Sunday 27 September 2015

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is a Spanish professional tennis player who is a former world number 1 but is currently ranked 7 in the ATP rankings. Nadal according to many is the best tennis player of all time, controversially many beg to differ with Roger Federer. He has won an outstanding 14 grand slam titles, three behind record holder Roger Federer and has won an Olympic gold medal in which he won at the Beijing Olympic Games. Due to is consistence dominance in clay court tournaments, Nadal has been nicknamed "king of clay". He holds the record for most ATP Master 1000 tournament wins having won 27 since the beginning of his career. Rafael Nadal has won numerous of other awards outside of his tennis tournament wins including the 2011 Laureus World Sportsman of the year.

Playing style

Rafael Nadal is famous for playing very far behind the baseline, hitting both his forehand and backhand with heavy topspin. His game suits very well to clay as he troubles his opponents by getting so many balls back in play. Nadal's main strategy in matches his to use his counter-punching skills to win himself free and easy points. In Nadal's early career his serve was considered a weakness however, since the 2005 Us open where his serve was deeply exposed it has improved leaps and bounds. Due to Nadal's playing style, playing with so much top spin, many believe the injuries in which he has sustained in his career have stemmed from the way he plays.

 Career rivals

Throughout his career, Rafael Nadal has had three main rivals. Those are, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic amd Andy Murray. Nadal however has a winning head to head record against all three, a (23 -10) over Federer, a (23-20) over Djokovic and a (15-6) record over Andy Murray. Due to such a competitive rivalry between the four player since 2008, they have been nicknamed the "big four" and are known to have created the "golden age" of tennis.

A picture of Nadal's nine French Open victories

Saturday 26 September 2015

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova is a Russian professional tennis player who is currently ranked 3 on the WTA rankings. Sharapova has won a total of 35 professional titles including all four grand slam tournaments making her one of ten women ever to complete a career grand slam. Her tennis success came at an extremely young age when she won the Wimbledon Championships in 2004 at aged just 17. As well as being so successful in grand slams, Maria Sharapova has also won an Olympic medal as she won a silver medal in the London Olympic Games falling to Serena Williams in the final. Sharapova as well as being famous for her outstanding tennis abilities is also well-known for her modelling having been on the cover of numerous magazines and being the cover-girl for several brands.

Playing Style

Maria Sharapova is an aggressive baseliner who is known for her powerful groundstroke shots from both sides of her racket. In her early career, Sharapova was well regarded for her powerful serve however, due to a number of shoulder injuries coming in 2007 and 2009 Sharapova's serve has weakened becoming more of a liability than an asset. For being a women standing 6"2 tall, Maria Sharapova's movement is very impressive as she uses her long legs to move around the court quickly. The most famous thing about Maria Sharapova's game is her return of serve, some say it is the best of all time as she lunges her full weight of her body into the shot which in turns creates a lot of power and depth on her return which opponents find difficult to handle.


Sharapova's tennis success gave her opportunities to endorsements that helped succeeded her tennis winnings by a long way. Since 2004, Maria Sharapova has been involved with companies and brands such as Motorola, Land Rover and Canon. Currently, Sharapova is sponsored by HEAD as well as Novak Djokovic, she has done many advertisements with the tennis brand which as truly helped the brand to blossom according to chief manager of HEAD. She has been listed on the Forbes list of top ten female athletes as well has being included in the top 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world.

An example of Maria Sharapova's modelling

Head to head against other WTA stars

Sharapova vs Wozniacki ( 6-4 )
Sharapova vs Kvitova ( 5-2 )
Sharapova vs Ivanovic ( 10-4 )
Sharapova vs Radwanska ( 12-2 )

Roger Federer

Roger Federer is a Swiss professional tennis player who many people believe is the best tennis player to ever live. Born 8th of august 1981 in Basel, Roger Federer holds numerous ATP records such as longest time holding the position of number one in the world (302 weeks) and most grand slam tournaments won in the Open Era (17). Although being so successful in the grand slams, Roger Federer is yet to win an Olympic gold medal as he fell short to Great Britain's Andy Murray in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Record in grand slams

Roger Federer like I said before has won the most grand slam titles of any professional male tennis player with a total of 17 to his name making him the most successful of all time. His best grand slam results have come at the All England Lawn Championships in Wimbledon having won a record five consecutive titles there between 2003 and 2007. However, Federer through his career was never as successful at the French Open, partly because of the dominance of rival Rafael Nadal. Federer has only won the French open once in 2009 where he defeated the Swedish tennis player Robin Soderling in the final.

Playing Style

Jimmy Connors, a former multiple grand slam winner once said, "In an era of specialists, you're either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist... or you're Roger Federer". Federer is famous for being an all-court player, his speed around the court and his out of the blue amazing shot making. Although he may not have the best serve in men's tennis, the best forehand, backhand or volleys in men's tennis, he is certainly in the top 3-5 in everything which makes him almost impossible to beat as he has so few weaknesses. Federer plays with a one handed backhand which is known today as one of the best one handed backhands of all time along side Swiss compatriot Stanislas Wawrinka.

Rivals (Federer vs Nadal)

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have dominated men's tennis for the last 10 years. They have won 31 Grand slam singles titles between them and are both former world number ones. Nadal leads their head to head 23-10 with 13 of those wins coming on clay.