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The Occasionals: WTA players who captured rare moments

It sounds like the name of the local neighborhood alternative band who plays at the pub just around the corner from the grocery store: The Occasionals. It’s the name I thought of for a certain kind of WTA player, inspired by the runs of Samantha Stosur and Kiki Bertens to the Roland Garros semifinals. Regardless […]

Seeds of discontent and the search for identity in tennis

A few weeks ago, the global tennis community left Canada dazed and exhausted after a ridiculously absurd yet entertaining week crammed with surprises and plot twists. One of the basic themes of that week, however — lurking beneath headline-grabbing events from the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Belinda Bencic, and Andy Murray — was that the […]

French Open: Post-Draw Women’s Preview

The women’s singles draw for the 2015 French Open has been announced. What stands out about a bracket that features so many delicious (or perilous, depending on your viewpoint) uncertainties? You can debate which item is the second most important one on your list, but there should be no discussion about the top story to […]

Madrid WTA Review: Opposite Days, Exceptionalism, and Azarenka

The 2015 Mutua Madrid Open — like the ones before it — is a point of intrigue and fascination, because this tournament has an inconsistent relationship with Roland Garros, the crown jewel of the clay-court season each year. On one hand, Madrid’s higher elevation lends itself to a more aggressive style, one in which quality […]

China Open WTA Wrap-Up: Maria Sharapova And The Mysteries Of Tennis

The just-concluded China Open in Beijing is not quite a crown jewel on the Women’s Tennis Association’s annual calendar. Yet, it owns the distinction of being the last main-stage event before the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore, which begin on Oct. 20. You can identify this event as part of the “Asian swing” on the […]

Out Of The Darkness

When an athlete drinks in one of the great moments of her career, it’s natural to want the perfect setting for such an occasion. However, at the very moment Caroline Wozniacki defeated Maria Sharapova on Sunday at the U.S. Open, dark storm clouds loomed not too far away. Those very clouds soon poured down rain, […]

Not Again, Once Again

To the uneducated observer, tennis is a simple sport — just whack the ball and keep it within the painted white lines. Thock! Thock! Thock! Thock! The sport is easily pigeonholed as a genteel pursuit in which fans seated on the sides of a stadium turn their heads — left, right, left, right — as […]

We Got Your Personality Right Here

It’s a long-running belief among many (maybe not most, but certainly many) in the tennis community that the sport — in order to break through various layers of disinterest on the part of more casual fans — needs more “personality” among its players. Well, this weekend at Roland Garros, plenty of personality will be on […]

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