Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The New Age of World Sports Begins Now - First Post: U.S. Olympic team and The Championships, Wimbledon

"NOW Sports" News Begins now, welcome to the first of hopefully many editions (aka blog postings) that will inform all of you on the latest issues and sporting events going on around the world.

The Championships, Wimbledon
A typical Day 1 from the All-England Club as Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic advanced relatively easily into the second round.

Roger Federer def. Dominik Hrbaty 6-3, 6-2, 6-2
Serena Williams def. Kaia Kanepi 7-5, 6-3
Ana Ivanovic def. Rossana de los Rios 6-1, 6-2

The first round always seems to be a formality at the grand slams and the only headlines that are made are either huge first round upsets or the fashion that the big names are wearing. Serena Williams fashioned a trench coat that would have been useful had the usual London rainy weather been present at the Championships. Still, the attire was very noticable under the bright sunshine that led to a rather normal day of play at the All-England Club.

The only upset was that of David Nalbandian, who lost to Frank Dancevic of Canada in straight sets. Nalbandian made the final back in 2002 and lost to Lleyton Hewitt, who struggled into the second round on Monday, beating Robin Hasse in five sets.

Today's matches feature defending ladies-champion Venus Williams, Andy Roddick and Rafael Nadal. My pick to watch is Roddick's opening match, since it has been awhile since he's made it to the semifinals of this grand slam, which used to be his favorite until Roger Federer dominated this tournament for the past five years. Roddick along with James Blake are relatively the only two Americans that has a chance of going very far and possibly winning the tournament if the stars can align in the right away. Blake is also playing today, he'll be last out on Court 2, often known as the graveyard court.

The British will have plenty to root for today. Venus Williams is taking on a British qualifier, Naomi Cavaday. I guarantee that any point that Cavaday can win today over Venus Williams will be greeted by the Brits. But most of the United Kingdom will look at Andy Murray, who plays Fabrice Santoro later today on centre court. Santoro may be a challenger to Murray since he often gives his opponents a long run that may make it not so easy for the Scottish player. But he relatively has an easy road, other than the seeded player Tommy Robredo that he may face in the third round, into the second week here at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon coverage is already underway on ESPN2 so tune in when you can today, coverage is also available on and on Wimbledon LIVE.

U.S. Olympic Team
Some of the mystery regarding who will represent TEAM USA in the Beijing Olympics was revealed on Monday, specifically regarding the basketball, soccer and gymnastics teams.

Kobe Bryant will try for a gold medal after losing in the NBA Finals with his LA Lakers. He joins LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. In total, 12 NBA players were chosen from a pool of 33. From the looks of the present roster, it looks like the United States may have a good shot at capturing the gold medal this year after only capturing the bronze medal in Athens four years ago.

2008 U.S. Olympic Basketball team roster:

In gymnastics, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin were guaranteed spots on the Olympic team after their performance at the Olympic Trials in Philadelphia this past weekend. The rest of the contenders will go to an Olympic training camp later this summer where team coordinator Martha Karolyi will observe their skills and select the rest of the olympic team. Among those attending the camp are Chelsie Memmel, Ivana Hong, Alicia Sacramone and Jana Bieger.

And finally in soccer, 18 players were named to the U.S. Women's Olympic soccer team. Half of them were on the gold medal-winning Athens Olympic team, including Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf, co-captains of the Athens 2004 team and wil also be playing in their third Olympic Games.

That's all for now, thanks for reading my first post. This is generally how I envision the rest of my posts to be like, detailing specific world events that are going on each day and also providing some perspective and analysis. But I am always open to suggestions so please feel free to leave comments.

See you back here tomorrow.

No comments:

BEIJING 2008 Tentative NBC Schedule (BLOG POSTS BELOW...)