Busted Racquet

  • Garbine Muguruza fell to Jana Cepelova in a stunning upset. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
    Garbine Muguruza fell to world No. 124 Jana Cepelova in a stunning upset. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

    World No. 2 Garbine Muguruza, who beat Serena Williams less than a month ago to earn her first major title, fell in the second round of Wimbledon in a massive upset.

    The world No. 2 was completely out of sorts Thursday against world No. 124 Jana Cepelova, losing 6-3, 6-2.

    Cepelova asserted her dominance over the 2015 Wimbledon runner-up from start to finish, and sent Muguruza home in just under an hour.

    “I think my energy was missing a little bit today,” Muguruza told reporters after the match. “Today during the match, and after the match, I’m like, it’s a tough day today. I feel empty a little bit, and I start to be sick. But I think it was a little bit of a combination.”

    Muguruza struggled to look like the

    Read More »from French Open champ Garbine Muguruza falls in Wimbledon second round
  • Roger Federer faced an unlikely second-round opponent at Wimbledon. (Getty)
    Roger Federer faced an unlikely second-round opponent at Wimbledon. (Getty)

    Normally, Roger Federer is the crowd favorite every time he steps on Centre Court.

    But that was not the case Wednesday at Wimbledon, as the 17-time Grand Slam winner faced off against a 25-year-old challenger who lives with his parents.

    Marcus Willis, with a world ranking of 772, had inspired and shocked his way through the pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds and upset world No. 54 Ricardas Berankis to get a date with Federer.

    Federer won the match 6-0, 6-3, 6-4, but Willis’ incredible story captured the hearts of the crowd, who roared for him at every point.

    “I thought Marcus brought some unbelievable energy to the court,” Federer said after the match. “It was very refreshing to play an opponent like this and he played some great shot-making. I always knew it would be a completely different match – for him it’s the first time, it’s like when I walked on against Pete [Sampras] in 2001, you have nothing to lose.

    Read More »from Roger Federer ends world No. 772’s miracle Wimbledon run in second round
  • Marcus Willis has advanced to Wimbledon's second round. (Reuters) Marcus Willis has advanced to Wimbledon's second round. (Reuters)

    Just a few short months ago, Marcus Willis was ready to quit tennis.

    Now, the 25-year-old is moving on to Wimbledon’s second round in the midst of an improbable underdog run.

    The Brit, who owns an ATP ranking of 772, defeated Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 Monday after fighting through pre-qualifying and qualifying rounds to even get to the tournament’s main draw.

    Before Wimbledon, Willis had played in just one tournament this year, a January event in Tunisia. He reached the quarterfinals and netted just $356.

    With his prospects of breaking through to the next level growing slimmer, Willis considered hanging it all up and taking a coaching position in Philadelphia. But something changed.

    “I was adamant I was going to go to America to coach,” Willis told the New York Times. “I had called up someone about the visa — and then I met a girl. She basically told me I was an idiot and that I should keep going, and I’m very grateful for that.”

    He received the very last slot in a Wimbledon’s

    Read More »from World No. 772 continues Wimbledon fairy tale into second round
  • Wimbledon has just begun, but Nike is already courting controversy over the dress that it designed for its sponsored athletes.

    The dress, called the “Premier Slam,” is standard Wimbledon white, but its loose fit has some players and fans complaining that it reveals too much.

    Nike, which outfits at least 20 players in the main women’s draw, immediately attracted negative attention after players, like 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, were seen wearing the new dress on the London practice courts.

    Bouchard backed up the brand on Instagram, though, captioning a picture of her in the dress, “short & sweet.”

    During qualifying rounds, Britain’s Katie Boulter used a headband as an impromptu belt to try to keep the dress in place.

    Read More »from Nike continues to court controversy over Wimbledon dress
  • This year’s Wimbledon champions will receive a record £2 million in prize money, but the value of that award has already taken a substantial hit thanks to the Brexit.

    The UK’s vote to leave the European Union sent the British pound plummeting nearly 10 percent Friday.

    Thursday afternoon, the winner's haul was worth just over $3 million. One day later, the award depreciated over $275,000 due to the stock-market panic.

    Though Wimbledon increased its prize from £1.89 million to £2 million, the winners of the 2016 edition currently stand to take home close to $60,000 less than last year’s champions.

    While the total might not matter much to high-earning stars like Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Serena Williams, the drop will have a greater effect on the low-ranking players.

    It already took a hit on players in the tournament’s qualifying round, who lost $1,800 overnight after a rain delay pushed matches from Thursday to Friday.

    Read More »from Wimbledon prize money has fallen nearly $300K due to Brexit
  • Can anyone unseat Novak Djokovic? How healthy is Roger Federer? Is Garbine Muguruza tennis’ next big thing? This year’s Wimbledon field provides plenty of compelling storylines for fans to salivate over.

    Here’s what to watch for when the action begins Monday in London.

    Djokovic’s Dominance

    Fresh off a French Open win, Djokovic now turns his attention to another elusive feat: a Grand Slam. He’s halfway there and enters the All England Club with a 28-match win streak at Slam events under his belt. Djokovic looked as dominant as ever in Paris, dropping just two sets throughout the whole tournament.

    Djokovic and Federer will miss out on a third consecutive final showdown because they were both drawn into the top half of the bracket. Tennis fans can hope for a semifinal battle akin to the two’s previous London meetups as Djokovic tries to continue his march toward history.

    Not only would a win put Djokovic one tournament away from the calendar-year Grand Slam, the upcoming Olympics give the

    Read More »from 5 storylines to watch at Wimbledon 2016
  • Rafael Nadal has pulled out of this year's Wimbledon tournament due to a wrist injury. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)Rafael Nadal has pulled out of this year's Wimbledon tournament due to a wrist injury. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)Rafael Nadal won't be playing Wimbledon this year, the victim of a wrist injury that also forced him out of the French Open.

    "I’m sad to announce that after talking to my doctors, and receiving the results of my last medical revision, I won’t be able to play at Wimbledon this year," Nadal said on his Facebok page. "As you can all imagine, it’s a very tough decision, but the injury I suffered at Roland Garros needs time to heal." Nadal suffered the injury early in the tournament which he has owned for most of the last decade-plus.

    His absence from Wimbledon will rob the tournament of star power, if not necessarily competitive strength. Nadal has won 14 Grand Slam titles in his career, though none since the French Open in 2014. He's won the vast majority of those, nine, at Roland Garros, with two apiece coming at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and one at the Australian Open.

    Nadal has not won at Wimbledon since 2010, though his victories there include a 2008 two-tiebreaker, 9-7 final set

    Read More »from Rafael Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon with wrist injury
  • Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova has been suspended for two years following a positive test for the banned drug meldonium. Sharapova has replied that the punishment was "unfairly harsh," and is appealing the International Tennis Foundation's decision.

    The ITF announced that the suspension would be backdated to Jan. 26, which invalidates Sharapova's quarterfinals performance in January's Australian Open. It was at that event where Sharapova's test turned up positive. The ITF indicated that her suspension had been backdated because of Sharapova's "prompt admission" of guilt.

    Sharapova pleaded her case before a tribunal in May, and after the ITF announced the suspension, took to her Facebook page to present her side to the public. "The ITF spent tremendous amounts of time and resources trying to prove I intentionally violated the anti-doping rules and the tribunal concluded I did not," Sharapova wrote. "You need to know that the ITF asked the

    Read More »from Maria Sharapova will appeal two-year suspension
  • Years of waiting and heartbreak finally came to a close for Novak Djokovic, as he won the French Open title that had eluded him for so long.

    Djokovic downed world No. 2 Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 in Sunday’s final.

    Djokovic is now the eighth man in history to complete a career Grand Slam, and he joins Rod Laver and Don Budge as the only men to ever hold all four major titles at once.

    Djokovic broke Murray at love to open the match, but Murray broke right back to even up the score. Murray then put up a decisive hold, finished off with an ace. He carried this momentum through the set to take an early lead, helped along by Djokovic’s 13 unforced errors.

    But the world No. 1 would not be denied in his quest for history. Djokovic turned up his aggressiveness and found

    Read More »from Novak Djokovic wins French Open, completes career Grand Slam
  • In a final that pitted one of the sport’s legends against one of its rising stars, Garbine Muguruza won the 2016 French Open over Serena Williams.

    The world No. 4 defeated Williams 7-5, 6-4 to capture her first Grand Slam title. She is the first Spanish woman to win a major title since 1998. 

    Muguruza took it to the defending champion, matching her intensity and heavy-hitting to dictate play. Williams, facing off against an opponent 12 years her junior and fighting an adductor injury, struggled with her movement.

    Murugurza and Williams opened the match blazing, as each showed off their impressive serves. It would take until the fifth game for Muguruza to capture the first break of the match on a double-fault from Williams.

    Garbine Muguruza won her first Grand Slam Saturday at the French Open. (Getty Images)Garbine Muguruza won her first Grand Slam Saturday at the French Open. (Getty Images)

    Williams fended off two set points in the opener, but Muguruza would not be denied on the third try, sending a strong backhand past the three-time Roland Garros chamapion’s outstretched racquet to win the opening set.

    Muguruza

    Read More »from Garbine Muguruza beats Serena Williams to win French Open
  • Novak Djokovic cruised to an easy straight-set victory in Thursday’s French Open quarterfinals, but still came within inches of seeing his title hopes dashed.

    The world No. 1 became frustrated in the third set of his match against Tomas Berdych and angrily threw his racquet down. The racquet then bounced off the clay and went flying backward, narrowly missing a line judge.

    Had the line judge not stepped out of the way just in time, Djokovic could have faced disqualification for the incident. Instead, he got away with a code violation and earned a 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 win.

    Djokovic became agitated when reporters asked about the incident after the match.

    “I threw a racquet on the ground and it slipped and almost hit the line umpire,” he said. “I was lucky there. That’s all.”

    Djokovic will go up against

    Read More »from Novak Djokovic flirts with disqualification, advances to French Open semis
  • Serena Williams came back from the brink of elimination Thursday to advance to the French Open semifinals.

    The world No. 1 dug herself out of a 5-7, 0-1 hole to knock off Yulia Putintseva in three sets.

    Putintseva, currently ranked No. 60, put Williams on the defensive early on. The 21-year-old was able to dictate the pace of the match by comfortably handling Williams’ power and sending her running all across the court. Williams struggled to gain a rhythm, putting up 24 unforced errors and dropping the first set.

    It took until the second game of the second set for Williams to find the aggressiveness she had been lacking. She changed her strategy, adding in drop shots and smashing volleys to take Putintseva off of her game. Williams took a 4-1 lead, and looked primed for an easy

    Read More »from Serena Williams stages epic comeback to reach French Open semis
  • The defending French Open champion will face off against the world No. 2 in a semifinal showdown at Roland Garros.

    Stan Wawrinka, who shocked world No. 1 Novak Djokovic to win the 2015 title, and Andy Murray are set to meet with a spot in this year’s final on the line.

    The match will serve as the 16th clash between Murray and Wawrinka. Murray has an 8-7 head-to-head edge, but Wawrinka owns the last three wins in the series.

    Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka is looking to defend his French Open title (Getty Images)Third-seeded Stan Wawrinka is looking to defend his French Open title (Getty Images)Wawrinka advanced to his second Roland Garros semifinal with a 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (7) win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas. Wawrinka fired eight aces and 49 winners to quietly put away his Spanish foe in less than two hours. At 31, Wawrinka is the oldest man in 31 years to reach the French Open semis.

    Murray suffered a bit of early trouble in his quarterfinal match against ninth-seeded Richard Gasquet, giving up a 5-2 lead in the first set and falling behind in a second-set tie-break. The two-time Grand Slam winner fought back and regained his composure though, coming back to

    Read More »from Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka set for French Open semis clash
  •  The Williams sisters earned a split Wednesday at Roland Garros, as little sister Serena quickly advanced to the quarterfinals while Venus fell in the fourth round.

    It took Serena just over an hour to get past 18th-seeded Elina Svitolina. Rain had kept Williams off the court since Saturday, but the world No. 1 showed little signs of rust in her fourth-round match, winning 6-1, 6-1. Williams set the tone by breaking Svitolina to love in the opening set and served eight aces to send her 21-year-old opponent home early.

    Coming into Roland Garros, many wondered if Serena would be in top form due to her lack of play in 2016, but she has assuaged those concerns with her dominant showing thus far. Next up in her chase of a record tying 22nd Grand Slam singles title is an unseeded quarterfinal opponent, Yulia Putinseva. Putinseva upset world No. 14 Carla Suarez Navarro

    Read More »from Serena Williams reaches French Open quarters as Venus falls
  • Rain has been one of the top stories from the 2016 French Open. (AP Photo)Rain has been one of the top stories from the 2016 French Open. (AP Photo)Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep had harsh words for tournament organizers after falling in the fourth round of the French Open.

    “I’m just so surprised and angry, that we have to play in the rain,” Radwanska told reporters after her loss to Tsvetana Pironkova on Tuesday. “I mean, it’s not a $10,000 tournament. It’s a Grand Slam. How can you allow players to play in the rain? I cannot play in that conditions.”

    Radwanska and Pironkova’s fourth-round match began Sunday, but was postponed due to rain with Radwanska comfortably holding a 6-2, 3-0 lead.

    For the first time in 16 years, an entire day’s worth of action was postponed, as steady rain made Monday’s scheduled matches impossible to play.

    The second-seeded Radwanska and Pironkova finally resumed play Tuesday morning, but rain again forced the players off the court less than 40 minutes later. After another close to three-hour delay, the match continued for good, with Pironkova completing a stunning come-from-behind upset to

    Read More »from Players rip French Open organizers over poor conditions
  • Another top women’s player has fallen at the French Open.

    Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was defeated Tuesday at the French Open. (AP Photo)Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska was defeated Tuesday at the French Open. (AP Photo)Tsvetana Pironkova staged an epic comeback to stun second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and secure a spot in the quarterfinals.

    When the match began on Sunday, Radwanska looked well on her way to the next round, building up a 6-2, 3-0 lead before play was halted due to rain.

    Pironkova, currently ranked No. 128, came out inspired when the match resumed Tuesday, reeling off 10 consecutive games.

    Radwanska took a medical timeout in the third set to tend to an injured arm, but she wasn’t able to battle back. Pironkova took the decisive set 6-3.

    Radwanka's loss was not the only big upset Tuesday, as sixth-seeded Simona Halep also fell in the fourth round. Halep, a 2014 Roland Garros finalist, lost 7-6 (0), 6-3 to Samantha Stosur.  

    Four of the top seven seeds in the women's singles draw have now met an early exit.

    Read More »from Second-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska falls at French Open
  • For the 13th straight year, there will be no American man in the quarterfinals of the French Open.

    John Isner fell to Andy Murray in the fourth round in Paris Sunday, continuing a disappointing run for Americans at Grand Slams.

    John Isner couldn't keep up with Andy Murray Sunday at Roland Garros. (Reuters) John Isner couldn't keep up with Andy Murray Sunday at Roland Garros. (Reuters) The 15th-seeded Isner, known for his towering height and powerful serve, couldn’t keep up with Murray’s quickness, falling in straight sets. Isner is now 1-6 in fourth-round matches at Grand Slams.

    Isner is the lone U.S. representative in the top 20 of the ATP rankings. Jack Sock is the next highest-ranked American at No. 23.

    No American man has won a Grand Slam tournament since Andy Roddick’s 2003 U.S. Open win.

    Meanwhile, on the women’s side, there could be as many as four American women represented in the quarterfinals. Serena Williams, Venus Williams and Madison Keys will all play their fourth-round matches Monday, hoping to join underdog Shelby Rogers.

    Read More »from Last American man falls at French Open
  • Two doubles matches in one day proved too much for Venus and Serena Williams.

    Serena and Venus Williams lost in doubles action Sunday at the French Open. (Getty Images)Serena and Venus Williams lost in doubles action Sunday at the French Open. (Getty Images)The sibling duo fell to Kiki Bertens and Johanna Larsson, 6-3, 6-3, in the third round of the French Open.

    Earlier in the day, Venus and Serena had to finish up their second round match that was halted due to darkness with the Williams leading by a set. Vitalia Diatchenko and Galina Voskoboeva won Sunday’s first set to push the sisters a little more. After winning the decisive set 6-0 to take the match, the sisters had little time to rest before facing Bertens and Larsson.

    Bertens and Larsson had taken down the second-seeded duo of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova in the opening round. In singles play, Bertens made headlines by upsetting world No. 3 Angelique Kerber.

    Venus and Serena entered the doubles draw to prepare themselves for the upcoming Rio Olympics. 

    Now, the sisters will turn their attention to singles play in Paris, where they are both vying for a quarterfinal slot. Serena will take on

    Read More »from Williams sisters knocked out of doubles play at French Open
  • Stan Wawrinka is taking no chances in his French Open title defense.

    So, when his fourth-round opponent Viktor Troicki called a medical timeout mid-match, the third-seeded Wawrinka wasn’t going to risk getting cold.

    Looking for a way to stay loose during the break, Wawrinka turned to a ball boy and asked if he wanted to rally.

    "We had a little chat,” Wawrinka told reporters after the match. “He was a nice kid. It was nice for him. It was fun for the audience. I was a little bit bored waiting for him [Troicki] so it kept me busy."

    Wawrinka earned a 7-6(5), 6-7(7), 6-3, 6-2 win and the ball boy came away with an unforgettable experience.

    Read More »from Stan Wawrinka rallies with ball boy during break at French Open
  • Shelby Rogers wasn’t even sure she’d make it into the French Open field.

    The 23-year-old from Charleston, S.C., was the second-to-last player to receive an automatic bid to the tournament's main draw.

    Rogers is making her presence count, as she took down another seeded opponent Sunday to continue her upset bid into the quarterfinals.

    Rogers, currently ranked No. 108, defeated 25th-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu 6-3, 6-4 in just over 80 minutes Sunday.

    Rogers opened the tournament by taking down No. 17 Karolina Pliskova, fighting back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. Then, in the third round, Rogers squared off against two-time Wimbledon champion No. 10 Petra Kvitova. That match was another three-set battle, with Rogers again emerging victorious with a 6-0, 6-7 (3), 6-0 win.

    Rogers’ previous best

    Read More »from American Shelby Rogers extends upset run into French Open quarterfinals