Tuesday, May 12, 2015

TENNIS TUESDAY: Raonic Now #4, Murray Stuns Nadal in Madrid, Nole Returns, Kvitova Ends Serena's Streak

New ATP World Rankings Are Very New Indeed
This week's ATP World rankings have two important features: Canadian Milos Raonic reaches a career high at #4 while Rafael Nadal slides to World #7 which is his lowest ranking since May 2, 2005. Showing the impact of a major win, somehow Marin Cilic still remains in the Top 10. It's not all good news for the big Canadian, as Raonic announced that he will be having foot surgery and will likely miss tournaments in Rome and Paris.

Murray Gets First Win On Clay Against Nadal In A Final. In Madrid!
Amazingly, Andy Murray had never won a clay tournament despite nearly a decade playing on tour. In the last two weeks he has won two. He won a rain-delayed final played on a Monday to win the BMW Open in Hamburg and then 6 days later he dominated the greatest clay court player of all-time by defeating Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 in the Madrid Masters final.

Clay Court Season Continues In Rome
World #1 Novak Djokovic returns to the tour in Rome, while Murray may decide to take a break to save energy for Roland Garros and Wimbledon. Nole has won the first three Masters series tournaments he played this year (as well as the first major) and is the defending champion here. Nadal is the finalist so is defending 600 points but there is little likelihood of him falling out of the Top 8 before the French Open starts in two weeks.

Kvitova Returns And Hands Serena First Defeat Of 2015
Petra Kvitova demonstrated again that when she is on, she can beat anyone, even 19-time major champion Serena Williams. It is true that Serena was not on, but the World #1 was undefeated on the year despite playing 24 matches, a streak which ended in a 6-3 6-2 defeat in the Madrid semifinals. Kvitova went on to win the title, her 16th and pundits again wondered if this marks the beginning of when the Czech player will go on to dominate the WTA tour.

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