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Nov 9, 2012 9:09pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

As Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer step back on the grass at
Wimbledon, each has reason to believe hell be hoisting the trophy overhead in
two weeks time. Jimmy Smith Woens Jersey . None of the other
125 men in the field can honestly say the same. Indeed, its tough to imagine
anyone outside that trio winning this years championship at the All England
Club, where play begins on Monday. “Theyve, you know, been pretty selfish about
Grand Slam titles for a little bit,” said 2003 U.S. Open champion and three-time
Wimbledon runner-up Andy Roddick. Either Nadal or Djokovic has won each of the
past nine major tournaments, and theyve met in the last four finals. Add in
Federer, owner of a record 16 Grand Slam titles, and the totals rise, of course:
Those three men have combined to win 28 of the past 29 majors, a seven-year run
of dominance that began with Nadals victory at the 2005 French Open. (The lone
exception was the 2009 U.S. Open, where Federer lost in the final to Juan Martin
del Potro.) The top-seeded Djokovic is the defending champion at Wimbledon—
and while its the only grass-court title on his resume, its a rather significant
one. “I mean, this is what Im born for,” he said after beating Nadal in four
sets in the 2011 final. “You know, I want to be a tennis champion. I want to win
more Grand Slams. I will not definitely stop here.” He moved to No. 1 in the ATP
rankings the next day and has remained there, while compiling a 27-match Grand
Slam winning streak that included titles at the U.S. Open in September and
Australian Open in January, before ending with a loss to Nadal in the
rain-interrupted, two-day French Open final two weeks ago. Nadal once was
thought to be a clay-court expert but has shown that he can adapt to, and excel
on, other surfaces, joining Federer among the seven men who completed a career
Grand Slam. At Wimbledon, the Spaniard has reached the final each of the last
five times hes entered the tournament, winning twice and finishing runner-up to
Djokovic or Federer in the other three. And Federer? Well, all hes done is win
six championships plus make one final at the All England Club in a seven-year
span from 2003-09. “I would just like to get another Wimbledon crown. It would
be amazing to get No. 7,” said Federer, who lost in the quarterfinals in the
past two years, to Tomas Berdych in 2010, and to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2011. Hes
gone about 2 1/2 years without winning a Grand Slam, his longest drought since
he won his first nine years ago. But Federers mastery of faster surfaces such as
the grass at Wimbledon and the hard courts at the U.S. Open makes it tough to
rule him out, even if hes approaching his 31st birthday on Aug. 8. Asked to size
up his prospects for adding to his Grand Slam total, Federer said, “I think the
upcoming two,” referring to Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, “those will be my best
chances to win.” While players such as Berdych or Tsonga or Roddick or del Potro
have shown they can compete with the best on their best days—and No. 4 Andy
Murray, a three-time major finalist, gets plenty of home-crowd support because
he represents Britain—the expectation is that Djokovic, Nadal or Federer will
extend their hard-to-believe rule at Grand Slam tournaments. “Murray is
obviously the other guy. He would be the other guy that would have the next best
chance,” said seven-time major champion John McEnroe. For some perspective,
consider whats been going on in golf: When Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open last
weekend, he was the ninth consecutive first-time major champion in that sport;
he also was the 15th man to win one of the past 15 majors. That sort of parity
does exist in tennis, too, but only in the womens game, where six players
divided up the most recent six Grand Slam titles, capped by Maria Sharapovas
triumph at the French Open. That return to the top—and to No. 1 in the WTA
rankings—makes her a popular pick to do well at Wimbledon, too. She did,
after all, make her breakthrough at the grass-court tournament by winning it at
age 17 in 2004. There also are cases to be made for four-time Wimbledon champion
Serena Williams, who is sure to be intent on making up for a first-round loss at
Roland Garros; defending champion Petra Kvitova; recent No. 1 Victoria Azarenka,
a semifinalist a year ago; 2007 runner-up Marion Bartoli; former No. 1 Caroline
Wozniacki, probably the best player without a Grand Slam title; and even Venus
Williams, who might be slowed by an autoimmune disease but still knows how to
get the most out of her big serve and powerful groundstrokes at a tournament
shes won five times. Its much easier to come up with a lengthy list of
contenders for the womens title than it is for the mens. Why has tennis top trio
won major after major? “Because they are too good,” Tsonga said. “Thats it.
Theyre just too good.” Joe Flacco Jersey . The CFL club signed
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. Romania performed well on almost all apparatuses in the last subdivision, but
did not deliver the spectacular balance beam performances they are known for.
Key beam specialists Larisa Iordache and Catalina Ponor both had wobbles
throughout their routines and did not nail them as they were expected to. Torrey Smith Youth Jersey . The Oakland
Raiders rookie quarterback had appealed the punishment, which was related to
NCAA violations he committed while at Ohio State. Jacoby Jones Jersey . Bobak and Beharry, from
Guelph, Ont., scored 49.77 points Wednesday for their program to music from the
“Out of Africa” soundtrack. Purdy, from Strathroy, Ont., and Marinaro, from
Sarnia, Ont., scored 49.51. “It was a good program and a good presentation,”
said Beharry, silver medallist with Bobak at the Junior Grand Prix
Final.CINCINNATI, Ohio—The Pirates called up three players, two of them
pitchers, from the minors before the start of their three-game series against
the Cincinnati Reds on Monday. They added infielder Chase dArnaud and
right-hander Bryan Morris, both of whom spent time with Pittsburgh earlier in
the season but didnt appear in a game. DArnaud batted .252 with six homeers and
38 RBIs in 98 games with Triple-A Indianapolis. Haloti Ngata Womens Jersey. Morris went 2-2
with a 2.67 earned run average in 46 relief appearances for Indianapolis,
getting five saves. Pittsburgh also called up right-hander Rick VandenHurk from
Indianapolis. He spent the entire season in the minors and went 13-5 with a 2.92
ERA in 21 games, including 19 starts. ’ ’ ’ 

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