Tramlines

  • Serena warms up nicely

    Serena Williams in action at the Australian Open

    We all know that being ranked number one in the world in women's tennis doesn't automatically guarantee success in Grand Slams, a stark fact that Caroline Wozniacki knows all too well.

    But by the same token, nor does being seeded a lowly 12th going into a tournament necessarily mean there are 11 more likely players to win the title. At least not when your name is Serena Williams.

    The American's preference for majors over WTA events effectively waives her right to be seeded as a favourite in the bigger tournaments, but her true ability still shines through more often than not.

    Having been made

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  • A-Tomic Aussie ignites Open

    Bernard Tomic in action against Fernando Verdasco

    'Local player defies odds to do well at home tournament!' It's a story that will always capture the imagination of the watching public, and Monday at the Australian Open was no different.

    Bernard Tomic adorned most of the front pages of his nation's newspapers on the day the first Grand Slam of the season got under way - and his sensational performance in his opener against Fernando Verdasco ensured his face will still be there 24 hours later.

    Tomic's apparent arrogance, displayed in comments regarding his experienced 10th-seeded opponent in the build-up, looked terribly misplaced as the

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  • Time is ripe for ascendant Murray

    Andy Murray in BrisbanePoor Andy Murray. Had he come along in any other tennis generation, the world number four (and erstwhile no.2)  would surely have held top spot by now and, most importantly, boast a clutch of Grand Slam titles.

    The three above him pretty much share the Slams among themselves, including probably the all-time best talent (Roger Federer), physique (Rafael Nadal) and brain (Novak Djokovic), with each of the three boasting the other two attributes in pretty high measures.

    Poor Andy. Disliked by some non-British fans simply for being British, and disliked by some British fans simply for being

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  • Alternative review of the year

    What a year it has been. Well, it has been pretty good. Novak Djokovic has led the way throughout, consolidating his status as the undisputed world number one of men's tennis with three Grand Slams.

    Caroline Wozniacki remains atop the WTA Tour rankings, and Sam Stosur recorded her first Grand Slam success at Flushing Meadows, while Petra Kvitova was victorious at Wimbledon.

    Oh, and Li Na prevailed at Roland Garros before encountering an astonishing slump, while Kim Clijsters roared through to win the Australian Open at the start of the year.

    Of course, Rafael Nadal won the French Open,

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  • Davis Cup atmosphere shows tennis at its best

    The Davis Cup final between Spain and Argentina boasted some of the best atmospheres ever experienced in tennis and it was very refreshing.

    Seville's Olympic Stadium hosted an enthralling and captivating encounter between two of tennis' super-powers, and it would be an understatement to say that the crowd were very much involved.

    A vociferous atmosphere was created throughout, and the throngs of ardent supporters from both countries were treated to three incredible matches (and one drab doubles match which Messrs Lopez and Verdasco failed to turn up for).

    The usual platitudes about playing

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  • Djokovic wins, so too does the game

    It took four hours and 10 minutes of a brutal final for
    Novak Djokovic to overcome a belligerent Rafael Nadal and lift his third Grand
    Slam of an incredible year under the lights at Flushing Meadows.

    At times on a raucous Arthur Ashe Stadium court the two men
    went at it hammer and tongs, blitzing each other with some ridiculously hard
    hitting and producing some sensational points as a result.

    One lasted 31 strokes while another was quickly dubbed the
    'greatest rally of all time' and the crowd - split between apparently inebriated
    hecklers and those telling the hecklers to ssshhh in between

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  • Tennis needs Serena

    At least she didn't threaten to shove a tennis ball down
    anyone's f****** throat this time.

    Serena Williams's latest meltdown, early in the second set
    of her defeat to the red-hot Sam Stosur in the US Open final, will reignite the
    debate over whether tennis really needs such unseemly histrionics.

    Two years after she was kicked out of the tournament for abusing
    a line judge (including the infamous quote at the top of the page) she embarked
    on a bizarre, lengthy rant at umpire Eva Asderaki.

    The Greek had
    controversially penalised Serena for yelling "Come On!" during a
    rally while facing a break

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  • Does Djokovic really lack aura?

    There are some outlandish remarks made on Tour which are swiftly mocked, derided and forgotten, but Jo-Wilfried Tsonga provoked real debate following an interview earlier in the week.

    The Frenchman, one of the few players with a positive head-to-head record against Novak Djokovic, stunned many by saying that the world number one does not have the same aura as other champions.

    Djokovic controversially withdrew from the Paris Masters prior to his scheduled quarter-final with Tsonga with a shoulder injury, leaving some to rather cynically accuse the Serb of having only turned up at the

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  • Djokovic needs to learn how to lose

    It has been such a sensational year for Novak Djokovic that he has only suffered four defeats - and three of them have come while "injured".

    The latest was the most surprising as he was beaten 2-6 7-6 6-0 by Japanese youngster Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals in Basel just last weekend.

    Djokovic was in cruise control during the opening set but then, after being broken while serving for it, the Serb called out the trainer for treatment on a shoulder injury.

    There was no doubt that Djokovic was hurt - you could see it in his body language - but after having some gel rubbed into his shoulder he

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  • How good can Kvitova become?

    Petra Kvitova's star continues to rise and, having added the WTA Championships crown to her Wimbledon success, the weight of expectation on the 21-year-old's shoulders is becoming enormous.

    Few would be remotely surprised if the bashful Czech toppled the current incumbent of the world number one spot, Caroline Wozniacki, before the Australian Open begins in January.

    With the Dane seemingly allergic to Grand Slam tennis, Kvitova will be expected to undermine Wozniacki's status further in 2012 as she looks to add to her Wimbledon crown.

    Kvitova scooped the $1.75 million jackpot in the Sinan

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