Simon Reed

  • Brits are too soft and too spoilt

    Last week I predicted a tough test for Great Britain against Lithuania in the Davis Cup. I thought Britain might just have snuck it, but they lost and it has created a flurry of criticism.

    I'm not too surprised by the reaction: it makes a good story. The knives were already out before the match and there was always going to be a lot of flak coming if the cards did not fall our way.

    I only saw bits of the tie, but from what I understand it was actually played at a fairly high standard.

    However, at the end of the day, it was against a lowly ranked team like Lithuania and a fifth successive

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  • Who’s the GOAT? 5-Lendl v 12-Laver

    Last week's Greatest of All Time match-up saw Boris Becker progress to face current world number one Roger Federer in the first of the quarter-finals. But who will join them?

    This week's match has the potential to be a little one-sided with 12th seeded Australian Rod Laver facing Czech Ivan Lendl, seeded fifth.

    Laver is widely regarded as Federer's only real competitor for the GOAT title, with many holding the firm opinion that the Australian would have won more Grand Slam titles had he not been prohibited from competing for five years before the Open era.

    Under our GOAT rules each match is

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  • Britain look vulnerable in Lithuania

    Great Britain, minus Andy Murray, begin their Davis Cup season this weekend in Euro-Africa Zone Group 2 with an away tie against Lithuania.

    Lithuania might not be the biggest name on paper but I think this is going to be a very close tie and the key thing for me will be how the young Lithuanians handle the pressure.

    If they handle it well - I think they'll get through.

    Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis is the key player in this tie. He has a better record than anyone else playing, but he is 19-years old and has never been under this type of pressure before.

    With home advantage in the Davis Cup

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  • Ferrero can go out in style

    Juan Carlos Ferrero celebrating his 30th birthday by winning two titles in as many weeks is a terrific achievement.

    Andre Agassi showed the way, winning the Australian Open at the age of 32 and then making the final in Flushing Meadows when he was a ripe old 35.

    Ferrero can take heart from those achievements - and if anybody deserves to enjoy an unexpectedly bright twilight of his career, it's him.

    I remember talking to Juan Carlos back in 2003. He'd just won the French Open and was knocking on the door of becoming the world number one, but just couldn't understand why nobody considered him a

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  • Who’s the GOAT? 1-Federer v 16-Courier

    Our Who's the Goat? tournament kicks off with a match-up between top seed Roger Federer and rank outsider Jim Courier.

    A straight-forward victory for the current world number one?

    The contenders.

    Roger Federer
    Nationality: Swiss
    Seeded: 1
    Grand Slam titles: 16
    Australian Open W (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010)
    French Open W (2009)
    Wimbledon W (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009)
    US Open W (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

    Jim Courier
    Nationality: American
    Seeded: 16
    Grand Slam titles: 4
    Australian Open W (1992, 1993)
    French Open W (1991, 1992)
    Wimbledon F (1993)
    US Open F (1991)

    Who would win if both players

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  • Belgian duo to dominate the WTA Tour

    Obviously Serena looked good in her opening match of the season, and I don't know how fit Maria Sharapova is, but it looks to me like the Australian Open final could be a Belgian lock-in.

    In fact, the whole year could be a Belgian lock-in unless Serena can keep her act going. None of the other players come within a country mile of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin.

    I'm a big Sharapova fan and I hope she gets fit. If she can play and do herself justice, then she does stand a chance. And with Serena we've learned too many times that we can't rule her out.

    Venus is not going to be a real threat

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  • Who’s the GOAT? 8-Wilander v 9-Becker

    Last week's Greatest Of All Time match-up might have been a bit of a one-sided tie - we were actually slightly surprised that Jim Courier polled as well as he did - but this week's match has all the makings of a classic: Swedish great Mats Wilander against Germany's Boris Becker.

    Under our GOAT rules each match is three sets, one on each surface. Here's the rundown on the two contenders.

    Mats Wilander

    Nationality: Swedish

    Seeded: 8

    Grand Slam titles: Seven

    Australian Open: Winner (1983, 1984, 1988)

    French Open: Winner (1982, 1985, 1988)

    Wimbledon: Quarter-finalist (1987, 1988, 1989)

    US Open:

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  • Hopman Cup good for Robson

    Laura Robson's graph is moving in the right direction. I saw her first match and she looked off the pace and nervous when it mattered and in the mixed doubles, it was calamitous to be honest.

    But match by match she's progressed which is probably endorsing the decision to go down there and play.

    It's a great step up for her to be on a big stage, playing consistently in front of big, noisy crowds, and a big atmosphere alongside a big star in Andy Murray.

    It can only help. There are still things to work on; for me she's still a long way from being a threat at the top level, but she's 15 years of

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  • There’s nothing like the Australian Open

    For me, the Australian Open is the most enjoyable Slam by a long way.

    Perhaps it's because we come out of the Arctic winter each year - especially this year - and are greeted by gorgeous sunshine: it certainly doesn't do any harm.

    But it's the character of the place too. It affects the players, it affects everybody who's around it and even in the build-up to the tournament, it doesn't feel like a Slam.

    It's all so relaxed - the players haven't seen each other for a while as they've had the off-season and gone to very different tournaments to warm up. So they're all seeing each other again for

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  • Reed’s shotmakers: Men’s return of serve

    Simon Reed continues his look at his favourite shots in the game - this time he looks at the men's return of serve.

    THE BEST - Andre Agassi

    It is difficult to judge who has the greatest return of serve because different players produce different types of return. My top three though are Jimmy Connors, Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi.

    However, for me, Agassi was the most exciting because he could attack off even a very good serve. I thought it was absolutely thrilling to watch him attacking serves. His hand-eye coordination was phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.

    Whatever he said he used in

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