Kevin Fixler
    Sport Matters

23 June 2015

He courted Wimbledon wins and controversy

After losing the first set to the reigning Wimbledon champ on July 3, 1920, the upper-crust Pennsylvanian looked destined for defeat. But the American hadn’t devoted those many months to honing his backhand to be disgraced by his well-built Australian opponent. So instead of matching stroke for stroke to overcome his rival, this “consummate tactician” relied on his brains.

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20 June 2014

Tennis’ erstwhile pros continue recent trend of returning as coaches

Two-time tennis Grand Slam winner and No. 5-ranked men’s player in the world Andy Murray, working toward his title defense of the Wimbledon crown, made an unorthodox choice: hiring a woman as his coach.

Toward the conclusion of the French Open a little more than a week ago, Murray, seeded third at this year’s Wimbledon and without question one of the players included in the “Big Four” who define this generation of the men’s game, named retired former top-ranked female Amélie Mauresmo as his new instructor. Why he recruited a previous winner and leading performer for several years at the unique grass-court tournament for the role would appear to be a no-brainer. Yet in doing so, Murray becomes the only player in the ATP top 100 coached by a female he is not related to (No. 49 Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan is coached by his mother, and No. 58 Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan is coached by his wife). Much of the talk surrounding the news is what his selection means for the future of coaching in tennis and whether it signals the beginning of a movement where women train men.

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28 August 2013

‘The Battle of the Sexes’ is Back: Serena vs. the Men

“If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes,” Serena Williams told David Letterman on the Late Show last week. “I wouldn’t do Billie Jean any justice, so Andy, stop it. I’m not gonna let you kill me.”

The No. 1-ranked women’s tennis player was responding to a challenge that Wimbledon champion Murray issued in June. Williams indicated the debate over arguably the greatest female player of all time versus the men should remain exactly that—a debate. “Yeah, maybe we can have a little bit of a showdown,” Williams joked at Wimbledon. “I get alleys. He gets no serves. I get alleys on my serves, too. He gets no legs, yeah.”

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30 November 2012

Does tennis have a doping problem?

After the revelation of Lance Armstrong’s systematic doping offered yet one more example of widespread performance-enhancing-drug use in professional cycling, another popular international endurance sport is under heavy scrutiny: Tennis.

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24 June 2011

The High Five

The Mannings find a new gig during the NFL lockout, an American tennis player goes Gaga in London, and the Phillie Phanatic gets plunked. It’s your High Five!

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22 June 2011

The High Five

It’s the story of a triumvirate of role reversals, a fashion faux pas at Wimbledon, and a fiery ex. It’s your High Five!

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16 June 2011

The High Five

The French and English are after each other again, as is Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton, and the Dallas Mavericks DeShawn Stevenson was up to his old hijinks just two days after winning the NBA championship (Well that sure didn’t take long). It’s your High Five!

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