Simon Reed

  • Safin will be missed

    Marat Safin has been a breath of fresh air for tennis. At the peak of his powers, he was a revelation.

    When he beat Pete Sampras at the 2000 US Open final he absolutely destroyed Sampras when he was at his peak. It was perhaps the finest tennis performance of the past 10 years. There have been better matches, it was so one sided, but the way he demolished Sampras was phenomenal.

    And then the Australian Open semi-final against Federer was quite amazing. It was the best match I've ever seen. It was better than all the Wimbledon finals that people have been saying are the best matches of all

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  • Rasheed on Monfils

    Our latest guest on the blog is Roger Rasheed, the Australian coach of Gael Monfils, the runner-up at the recent Paris Masters. A confirmed tennis fanatic, Roger spoke to us about his protege and his working methods.

    I've known Gael since he was a junior. I used to watch him playing with the Tsonga boys, Gasquet and a few others because I could sense that they were talented and were future stars. To my mind they had the potential to become top 20 or top 10 players and to go and win a Grand Slam tournament. So, I just saw this young player with a lot of energy and talent. He was a big,

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  • Agassi admission poses questions

    Andre Agassi has admitted that he used crystal meth back in 1997 and that he wrote a letter to the ATP, interwoven with lies, after having failed a test for the recreational drug.

    If Agassi is telling the truth about what happened, and I have no reason to doubt him, then my biggest concern is why have we heard nothing about it until now? And what else don't we know about?

    Does this admission tarnish Agassi's reputation? To be honest, I'm very liberal about these types of things. I've never taken drugs myself but I can see a dividing line between recreational drugs and what you might use to

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  • Favourite shotmakers: Women’s serve

    The Best: Lindsay
    Davenport

    When looking at who has the best serve in the women's game the one name that
    stands out for me is Lindsay Davenport. She not only had the best serve but she
    also had the ability to really turn it on when it mattered - much like my men's
    pick Pete Sampras.

    There were many occasions where Davenport
    was able to stroll through matches on the back of her serve and I think that
    was one of the reasons why her career lasted as long as it did. She always knew
    she had that serve in reserve if she ever got into trouble.

    It was destructive, it was difficult to read, and she

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  • Greed at the heart of burnout

    Andy Roddick has described the players' schedule as 'ridiculous', but it is most definitely a two-pronged problem and both the players and organisers must take some responsibility.

    The players are their own bosses; yes, they should play the mandatory events, but there has to be a sense of responsibility from them over their schedules.

    Roddick is well equipped to talk about it because he is not injured much, but neither is Roger Federer because he organises himself brilliantly.

    Other players simply go too far and, particularly on the women's tour, many are carrying multiple injuries and simply

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  • Why Davydenko is tennis’s great enigma

    You can say what you like about Nikolay Davydenko, but the way he withstood the flak and innuendo that surrounded him after the betting controversy has been amazing.

    Ever since the allegations surfaced after he pulled out of a tournament in 2007 the whispers and looks have followed him everywhere, but he has kept his focus and concentration superbly to stay in the top tier of tennis. It's been unreal.

    But Davydenko is a very strange kettle of fish. There is a real hardness about his character that keeps him so consistent - yet at the same time that toughness seems to disappear against the top

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  • Favourite shotmakers: Women’s forehand

    The best: Steffi Graf

    The standout player for me, the best of all time, is Graf. She had a very good serve and won so many cheap points setting up the forehand and she'd hit a killer given half the chance.

    The key thing with her forehand was the movement - she could move so gracefully but so effortlessly around the court and was able to set up the forehand time after time. When they thought they had got her out of the point, so many players tried to play her backhand.

    But the way she manoeuvred around those trying to find her backhand all the time, to hit the forehand either down the line or

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  • French should stay at Roland Garros

    It has been revealed that the French tennis federation is considering moving the French Open away from Roland Garros if its extension project does not get the green light from the Paris City Council within the next year.

    I take the issue seriously because it seems the council are getting cold feet but, and this might be a case of me wearing rose-tinted glasses here, I still see it fundamentally as just a case of brinkmanship at this point.

    The FFT are saying: if you don't give us what we want then we will go somewhere else, but I think the tournament would lose a lot if they were forced to

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  • Men’s game showing cracks

    In my
    previous blog I talked about the terrible state of the women's game recently, but for many the men's game seems to have gone from
    strength to strength.

    Certainly the success of the men's
    game in recent years has only gone to highlight the women's woes, but with big
    names such as Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters coming back, I think the balance
    of power is slowly going to start to changing.

    I say that because, for me, the
    men's game is not in the great state that everyone says it is. I don't think
    Roger Federer is the player he once was, I think it is pretty obvious that
    Rafael Nadal is

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