Last weekend we had the women’s and men’s finals in the Australian Open tennis tournament and each participant was aged over 30. The
average age across both finals was 34. This surely must be some sort of record. Open officials probably couldn’t believe their luck after the early exit of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray with the Williams’ sisters, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal making it through to the final days of the tournament.
We had the much heralded return to the spotlight of Garry Lyon this week on the re-vamped SEN breakfast show and I must say, to date, I am significantly under whelmed. It would want to improve significantly to stay on the air!
Darren Gauci retires from the saddle this weekend and what a great career he has had. He was a boom apprentice in his early days and unfortunately, a number of falls impacted on him later in his career. He was always regarded as one of the best riders of front runners and still got rides even though he was past his best due to his ability to rate a horse out the front. The statistics show that he won 10% of his rides and was placed in nearly 30%. That is a pretty good strike rate.
Have a great weekend!
I first turn my attention to the Serena Slam. Apart from Serena Williams essentially referring to herself in the third person, I cannot understand why she is not considered a Grand Slam winner. I know it is considered to be holding all the championships in the one calendar year, but I cannot see the difference. If any player holds all four championships at the same time they should be considered winners of the Grand Slam. Forget the Serena Slam it is a Grand Slam.
It is amazing the difference a week can make in cricket. I went to bed last Saturday night thinking that Australia had a good chance to bat through the day and consider launching an attack on the last day to try and win the test match in Cardiff. I was disappointed to wake up and hear they were all out and the top scoring batsman was Mitch Johnson. Surely if Johnson can make 77 runs, the other specialist batsmen should have been able to cobble together a decent score! The disappointment of last week was put aside this morning when I woke up to hear that Australia had amassed a score of 337 for the loss of one wicket.
This brings me to one of my hobby horses – test pitches. Too often these days pitches are prepared to favour the team that wins the toss and bats first. A traditional test match pitch should offer some hope to the bowlers in the first session, last night there was nothing in that pitch at all and the only wicket to fall was to a somewhat profligate shot. I think it might be time for the ICC to step in and have the match referee involved in the pitch preparation.
Congratulations to Cameron Smith for his 300th NRL game this weekend. I am not a huge NRL fan, but I must say that Cam Smith is one of the more impressive people in Australian sport. Not only is he a great player and a great leader, but he handles himself well in
public no better than the recent controversy that he was somehow landed in. He has chosen not to comment on the matter in public and wants to meet with Alex McKinnon and sort it out behind closed doors. How refreshing!
Have a great weekend!
It was sad to see a champion of the game in Chris Judd end his career as he did last weekend. He is most certainly one of the modern day champions and for a period of 5-8 years was the undisputed best player in the competition. In my opinion his best form was at West Coast which took in a Brownlow medal, a Norm Smith medal in a losing team and he captained their 2006 premiership team. In this team he stood out in a team of good players like Kerr, Cousins & Cox. While there was no doubt he was still an exceptional player at Carlton where he won three consecutive best & fairest awards and another Brownlow medal, he stood out because he was so much better than the rest of the team. I think champions deserve to go out on their own terms and maybe going out the way he did took emotion and the fanfare away from his retirement which probably, in some strange way, suited him.
Sticking with football, it was great to see the football world rally around Neale Daniher and his cause last weekend. Neale was one of the most sublimely skilled players I have seen much in the mould of a James Hird, but unfortunately his body let him down before he really established his greatness. Having said that, I remember Leigh Matthews rated him ahead of Bruce Doull as a half back flanker, even though he had only played 60-70 games before he did his knee. Unfortunately for Neale his body has also let him down in life, but not dulled his spirit.
Moving away from football it was refreshing to hear Novak Djokevic acknowledge that he was beaten by a better player on the day in his post match interview after the French Open tennis final against Stan Warwinka. Too many times you have the sour grapes post match interviews where the skill of the opposition is not respected. In tennis I doubt I have ever heard Serena Williams acknowledge she was beaten by a better player on the day and certainly, in soccer, Sir Alex Ferguson never did!
Have a great weekend!
The Professor talks to Dan Butterly on US sport including Palace Malice winning the Belmont Stakes result 130609_121408 the NBA playoffs – he still thinks Miami will prevail 130609_121550 – in Major League Baseball he looks at the Mets and Yankees series and thinks the Mets just got hot for four games 130609_mets but he didn’t name Serena Williams as the best African American athlete representing the US 130609_serena
With Mark Fiorenti out of State the Professor and the Panel talk soccer including Melbourne Heart’s signing of Harry Kewell 130609_kewell and whether Sir Alex Ferguson should be approached to head up Australian soccer 130609_ferguson.
The Professor also talks to Paul Dalligan about State of Origin 1 130609_origin1 and round 13 action in the NRL 130609_NRL round 13.
22 January 2012 233.2 – Daniel believes that signing Patty Mills was detrimental and had they not, the Tigers would have had more wins for the season and retained Darryl Corletto. James Upfill, a local baseball player for the Cheltenham Rustlers, joins the Panel to talk baseball and believes the future of the ABL mainly rests with the media coverage of baseball in Australia. Sportzfan Stan feels baseball in Australia is doomed because of the lack of grounds, players and supporters (a position he has maintiend since Day 1 of the ABL). Mark Fiorenti comes on to talk soccer and says his soccer predictions remain unfulfilled with the Melbourne Heart losing to Perth 2-1. Questions were raised about Besart Berisha being allowed to play after receiving a one game suspension against SydneyFC for challenging a player to a post game fight during last week’s game. Berisha scored the equaliser against Heart. Mark and the Professor have differing opinions regarding the Heart’s ability to survive with low attendance at games this year. The Panel look at the week’s Australian Open results and believe they were disappointing as only two men and no women remain in the tournament. With no Panel member predicting accurately the outcome of the past week, Daniel’s knowledge of the remaining players was tested while Stan decided to barrack for the home stars. The Professor predicts Tomic to win the men’s singles with Kim Clijsters ultimately beating Serena Williams for the women’s title. Paul Dalligan begins by endorsing the local baseball as the best sporting entertainment for the dollar before taking a whack at the Luxbet practices regarding a forfeited tennis match. He was pleased that the NRL’s Independent Commission is likely to start on the 10th of February.