Has tennis witnessed the end of an era?
At Rolland Garros in Paris, the season’s second grand slam tennis tournament of the year is reaching the atallosing stages at the French Open. We’ve already witnessed some scintillating matches in both the men’s and women’s draws and the anticipation for some matches was high, seeing the nine-time and defending champion Rafael Nadal was set for a clash with World Number 1 Novak Djokovic in the quarters.
However, what we witnessed wasn’t anywhere near expectations. Novak was dominant throughout and apart from a fairly competitive opening set, Nadal was clearly a beaten man early on and lost in straight sets. So has the tennis world seen a major shift in the balance of power? In fairness, Novak has been at the top of the men’s game for a few years now but Nadal, regarded as the king of clay and arguably the best ever to play on the dirt, was dethroned in convincing fashion. Never before has he looked so out of sorts and second best on the red clay. And on this showing, one wonders if he’ll ever regain the form that made him the player everyone feared. The Spaniard vows to bounce back next year but at the age of 30 when next year’s tournament comes round again, you wonder if his best days are now behind him.
So attentions turn to today’s semi’s, with Federer’s conqueror and Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka facing up against the home favourite Jo Wilfried Tsonga. British hopes will be firmly pinned on Nadal’s victor Djokovic who has a convincing 18-8 winning ratio against our very own Andy Murray, who is aiming to reach his first French Open final and become just one of ten players to ever reach all four slam finals in their career. Good luck Andy. You’re gonna need it against the Serb to win!
All the action is now live on ITV4 and with temperatures now in the upper 20’s, things are bound to get hot and humid.
F1 resumes this weekend in Montreal
Lewis Hamilton will be looking to quickly bounce back from a massively disappointing third place finish in Monaco after his Mercedes team made a real mess of his pitstop when the safety car was introduced late in the race. He was cruising to another win from his pole position start in Monte Carlo when the team strangely took the decision to bring him in to change to fresh tyres, only to hand victory to teammate and arch rival Nico Rosberg, and second place to Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
This weekend, the season goes to North America at one of Hamilton’s favourite race tracks at the Canadian Grand Prix, held in Montreal. Hamilton is aiming for a fourth career win in Montreal, 12 months after his last attempt to reach that mark was scuppered by a fundamental ERS failure on his Mercedes.
Practice gets underway very shortly with qualifying taking place tomorrow and the main race on Sunday. Catch all the action, live and exclusive to Sky Sports F1.
Juve and Barca – who will reign in Berlin?
This weekend draws a close to this year’s football season, with the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday, 6th June 2015.
Both teams are aiming to complete their own trebles. Barca; who’ve already won La Liga and the Spanish Cup, want to complete the set by lifting this year’s European Cup. Juventus; are looking to win the cup for the third time. Whether or not you support one of these teams, just the thought of sitting back and witnessing the Barcelona front line of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar is enough to whet any football fans appetite.
But it’s not all about Barca. Many believe that Juventus have a great chance of the upset, by beating favourites Barcelona. With a blend of experience and skill in the likes of Tevez, all the pressure is on the Catalan giants and Italian teams know just how to soak up pressure and put it firmly on their opponents. It may not be a classic but it will certainly be unmissable viewing.
Catch all the action live and exclusive on Sky Sports 1 from 6:00pm