time to share some of my photos from last year's tournament.  Most of the big names crossed my camera in some way shape or form over the fortnight and since we're all fans, why not share the results.

23 December, 2011

2011 Predictions & Reality

Until this morning when they posted the winner, I'd completely forgotten that last year I participated in Tennis-X's 2011 Year End Top 10 poll.  Looking back at my picks (posted as VE), they all seemed so well thought out then.  I even went as far as explaining the logic.  I'm sure at the time, I thought I was dead on about my picks.  But hell, that's why the play the matches, isn't it?

I wound up being right about six of the players who finished in the top ten, but for every big hit; there was a big miss as well.  So, as we begin to look ahead to 2012, I thought it would be fun to share with you what I said then, how I was right an how I was wrong...oh, so wrong.

17 December, 2011

Australian Open Wildcard Playoffs Livestream

In need of a live tennis fix? You can watch the LiveStream of the Kia Motors Australian Open wildcard playoff on Blacklabel Tennis through the weekend.  Through this event one American man and woman will win a wild card berth into next month's Australian Open in Melbourne.

Players scheduled to appear include: Melanie Oudin, Jack Sock, Robby Ginepri, Coco Vandeweghe and more.  See the match schedule after the jump.

Watch live streaming video from aowp at livestream.com

11 December, 2011

If You Were Wondering...

What happened after Spain won the Davis Cup last weekend, I can assure you that they didn't shave their heads like the Serbian team did a year ago...I think Feliciano Lopez would beat the snot out of anyone who would even joke about shearing his coif.  In any event, there was celebration, presumably some liquid courage was imbibed and there was something that looked kind of like dancing from the Spanish contingent.

I wouldn't hold a candle to Rafa on a tennis court, but on the dancefloor, if this is any indication, 6-1, 6-0 Blacklabel Tennis, Vamos!

05 December, 2011

2011 Year End Power Rankings

Sometimes the hot cool down, sometimes the cool heat up.  Check out who makes Blacklabel Tennis' 2011 Year End Power Rankings.

1. Petra Kvitova (CZE) Last Month: (3)

Novak Djokovic certainly had the best year in 2011, but the hottest player going into 2012 has to be Petra Kvitova.  She began her march to the top of the WTA with an upset win over Kim Clijsters in the Paris final back in February (Clijsters was World No. 1; Kvitova, No. 18 at the time).  Then she simply outslugged Maria Sharapova, to become the unanimous pick as the most likely to succeed of this year's first time major winners.  She may have started the year ranked 34th, but after winning a major, the WTA Tour Championships and five other tour titles, the 20 year old Czech finished within a hair of the year end No. 1 ranking.  Then for good measure, she led the Czech Republic to the Fed Cup title.  There is simply no one we're more interested in watching start their 2012 campaign than Kvitova.

Bacardi Campaign Pits Fans Versus Virtual Rafa

Originally posted on Mashable:

Tennis legend Rafael Nadal has conquered an impressive list of opponents — Roger Federer, Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt just to name a few. But could Rafa beat you if you had a 12-foot tennis-serving robot on your side?

That’s the premise of “Ace Rafa,” a new Bacardi campaign that allows fans to virtually compete with the 10-time Grand Slam winner using the RoboServ 3000...

03 December, 2011

Defining Rafael Nadal

Has there ever been a conversation, article or other examination of Rafael Nadal that didn't pivot on his rivalry with Roger Federer?  Well, I'll say, it's not exactly our fault, the Federer kid just stays in the picture.  I've been among the bloggers (dare i say, writers?) who've written in the past that they can't ever foresee such a conversation happening.  Nadal's own book Rafa centers on the story of Nadal's side of the Greatest Match of All Time (the GMAT?), his 2008 Wimbledon final versus you know who.