5 Reasons Why You Should Be Watching Women’s Tennis

When you think about watching sports on TV, you may not think to turn on a women’s tennis match, but you really should. Women’s tennis is one of the most popularly watched women’s sport. Here are five reasons why you SHOULD consider watching women’s tennis over any of the other sports:

  • Girl power

Compared to other female athletes, women tennis players earn more money, endorsements and TV face time. These women are well known within their sports and outside. Very few people can say that they have never heard of Serena Williams or her sister Venus.

  • Year-round competitions

No need to wait for (insert sport) season! Tennis is a year round sport and the athletes play in amazing locations like Melbourne, Paris, London and New York City.

  • Fashion

Every athlete and team has a uniform and some are nicer than others, but with tennis as long as you follow the dress code you are free to express your style! From dresses and skirts to short sleeves and tank tops, these women are styling.

  • Physically and psychologically challenging 

These athletes need endurance and power behind their swing, but they also need to be able to control their emotions throughout the entire match. Each tennis player will go through ups and downs while playing, but they need to be able to start fresh with every serve to give it all they got.

  • The rivalries are long and fierce

Since these athletes can play for many years, the rivalries can continue on for awhile. Some of the biggest names in the sports have to compete against each other quite a bit and those tensions build up. The top three athletes, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, all have some bad blood when they match up.

Don’t just take my word for it, watch a women’s tennis match and see how awesome the athletes really are. You won’t regret it.

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Three Reasons Rafael Nadal Will Win the French Open

Any sports fan can attest to Rafael Nadal’s dominance in the sport of tennis, especially in clay court tournaments. Nadal, often referred to by avid fans as “Rafa”,  has established his name as one that will be remembered years from now with his incredible accomplishments in tennis.

Although Rafa has seen a recent lack of titles as his world ranking has slipped from #1 to #5, he undoubtedly has a chance at this year’s French Open. All eyes will be upon Nadal as he attempts to make history next month. Here are three reasons why he will do it.

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He has the advantage.

The French Open has historically been Nadal’s turf. Nadal’s clay court advantage over other superpowers in the sport like Federer and Djokovic is evident in the amount of titles he has won on the red surface. Not to mention the 29-year-old has already won the French Open itself nine (NINE!) times. Only one other player, Bjorn Borg, has reached six French Open titles in the Open Era.  A tenth French Open title is unheard of, yet is well within the capabilities of the Spaniard.

He has momentum. 

Nadal hasn’t won the French Open since 2014, but his 2016 play is showing the flashes of old. Injuries have plagued Rafa in recent years, but this year he is as healthy as ever as the tournament nears. Here is the scary part: he is also as good as ever. Nadal boasts a 10-0 record in his last 10 European clay matches – all without dropping a single set. He is coming off title wins at Monte Carlo AND Barcelona for the first time since 2012. What else happened in 2012? That’s right…a French Open title.

He’s chasing history. 

Not only does he have a chance at extending his tournament dominance, he has a chance at breaking a record. Nadal’s victory at Barcelona moved him up to a tie for first with Guillermo Vilas for most clay court titles at 49. With his historical advantage at the tournament and his recent form, he’s in the perfect position to capture number 50.

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French Open play begins May 22. Expect to see Rafael Nadal lifting a familiar trophy on June 5. Let’s watch history.

 

Our Trip to the US Men’s Clay Court Championship

The ATP World Tour turned its attention to Houston, Texas this spring and the action sure did not disappoint. River Oaks Country Club hosted the US Men’s Clay Court Championship and our group (Team 31) had the pleasure of attending on April 9, 2016. River Oaks is an affluent neighborhood of Houston and the venue was absolutely beautiful.

The day was jam-packed, with both Men’s Single Semifinal matches and the Men’s Doubles Championship match. First up was Feliciano Lopez vs. Juan Monaco. Lopez got off to a slow start, trailing 1-4 in the first set, but with the crowd getting more and more behind him he was able to come back and tie it up 4-4.

We all wanted to see a tight match, but we also were excited to be a part of Monaco’s come back – this being his first tournament since leaving on injury. Monaco was able to capitalize, however, and steamrolled through the rest of the match, winning 6-4, 6-2.

Next up was the American showdown – John Isner vs. Jack Sock. Our group was completely split on who we were cheering for (personally, I was rooting for Isner because we bumped into him prior to the match and he was extremely friendly). Isner is notorious for taking his matches to tiebreakers, so we were all sitting tight ready for the inevitable. Blog Pic 5

The first set, not surprisingly, went to a tiebreaker. Jack Sock had played the match very loud and proud up until then – engaging the crowd and getting into disputes with line judges. Regardless, however, Sock narrowly edged Isner in the tiebreaker 7-4. From there on out, it was all Sock – winning the second set 6-3. John Isner definitely was not playing at his best. He called this trainer for a personal injury midway through the match, so he may not have been feeling 100% healthy. Jack Sock played an amazing match however, and he was set to meet Juan Monaco in the finals on Sunday.

Lastly, we got the opportunity to watch the Men’s Doubles Championship match. Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic and Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico were taking on the famous duo of the Bryan brothers. There was a clear favorite in the crowd – the Bryan brothers. The twins are the most popular doubles pair of all time and have been for quite some time now. Despite this, however, they had gone months without winning a title going into this match – their opponents were ready to try and maintain this trend.Blog Pic 6 The match went on to a wild start. The Dominican and Mexican pair were completely controlling the points, and quickly took the first set! The Bryan Brothers were able to bounce back and won the second set by an even bigger margin. One of the biggest differences between singles and doubles is the format for the final set. Normally, in a two-out-of-three set match, the format of the sets does not change for the final set. In doubles, however, a third set is not played out in full. Instead, the third set is replaced with a 10-point tiebreaker. This rule has come with much controversy because it seems to lessen the importance of doubles and intentionally shorten the match. Regardless of the controversy, the tiebreaker started and was extremely tight. The two pairs went back and forth with their points, and nobody seemed to be letting up. The Bryan Brothers were able to capitalize at the very end of the tiebreaker, and win 10-8! The crowd was going absolutely crazy by now, and it was a great moment to see the brothers finally win a title. We had a lot of fun keeping up with this match, as there is a huge difference in pace and feel compared to singles matches. Our group also had the opportunity to stay and see the trophy ceremony. Blog Pic 7

Overall, our experience at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship was extremely positive. Members of our group who were not aware of the tennis environment were surprised at how fun and engaging the sport is, and after the experience they were definite fans. Leaving the event, the crowd talk was in regards to the men’s final which would be the next day. Everyone obviously wanted Sock, the American, to win the tournament. This, however, didn’t happen – Jack Sock lost to Juan Monaco 3-6, 6-3, 7-5. We can only imagine how exciting that match must have been, and we look forward to potentially coming back to Houston again next year.