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Analysis and Comment (25)

One star you won’t be seeing perform in Glasgow. One star you won’t be seeing perform in Glasgow. John Walton/PA

Why isn’t tennis part of the Commonwealth Games?

Among those of us that follow the internal workings of the Commonwealth Games, eyebrows were raised when tennis was not included in the list of sports for Glasgow 2014. Scotland has of course got great…
Nick Kyrgios' blistering serve has attracted the attention of tennis fans around the world. Nick Kyrgios' blistering serve has attracted the attention of tennis fans around the world. AAP/Julian Smith

Smashing success: the science behind Kyrgios' serve

A big serve proved its value as part of Australian wild card Nick Kyrgios’ game yesterday, with 37 aces in his fourth round Wimbledon victory over world number one Rafael Nadal. Kyrgios, the first player…
Andy Murray just found out he’s missing the Honduras Switzerland game. Andy Murray just found out he’s missing the Honduras Switzerland game. Jonathan Brady/PA

With clever marketing, Wimbledon can compete with the World Cup for viewers

For many sports fans, the final week in June signals the start of a fortnight to be spent enjoying the annual feast of entertainment, heartache and ecstasy served up by the world’s best tennis players…
Much of Rafael Nadal’s success can be attributed to junior practice techniques. Much of Rafael Nadal’s success can be attributed to junior practice techniques. Flickr/Carine06

Different strokes: how Rafael and Tiger hit the top of their games

As Rafael Nadal moves into the Australian Open semi-finals after beating Grigor Dimitrov yesterday afternoon, it’s a good opportunity to think about how he reached his champion status and compare him with…
The Barossa in January: not always ideal cycling conditions. The Barossa in January: not always ideal cycling conditions. AAP/Dan Peled

It’s time for Australia to change its attitude to extreme heat

Complacency can kill. You would have to be living under a rock to be unaware that heat exposure can be deadly. Yet every year Australia – supposedly the “clever country” – endangers the lives of everyone…
Australian Open staff and volunteers also suffered in the heatwave. Australian Open staff and volunteers also suffered in the heatwave. AAP

Mad dogs and tennis players go out in the midday sun

On days when the Victorian Health Department issued Heat Health Alerts warning the extreme hot weather substantially increased the risk of heat-related illness and mortality, and outside work on Victorian…
Shifting hemispheres? A good training plan must include time to acclimatise. Shifting hemispheres? A good training plan must include time to acclimatise. Vox Efx

Athletes can beat the heat, even during an Australian summer

Two of Australia’s biggest international sporting events kicked off last week – the Australian Open in Melbourne and the Tour Down Under in Adelaide – coinciding with a heatwave over southeast Australia…
A different type of Grand Slam: Carlos Moya of Spain loses his cool at the Australian Open in 2005. A different type of Grand Slam: Carlos Moya of Spain loses his cool at the Australian Open in 2005. AAP/Joe Castro

Why some players can’t keep their cool when the tennis heats up

Over the next two weeks, Melbourne Park will host the world’s best tennis players for the Australian Open. We expect the best to perform under the watchful gaze of millions of fans around the world, so…
Old is the new young, in tennis anyway: at 35 years old, Germany’s Tommy Haas is still winning tournaments. Old is the new young, in tennis anyway: at 35 years old, Germany’s Tommy Haas is still winning tournaments. EPA/Marc Mueller

You’ll never see another teenage tennis champ – here’s why

Lleyton Hewitt won the Brisbane International last weekend at the age of 32. Roger Federer and David Ferrer, two of the world’s top ten players, are over 30. And 35-year-old crowd favourite Tommy Haas…
The eye sees what the camera can’t. The eye sees what the camera can’t. Scot Campbell

Out! Goal! The ball was in! But could Hawk-Eye get it wrong?

Hawk-Eye is a device used to reconstruct the track of the ball for LBW decisions in cricket and for line calls in tennis. It will be much in evidence during the remaining Ashes tests and is now being used…
Andy Murray ponders the heteronormativity of Centre Court. Andy Murray ponders the heteronormativity of Centre Court. Not enough megapixels

Game, sex, match: the gender politics of Wimbledon

On a weekend like this, tennis stars like Andy Murray are the nation’s biggest stars. In many ways, sportspeople are no different from any other celebrities - be they reality TV stars, rock stars or film…
Grunts don’t guarantee victories. Grunts don’t guarantee victories. Mike Egerton/PA

Grunting in tennis: what’s the racket?

Noise seems to be a bit of a problem in major sports tournaments. For many, vuvuzelas were the scourge of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. So much so that the BBC looked into ways of muting them on…
Jimmy Connors: even better than Tim Henman. Jimmy Connors: even better than Tim Henman. Carine06

Forget Federer and Borg, stats show Connors is the greatest

The whole purpose of professional sport is to find out one thing. Football leagues, cup competitions and all sports tournaments around the globe are set up to answer the question that motivates the entire…
Questions have arisen over the cause of Victoria Azarenka’s extended break during her semi-final match. Questions have arisen over the cause of Victoria Azarenka’s extended break during her semi-final match. AAP/Joe Castro

Panic stations: Azarenka’s ‘extended break’ and the science of choking

A controversial extended medical break taken by tennis world number one Victoria Azarenka after losing five match points in her match against Sloane Stephens has raised the issue of “choking” in sport…
Elite tennis players put their bodies through a lot, so what does it take to recover properly? Elite tennis players put their bodies through a lot, so what does it take to recover properly? AAP Image/Joe Castro

Djokovic has longer to recover, so should Murray and FedEx bother?

Will an extra day’s rest and recovery give Novak Djokovic an advantage over Federer or Murray in Sunday’s Australian Open final? In case you missed it, Djokovic, the defending Australian Open champion…
To give young players the best chance of success, we need to scale the game down for them. To give young players the best chance of success, we need to scale the game down for them. AAP Image/Dan Peled.

Small courts, big futures: how to nurture young tennis aces

Whether you’re a tennis fan or not, it’s impossible not to admire the sublime skills on display at the Australian Open. From Roger Federer’s brilliant backhand to Serena William’s sensational serve, we…
Andy Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl (left) has led the Scot to great success … so what makes a great coach? Andy Murray’s coach Ivan Lendl (left) has led the Scot to great success … so what makes a great coach? EPA/Barbara Walton

Keep your eye off the ball: the secrets of elite tennis coaching

Every January the Australian Open attracts the world’s best tennis players to Melbourne in a bid to become champion of the Asia-Pacific Grand Slam. While the players are undoubtedly the main draw card…
If Serena Williams didn’t play tennis, would her sheer athleticism ensure an elite career in another sport? If Serena Williams didn’t play tennis, would her sheer athleticism ensure an elite career in another sport? AAP

Fitness play-off: how tennis stars compare with other athletes

Ever wondered how elite tennis players compare to their contemporaries in other sports? Does Rafael Nadal have the same leg power as world 100m sprint champion Usain Bolt? Would Australian Sam Groth’s…
There are many links between training on clay and hard courts success. There are many links between training on clay and hard courts success. EPA/Yoan Valat

Training on clay: a recipe for success at the Australian Open?

Every year Melbourne plays host to the first major hard court tennis championship of the year – the Australian Open. The blue court surfaces of Melbourne Park are now a familiar part of the Australian…
Serena Williams unveils her 2012 Australian Open outfit at Melbourne’s Federation Square. Serena Williams unveils her 2012 Australian Open outfit at Melbourne’s Federation Square. AAP/Julian Smith

What will Serena wear next? Sport and fashion at the Australian Open

Serena Williams creates a stir in the crowd. There is a buzz in the stadium as she is expected to emerge from the rooms out to the net. The excitement is not related to her skill, talent or professionalism…
Last year’s Australian Open women’s runner-up Li Na in action at the Sydney International this week. Last year’s Australian Open women’s runner-up Li Na in action at the Sydney International this week.

Australian Open: returning a 200km/h serve is easy when you know how (but not really)

Australia’s summer of tennis is a great opportunity to see the world’s best players up close, hitting hard and serving big. Many elite players hit first serves at over 200km/h with great precision and…