Simon Reed

  • The mystery of Stosur’s Wimbledon woes

    Sam StosurThe biggest shock of the day for me - and the saddest result to see - was Sam Stosur losing to Arantxa Rus. That's not to take anything away from Rus, who played superbly well and deserves all the plaudits that she will receive, particularly for fighting back after being destroyed in the second set.

    But the big question we're left with is this: why can't Stosur perform at Wimbledon? She's lost in the first round five times and in the second round the other four times she's played. It's a mystery.

    When she was growing up the biggest tournament around for her, as it always is for Australians,

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  • Ward’s Wimbledon heroics vital for career

    James Ward after winning his first-round match at Wimbledon 2012

    James Ward raised more than a few eyebrows with his thrilling five-set win over Spaniard Pablo Andujar, not least because a lot of British fans had marked his Queen's run last year as a one-off. The British number two, ranked 173rd in the world, overcame the world number 36 from Spain after trailing twice in an epic encounter.

    While it will be chalked up as some scalp for Ward — comfortably his biggest victory in terms of context, and his first in a Grand Slam main draw — the Londoner will have known that he absolutely had to win this match.

    Last year at Queen's, Ward surprised everyone by

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  • Federer and Sharapova show true class

    Novak Djokovic started off very nervously against Juan Carlos Ferrero - but once he got into it, he looked good.

    Not as good as Roger Federer, though. He was spectacular, albeit against an opponent in Albert Ramos who I don't think has ever won a grass court match!

    Regardless of that though I've just got a sneaking feeling that Federer could win the tournament this year. The performance gap between him and Djokovic and Rafa Nadal has widened, it's true, but not on grass where the margins are so much finer.

    Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a return to Albert Ramos of Spain during a first round men's singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis ChampionsI know he lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga last year, but Tsonga played the match of his

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  • Only Serena can beat Serena

    Serena WilliamsDespite what happened at Roland Garros, you have to look to Serena Williams as the clear favourite for Wimbledon.

    Serena is still the best female tennis player in the world by some distance, provided she is fully focused and on top of her game.

    What happened in Paris was extraordinary. A set to the good in her first-round clash with Virginie Razzano, Serena was 5-1 up in the second-set tie-break but she contrived to lose six points in a row. And in the third set she broke down, close to tears as she fell 5-1 down before losing it 6-3.

    It was the first time she exited a Grand Slam in the

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  • Nadlbandian punished enough for moment of madness

    David Nalbandian realises what he has doneI was commentating at Queen's Club when David Nalbanian aimed an ill-advised kick at an advertising panel during the aborted final with Marin Cilic - an act that will, at the very least, cost him a seeding at Wimbledon.

    Much like the majority of the spectators, I was initially unaware of what had happened: for about 10 minutes previously, the hot-headed Argentine had been shouting at himself and chucking his racquet in frustration every time something didn't go his way. So, when he lost that point to go a break down in the second set, most of us turned away in preparation for the next game.

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  • Federer favourite – but only just

    Roger Federer on grass
    If I was forced to pick a favourite for Wimbledon later this month, I would have to back Roger Federer — but there isn't much in what will be one of the closest contests in recent years.

    Obviously it's all going to be about the top four in the men's draw, although I think now Jo-Wilfried Tsonga can make a case for himself to be listed among the contenders.

    Tsonga's problem was always his consistency and he has steadily improved that year-on-year, month-by-month. He is constantly developing, physically as well as mentally, and he is a better player than the one who played the match of his life

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  • It’s inconceivable that Nadal won’t win French

    Rafael Nadal's form during this clay-court season has been absolutely frightening, and I cannot see anyone beating him at Roland Garros.

    The world number two overcame a valiant resistance from Spanish compatriot David Ferrer to prevail at ATP Barcelona, and he has since claimed a staggering 49th career title.

    Nadal has also won 35 crowns on his favourite surface and, given the fact that he won the French Open last year in relatively poor form and condition by his incredibly high standards, it seems pretty inconceivable at present that he could be beaten this time around.

    Of course, Novak

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  • Smart money on Serena for Roland Garros

    There are numerous candidates for the French Open on the women's side, but one stand-out performer who will surely prevail: Serena Williams.

    The American has only won the title at Roland Garros once — back in 2002 — but her performances in Charleston, in particular, show that she is the best in the world on the surface.

    On her day, the 30-year-old remains untouchable and there is no one on the WTA Tour that can match her power or intensity.

    I have seen some of the odds for Serena prevailing at Roland Garros, and there is some money to be had, let me tell you.

    Since Charleston, Serena has

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  • Surfaces losing their individuality

    The switch to clay courts requires the biggest adjustments to a player's game in the course of a season, but it is nowhere near as hard as it used to be to do.

    Those new to the game may not remember the days of extremes between the clay-court specialists, who relied on patience and movement at the back of the court, to the serve-and-volley experts on grass courts.

    The former world number one Marcelo Rios famously said during Wimbledon 1997 that grass was for "cows and soccer". He only played at SW19 three times in his 10-year career.

    He was not alone. Clay-court specialists would regularly go

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  • Unstoppable Serena still the world’s best

    Serena Williams remains the best player in the world and her presence as an unstoppable force was exemplified with her stunning display in Charleston.

    It was not the simple fact that she swept aside every player that was in her path in taking the title, but the message that she sent out to the rest of the WTA Tour.

    "I am still here and playing as well as I ever have done" — that was what her performances in Charleston said to her rivals.

    Serena did not just beat her opponents, but butcher them in quite ruthless and emphatic fashion: it was truly frightening to watch.

    Sam Stosur and Lucie

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