Steve Bierley

Nadal exit opens door for Federer

If the Eiffel Tower had suddenly toppled the shock could not have been greater than the sight of Rafa Nadal bowing out of the French Open this week.

Federer victory reignites ‘greatest ever’ debate

If it were up to his peers, there would be no question that Roger Federer should be regarded as the best player ever.

Andy Murray aims for the very top

The Americans are trying very hard to like Andy Murray. After all, he frequently speaks openly about his deep-rooted passion for the US Open.

What’s riding on Nadal’s knees

With Wimbledon's dust settled, Steve Bierley asks: Who's number one now?

The Aussie Open’s Serbian darling

Wimbledon crowds could learn a lot from the Australian Open. Like the British, the Australians have no players to speak of, so they do the next best thing and adopt a few for the purposes of the fortnight. They fell in love with Martina Hingis. Then it was Kimmy Clijsters, the Belgian obliging by getting engaged to Lleyton Hewitt. Now it's Aussie Ana.

The changing face of tennis

Suddenly there seem to be as many policemen involved in tennis as there are players. Gone are the days when a London bobby, with minimum fuss and barely a whiff of publicity, would quietly lead away an offending clergyman from the packed aisles of the outside courts at Wimbledon for having something less than pure intentions towards certain members of the watching flock.

A wishy-washy Wimbledon

As Wimbledon entered its second week, the overriding feeling was of a tournament stubbornly refusing to catch fire. Obviously the poor weather and the fractured nature of almost every day's play has contributed to a general feeling of dissatisfaction, although that has not been the sole reason for the damp blanket of ennui.

The trials and tribulations of Marat Safin

The trials and tribulations of Marat Safin might have detained Leo Tolstoy for only a couple of chapters, but in tennis terms it has been a long-running story that has brought both rapture and intense frustration over the past decade -- the tale of a huge talent, capable of hitting undreamed-of heights, but one that may ultimately be looked back on as wasted.

Last blast for ‘Aussie Kim’

Australians want Kim Clijsters to exit as the champion, given her decision to retire at the end of this year. The country took the Belgian to their hearts and affectionately dubbed her ''Aussie Kim'' when she became engaged to Lleyton Hewitt and, despite the relationship faltering three years ago, she remains highly popular down under.

Slam in her sights

Nadia Petrova laughs a lot these days, and giggles, too. For the past two years, during which her fellow Russians have all won grand slam titles, Petrova has frequently represented the somewhat stern face of her country's amazing and uplifting rise to the top of women's tennis -- but not any more.

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