July 7, Week in Sports
:: NADAL BEATS FEDERER TO WIN WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIP (Tennis)
:: VENUS WILLIAMS TOPS SERENA FOR WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIP (Tennis)
:: ALL-STAR ROSTERS ANNOUNCED (Pro. Baseball)
NADAL NETS MAJOR WIN
Rafael Nadal defeated his arch rival (and number one player in the world) Roger Federer to win the gentlemen’s singles championship at Wimbledon. The match, the longest in Wimbledon history, was an epic back-and-forth affair between two players at their best–an instant classic.
While Nadal has defeated Federer in the past, this victory is even more significant because it took place on the grass court at Wimbledon. Historically, Federer has been unbeatable on grass courts, while Nadal has excelled on clay courts. That, combined with the fact that Federer has won Wimbledon the last five years, makes Nadal’s victory all the more impressive. For those who felt like Federer’s dominant career is on the decline, Sunday’s title match is, perhaps, evidence of a “changing of the guard.”
Nadal won the French Open earlier this year. With Sunday’s title win at Wimbledon, Nadal became the first player to win both of those Grand Slam events since Bjorn Borg in 1980.
Quote of the Week: ”The greatest match I’ve ever seen.” — John McEnroe, former player
Further Reading: ”Nadal Outlasts Federer in Thrilling Wimbledon Final” — Associated Press, via USA Today
BIG SISTER, BIG WINNER
Venus Williams won the ladies’ singles championship at Wimbledon on Saturday, defeating her sister Serena 7-5, 6-4. Venus was the defending champion at Wimbledon, and with Saturday’s win, she has collected a total of 5 titles at the All England Club.
The Williams sisters have now played against each other in 7 final rounds of major tournaments. For the most part, little sister Serena has dominated Venus in head-to-head situations with the title on the line, having won 5 of the 7 match-ups. But on Saturday, the spotlight belonged to Venus, who was forced to tone down any celebrations out of respect for her sister.
Later in the day, Venus and Serena both had the opportunity to celebrate as Wimbledon winners–this time after winning the doubles championship, playing as a team.
Quote of the Week: “That was a difficult one to watch. You feel happy that the one won it, but you feel so bad because there has to be a loser, too.” — Oracene Price, Venus and Serena’s mother
Further Reading: ”All-Williams Wimbledon Final Is All Venus” — Christoper Clarey, New York Times
MLB ALL-STARS, BIG APPLE BOUND
Major League Baseball announced the rosters for this year’s All-Star game, which will be played on July 15th. The starters for the All-Star game are voted in by fans.
The All-Star game is a major event in the baseball season. While all four major professional sports have All-Star games, the MLB All-Star game is the only one that actually has a major impact on the actual season. The game pits the stars from the American League against the players in the National League, and whichever league wins gets home field advantage during the World Series. This year, the event will be hosted at Yankee Stadium, which will be demolished at the end of the season, since the Yankees’ future stadium is currently under construction.
The Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs have the most All-Stars this year. Both the NL and the AL each have one roster spot remaining, and fans can vote on www.mlb.com to pick the two remaining players.
Quote of the Week: “It’s more than just an All-Star Game, it’s like a celebration of Yankee Stadium.” — Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter
Further Reading: “Red Sox, Cubs lead All-Star rosters” — Associated Press, via ESPN
WHAT TO WATCH THIS WEEK
:: CYCLING — The Tour de France began this weekend. The race, the pinnacle of the cycling season, runs through July 27th.
MLB (Pro. Baseball): Baseball season is in full swing, but it is a long season, and teams tend to measure their success month by month. The All-Star break takes place the second week of July. By then, teams’ records will be a good indicator of how well they are performing this season. [Official MLB Website]
MEN’S GOLF: While there are professional tournaments throughout the year, the most important tournaments are the four Major Championships: The Masters, U.S. Open, The Open (The British Open), and the PGA Championship. Now that the U.S. Open is over, the next event is the Open (also known as the British Open), which is played in July. [Official PGA Website]
NOTABLE PLAYERS: Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson
MEN’S AND WOMEN’S TENNIS: While there are professional tournaments throughout the year, the most important tournaments of the year are the four Grand Slam tournaments: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. [USTA Website]
NOTABLE PLAYERS: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic
NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL (College): Now that the tournament is over, college basketball news will focus on which players leave their schools for the NBA, and which college teams land the premier high-school players for next season. [CBS Sports]
NFL (Pro. Football): The pre-season begins in August, and the regular season begins in September. [Official NFL Website]
NCAA FOOTBALL (College): Practice sessions for college football begin in summer, and the regular season begins in August. [NCAA Football, ESPN]
NHL (Pro. Hockey): The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Finals, completing the 2007-08 season. [Official NHL Website]
NBA (Pro. Basketball): The Celtics defeated the Lakers to win the NBA Finals, ending the 2008 season. [Official NBA Website]