It has been a busy week to say the least. Since we last spoke the Golden State Warriors swept the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their 3rd title in the last 4 years, and the Washington Capitals defeated the Las Vegas Golden Knights to win their first Stanley Cup. Ever. On top of that we had a new Triple Crown winner and the French Open Finals. Let’s start there.
Parity for Women’s Tennis
With her first career Grand Slam title on Sunday, Simona Halep became the 7th different Woman to win a Grand Slam title in the last 7 events starting with the 2016 US Open. 4 of those 7 winners have been first time Slam Winners (Jeļena Ostapenko, Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniack, and Halep), 2 won their 2nd title (Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza) and 1 won her 23rd (Do I really need to tell you who that is?). Yes, since Serena won the 2017 Australian Open, the women’s side of things has been wide open in her absence. It’s made for compelling storylines of a young up and coming US star in the making in Stephans, and tour vets finally breaking through after years of coming up just short in Wozniack and Halep. It may take Serena another year or so to return to her dominating self, which I’m sure she will, and in the meantime we will be treated to some amazingy competitive tennis. It’s exciting.
Domintation for Men’s Tennis
In those same last 7 Grand Slam’s that have seen such parity for the ladies, there have only been three men to win Grand Slam Titles. Stan Warwinka took the 2016 US Open and since then Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have alternated winning Grand Slams. The most recent of these gave Rafa his 11 French Open Title and 17th overall Grand Slam, just three behind Fed’s 20. There hasn’t been anyone as dominant on a single surface as Rafa is on Clay. He has never lost in a French Open final he has made and he has only failed to make the final twice. The only thing that comes close is Federer’s 8 titles on grass at Wimbledon, but even then he has more losses on the surface than Rafa does on clay. And having played tennis almost my whole life, let me assure you playing on clay is a far more athletically demanding task.
One could easily speculate that this is why Rafa’s career has been plagued by lower body injuries. All I know is that if not for those injuries it might not be Roger with the lead in titles. And with Rafa being 4 years younger than Fed we may look back at this point in time differently than how we view it now.
The general consensus has always been the Federer is the greatest men’s tennis player of this, and maybe any, generation. But he only has 3 titles on Nadal and doesn’t possess as many Davis Cup titles or an Olympic Gold. They are both 1 out of only 8 Men to possess a Career Grand Slam, but Nadal is only joined by the great Andre Agassi with the Career Golden Grand Slam. Nadal’s game is also just more fun to watch. It’s not as technically perfect as Federer’s but Rafa plays with such raw emotion and joy, you can’t help but root for him.
Serena is better than both though. Don’t @ me.
An Unlikely Walk-Off
I have previously stated my biggest issue with college baseball, but even the ping of a metal bat can make the Auburn-Florida game any less wild than it was. The same game that included a fake out that led to a stolen home plate…
… also included this.
It took a miracle for the number one seed to get past Auburn. The Tigers had a very tough task ahead of them and for them to lose in that way is heartbreaking. Well, at least as heartbreaking as anything involving the SEC can be. Again, don’t @ me.
Minor League Teams Are Just Cooler… Usually
On Saturday home games, the Staten Island Yankees will go by the Staten Island Pizza Rats due to a fan vote two years ago. This would be easily my favorite story of the week if it wasn’t associated at all with the Yankees origination. Alas, it is, and therefore this is dumb.
You know what? @ me all you want.
The World Cup Starts Tomorrow (6/14)
This isn’t a take. Just a reminder to keep it locked to The Turf all tournament long as we bring you only the type of content you can get from Us.
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This one is a classic.