Simon Reed

  • Sorry, Fed: You’re still the best

    I want to start with a heartfelt apology to all Roger Federer fans. I got it really wrong.

    Before the Australian Open I really did feel that the demands of fatherhood, plus the trouble that he showed at times closing out big matches last year, meant that we had seen the best of him.

    I still thought he would have occasional great moments, but that they would become fewer and fewer.

    Yet that one performance against Andy Murray at the final in Melbourne blows that theory out of the water.

    Federer's decline will happen one day - it might be next year, it might be the year after.

    But there's one

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  • Who’s the GOAT? 1-Federer v 9-Becker

    In the first of our Greatest Of All Time quarter-finals, top seed Roger Federer takes on ninth-seeded Boris Becker in an intriguing clash.

    Under our GOAT rules each match is three sets, one on each surface. Here's the rundown on the two contenders.

    Roger Federer

    Nationality: Swiss

    Seeded: 1

    Grand Slam titles: 16

    Australian Open winner (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010)

    French Open winner (2009)

    Wimbledon winner (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)

    US Open winner (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

    Boris Becker

    Nationality: German

    Seeded: 9

    Grand Slam titles: Six

    Australian Open winner (1991, 1996)

    French

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  • Smith’s Davis Cup reign already a failure

    It seems as though Leon Smith was named as Britain's Davis Cup captain with the sole aim of luring his former charge Andy Murray back into the fold, and it has not proved successful.

    As soon as the appointment was announced I was sure that Murray must have had a great deal to do with the decision, but he has since distanced himself from a return.

    The LTA must have hoped, rather desperately, that because Smith was Murray's former coach, it would attract the Scot back into the setup to join his compatriot.

    I think it is a short-sighted move from the LTA, and there is not a chance of Smith taking

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  • Who’s the GOAT?: 7-McEnroe v 2-Sampras

    In the fourth of our Greatest of All Time quarter-finals, seventh seed John McEnroe takes on second seed Pete Sampras in an intriguing clash.

    Under our GOAT rules each match is three sets, one on each surface. Here's the run down on the two contenders.

    John McEnroe

    Nationality: American

    Seeded: 7

    Grand Slam titles: 7

    Australian Open: Semi-final (1983)

    French Open: Finalist (1984)

    Wimbledon: Winner (1981, 1983, 1984)  

    US Open: Winner (1979, 1980, 1981, 1984)

    Pete Sampras

    Nationality: American

    Seeded: 2

    Grand Slam titles: 14

    Australian Open: Winner (1994, 1997)

    French Open: Semi-finalist (1996)

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  • Verdasco and Soderling still need to step up

    It was in Australia a couple of years ago that I thought "this is it" with Fernando Verdasco.

    He had re-launched himself, re-imaged himself, re-built his body and was looking to be a real threat to the very top guys, to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. At that tournament he took Nadal right to the brink in the semi-finals, in one of the best matches in recent years.

    But nothing happened really after that to substantiate that thought; nothing up until his run to two finals in the last few weeks on the clay.

    In Monte Carlo, I was beginning to think maybe this has been a delayed reaction; it

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  • Who’s the GOAT? 12-Laver v 4-Connors

    In the second of our Greatest of All Time quarter-finals, 12th seed Rod Laver takes on fourth seed Jimmy Connors in a clash that spans the ages.

    Under our GOAT rules each match is three sets, one on each surface. Here's the rundown on the two contenders.

    Rod Laver

    Nationality: Australian

    Seeded: 12

    Grand Slam titles: 11

    Australian Open: Winner (1960*, 1962*, 1969)

    French Open: Winner (1962*, 1969)

    Wimbledon: Winner (1961*, 1962*, 1968, 1969)

    US Open: Winner (1962*, 1969)

    * denotes amateur titles, preceding the open era

    Jimmy Connors

    Nationality: American

    Seeded: 4

    Grand Slam titles: Eight

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  • Who’s the GOAT? 3-Borg v 4-Agassi

    In the third of our Greatest of All Time quarter-finals, third seed Bjorn Borg takes on sixth seed Andre Agassi in a clash that would be a real thriller.

    Under our GOAT rules each match is three sets, one on each surface. Here's the rundown on the two contenders.

    Bjorn Borg

    Nationality: Swedish

    Seeded: 3

    Grand Slam titles: 11

    Australian Open: Third round (1974)

    French Open: Winner (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)

    Wimbledon: Winner (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980)

    US Open: Finalist (1976, 1978, 1980, 1981)

    Andre Agassi

    Nationality: American

    Seeded: 6

    Grand Slam titles: 8

    Australian Open -

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  • Nadal form ominous for rivals

    Watching
    Rafael Nadal at the Monte Carlo Masters was like going back two years when he
    was unbeatable on clay.

    He was the
    best player in the world then and last week he got way clear of anything anybody
    could get remotely close to in Monte Carlo.

    I have to
    admit I never thought I'd see him play such dominant tennis again, even on
    clay. But I'm so pleased he is. Rafa's a great guy and I know the injuries have
    frustrated him immensely, but to see him playing with such great joy and
    exuberance was fantastic.

    Incredibly,
    his forehand looked even better than it did two years ago and the damage he

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  • Baltacha bulldozing towards top 50

    Confidence has obviously been a factor for a huge part of her career. Because of injuries, leading to a lack of practice and lack of match play, she didn't have it; and in the last year she's found it.

    She has a good game: she's a big server, has a huge forehand, and if she keeps the confidence level as it is, there's no reason why she shouldn't be a top-50 player within a few weeks.

    She won her first Miami qualifier and is getting ready to play again: I expect her to get to the main draw in Florida.

    She's on a roll at the moment and it will take a very good player to beat her, wherever she's

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  • Ivanovic is right to pull out of Fed Cup

    It will be tough for Serbia in their Fed Cup play-off against Slovakia now that Ana Ivanovic has withdrawn from the squad over form concerns.

    I remember when the first signs of what was happening with Ana started and Sven Groeneveld, who was working with her then, kept telling her: "There's nothing wrong with your tennis."

    I still don't think there is anything wrong with her tennis, fundamentally.

    Yes, she's a little one-dimensional and yes, it would be good to have things added to her game, but she has got immense weapons. She didn't get to number one in the world and win the French Open by

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