Simon Reed

  • Sharapova back to her best

    One of the most encouraging things in women's tennis at the moment is the timely return to form of Maria Sharapova.

    The Russian has an immense presence on the WTA Tour, and it is very important to the game that she is competitive.

    A spate of injuries have hampered her progress over recent years, but she is beginning to regain her confidence and the mental strength which saw her rise to prominence.

    Sharapova has pulled out of the tournament in Montreal with a heel injury, but I would make her second favourite to win the US Open behind Serena Williams.

    Another contender at Flushing Meadows will

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  • American dream a world away

    American tennis is in a dire
    state at the moment and, with the exception of the Williams sisters, there is
    not a lot to interest even the most ardent tennis fan.

    Andy Roddick's loss in the third round in Washington last week
    ensured that there are no American men ranked in the world's top 10 for the
    first time, and that is pretty galling.

    The US now have just six men ranked inside the top 100,
    only two in the top 20, and it has been an incredible 27 Grand Slams since
    Roddick became the last American man to win a major - at the US Open back in
    2003.

    There is no point in other countries pointing

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  • Don’t get over excited about Ivanovic

    Ana
    Ivanovic is fantastic for the game of tennis and a wonderful woman to have on
    the WTA Tour, but it is far too early to get excited about her current form.

    The Serb
    is very marketable and has a big game, but just over the last two years she has
    had a crisis of confidence.

    Just
    recently she has begun to show signs of finding the form we all know that she
    is capable of, and that would be a real fillip for women's tennis.

    One
    thing is for sure: Ivanovic is with the right man. Heinz Gunthardt is the
    perfect coach for her because he is so relaxed and assured.

    Ivanovic
    has been very edgy, nervous

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  • Murray right to change coaches

    I wasn't surprised by Andy Murray's decision to part ways with Miles Maclagan - I think he needs a little help to get things back on track.

    From what I understand he was making all the decisions himself as far as tactics go.

    He's at a stage in career where it's now or never and if he doesn't get the very best it will end up being never.

    Murray has to get the right man and that could well be Darren Cahill, who is being tipped to replace Maclagan. And the way Murray's setting things up, it does seem like Cahill will be the man - even though the Australian says he doesn't want full-time work.

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  • Sublime Serena can go on and on

    Serena Williams had been in a class of her own throughout Wimbledon
    fortnight - and she was once again in the final.

    She has just been getting better and better, and was
    absolutely unstoppable on Saturday afternoon. There never looked like being any
    hint of a surprise.

    Full credit to Vera Zvonareva, though: many players crumble
    under the pressure when they play in their first Grand Slam finals, but not
    her.

    She really did herself credit, playing as well as she could
    - but was simply out-powered. There was nothing she could do about it.

    It's a victory that confirms Serena as one of the great

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  • Annacone can give Fed tactical boost

    Roger Federer's link-up with Paul Annacone is very interesting to me, and you have to say that Paul's record as a coach speaks for itself.

    He is a terrific coach; I've talked to Tim Henman about him and he has nothing but the highest praise. Of course you also have to look at everything he did with Pete Sampras and conclude that that was pretty special too.

    I have often thought with Federer that he is not a great match player. He is the greatest tennis player that has ever lived, and the greatest shot-maker ever by some distance, but I don't think there has ever really been a plan B to his

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  • Tough loss for Federer to bounce back from

    I don't believe Roger Federer is the player that he was. He struggled early in the tournament against players he would normally have put in their place fairly emphatically.

    Tomas Berdych beat him in Miami and I think that really gave the Czech player some confidence.

    Having said that before the match I did expect Federer to win, I didn't think that Berdych wouldn't have the strength mentally.

    Berdych has struggled in the head department in the past but what was interesting today is how, when it got tough, he just laughed it off and he really did produce some amazing tennis in the final two

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  • Andre lost the plot in Sampras spat

    I'm a huge fan of Andre Agassi both on and off the court,
    but I couldn't believe his spat with Pete Sampras last week. Andre just
    went crazy; he was really out of order.

    I don't know if anything has gone on between them in the
    last few weeks to provoke it, but Pete made it clear - albeit not publicly -
    that he wasn't best pleased with some of the things Andre wrote about him in
    his autobiography, particularly the jibes about him being a bad tipper.

    So for Andre to come out and so publicly demean Sampras was
    plain mean-spirited. It just seemed that
    Andre was less than himself, acting in a way

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  • True number one Murray will win US Open

    It was
    fascinating to read John McEnroe's comments about the two Andys - Murray and
    Roddick - being his favourites to win the US Open at Flushing Meadows. Mac is
    spot on, because both have good chances - but one has a much better chance than
    the other.

    And that man is Andy Murray.

    Roger Federer might be the bookies'
    favourite, and the Swiss seems to have become a sort of Grand Slam specialist,
    just as the Williams sisters are in the women's game. Federer never used to be
    that way, but there's no doubt he is now only really interested in winning the
    Majors.

    With that in mind, you need to take
    a

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  • Roddick going backwards

    It seems Andy Roddick is not what he was a year ago.

    He was much more passive in his defeat to Lu Yen-Hsun than he was last year in his semi-final win over Andy Murray and even in his final defeat to Roger Federer.

    He wasn't convincing at all and it looked like he was just hoping Lu would choke, which of course he didn't.

    It wasn't a great performance by Roddick and he really has gone backwards in the last year.

    I don't think a year on that you can see his loss to Federer as a factor. Obviously it was massively disappointing at the time but he came here ready to do as well as last year, if not

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