Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Two weeks ago Phil Mickelson flew to Europe knowing that he had not won there in twenty years, he leaves after winning twice in two weeks. To tune up for the Open Championship, Mickelson played the Scottish Open, an event he had lost in a playoff in 2007. This time, he defeated Brandon Grace in a playoff. Though this event does not carry the same pressure or magnitude of a major championship, it taught Mickelson an important lesson, he can win in Europe. This provided confidence (something Mickelson never seems to lack anyway), as well as momentum heading into the first major championship since the devastation at Merion. Heading into the tournament's final day Mickelson was lurking five shots back but was considered out of contention by many. Mickelson himself however, was playing for know less than first place. This morning Lee Westwood was sitting in a similar position to Mickelson at the U.S. Open. Westwood, who hails from Britain, had a 54 hole lead and believed it was time to capture his first major. The major that takes place in his homeland. Mickelson had different plans, coming out and firing a final round 66, tying the round of the week. His failures a month prior did not haunt him at Muirfield, it was a new month, a new day, a new event.
There are not many players on tour who could have done what Mickelson did today, mentally or physically. Shooting a final round 66 was incredible, but so was the ability to move on from his sixth second place season and focus specifically on the tast at hand. Now, at 43, Phil Mickelson is playing the best golf of his career and has the most confidence he has ever had. This ability and confidence could lead to more tournament wins, and major championships in the near and distant future. And for Phil, hopefully a U.S. Open. - Connor Jones
Sunday, July 14, 2013
Saturday, July 13, 2013
Picking a team to win the American League is a difficult task to say the least. The Red Sox, or rather any AL East team, would be a logical pick because of their multitude of offense, but their lack of consistent pitching greatly concerns me in a playoff series. The teams out West have the same deal I fear. The Athletics have a more solid pitching staff, but an inexperienced pitching staff nonetheless that is untested in high pressure situations. As a result, this leaves for me the Detroit Tigers. They have the highest quality lineup anchored by stars Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the middle of the order. Their pitching is also battle tested with arguably the best pitcher in the game in Justin Verlander, and 13-0 Max Scherzer. Followed by quality starters Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez, the Tigers have all the essentials to do what it takes to make it back to the World Series. But with all the incredible stories in the American League this year, will we get surprised again? - Ben Greer
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Saturday, July 6, 2013
The Men’s Wimbledon Final in 2013 features world #1 Novak Djokovic and world #2 Andy Murray. The match can be seen on ESPN, Sunday July 7th, at 9am eastern time.
Novak Djokovic is the #1 player in the world, and has already won 6 grand slam titles, including a victory at Wimbledon. This year, he flew threw is first 5 matches before truly being tested against Juan Martin Del Potro in the semifinals. Coming in, I thought Del Potro might steal a set, but I never thought he would win the match. I was wrong. Del Potro came out hitting forehands near 100mph when given the opportunity. He challenged the Djoker, and definitely had him rattled. The match, which went 5 sets, was an epic battle between two greats that was really enjoyable to watch. Djokovic survived, but was physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. I expect him to recover, which he has done before, but there is always the possibility he may wear down if the match goes late in the fifth set.
Andy Murray is #2 in the world. He has 1 grand slam title in his career, at the 2012 US Open. Being from Scotland, this is the major he desperately wants to win. Murray has shown his ability to beat Djokovic, beating him at the US Open final last year. Additionally, he has been in a Wimbledon final as well. He suffered a crushing defeat against Roger Federer, where he showed a lot of emotion and disappointment in his post game speech. The pressure is on him to become the first player from Britain to win Wimbledon since 1936. He breezed through his first 4 matches, before Fernando Verdasco forced him 5 sets in the quarterfinals. He recovered very well against PoleJerzy Janowicz in the semis, after dropping the 1st set, winning in 4.
This match, like their previous encounters, will be exciting, long, and close. I think Murray, having to play much less time on court in the semis, will have a slight advantage in energy. However, Novak is a warrior. He will win this match if he serves the way he did against Del Potro, hitting 17 aces. Murray needs to hit consistent forehands and backhands, causing Novak to run all over the court. If Murray keeps Djokovic on the run, I like his chances. The MOST important element in this match will be serving. Murray and Djokovic are the two best returners in the world, and holding serve will be crucial.
Intangibles: The crowd will be in favor of Murray, but I give the edge to Djokovic in intangibles, having won Wimbledon before and beating Murray in the Aussie Open final. He also has less pressure.
Serve: Edge to Djokovic here. He wouldn’t be in the final if he didn’t serve so brilliantly vs Del Potro. Murray is serving well, but Djoker is serving very well.
Return: Edge to Murray here. Djokovic is the best returner in the world, but Murray is #2. He is longer than Novak, and he contained big servers such as JerzyJanowicz and Fernando Verdasco, while Djokovic struggled with Del Potro. Murray has been just as good in this tournament as Novak.
Groundstrokes: Edge on the backhand to Murray and forehand to Djokovic. Djokovic couldn’t buy a backhand against Delpo. Murray was huge with his in his last few matches. On the forehand side, Murray has been inconsistent, while Novak has consistently pounded opponents from the forehand wing.
Overall: This match has the potential to go over 4 hours. I think it will be about 4 ½ hours, over 5 sets. Taking home the trophy will be Novak Djokovic, as Andy Murray will lose in the final again. Djokovic will lose the first set 6-4, win the second 7-5. Novak wins the third in a tiebreaker 7-6, loses the 4th 3-6, and wins the match in the 5th set 8-6. This is a match that could go either way, and should be a grand slam final to remember.-Anythony Dabbundo