Fourth-seeded American Andy Roddick surged to a three-set victory over Gilles Muller, the left-hander from Luxembourg in the final of the ATP Atlanta Open. Roddick claimed his second title of 2012 after his victory last month in the Wimbledon warm-up event at Eastbourne in England.
Roddick celebrated by gently tossing his racquet into the stands after the match ended. He handed the trophy to a random fan who seemed surprised, a few minutes later. Among active players in career titles, Roddick ranks third behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Roddick struggled with Muller’s serve in the first set caused a sore right shoulder. He called a medical timeout to see a trainer, before the changeover. He said that there was a dull pain in the shoulder and the shoulder felt pinched. It was a sign of concern for Roddick, as he was forced to withdraw before the last year’s French Open due to a right shoulder injury. Fortunately the trainer assured him there was nothing structurally wrong.
Muller broke Roddick twice in the opening set, after which the 29-year-old American called for a trainer and had treatment on his right shoulder. Muller was seeking a first career ATP crown. After the injury concern abated, Roddick didn’t face a break point in the second set. He finished with 18 aces, just shy of Muller’s 20.
Muller delivered two of his 10 double faults as he fell into a 0-40 hole. He was trailing 5-6 in the second and serving to force a tiebreaker. He quickly fell behind in the ensuing tiebreaker as Roddick forced a third set, although he saved four set points in the game to knot the set at 6-6.
Roddick went rolling from that point. In the third, he broke Muller twice to take a 5-2 lead and sealed the victory with a love game. He denied Muller’s bid to become the first first-time winner on the ATP Tour this season. Muller now has three runner-up finishes on his resume. He was playing in his first ATP final since 2005.
Roddick has won two of his past three events and 11 of 12 matches after taking the Eastbourne title before Wimbledon. When the Olympics begin next week at Wimbledon, he will play for the U.S. team. The Olympic Tennis – Mens Singles Outrights have odds Andy Roddick 40, Novak Djokovic 7/4, Roger Federer 23/10, Andy Murray 67/10, Jo Wilfried Tsonga 22, David Ferrer 33.
Brittany Lang won the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic for her first LPGA Tour title. It definitely was big win for her. She birdied the par-5 18th three consecutive times in a playoff. She edged out South Koreans Chella Choi, Seo Hee Kyung and Park In Bee at the Grey Silo Golf Course.
Lang was left tied with South Korean players Seo, Park and Choi at 16-under 286 when she missed a birdie try on the hole in regulation. Park dropped out on the second, while Choi was eliminated on the first extra hole. setting the stage for a head-to-head battle between Brittany and Hee Kyung, the third-round leader In Bee was eliminated on the second hole.
For the win, the American rolled in a five-foot putt. Four of the top six and six of the top 13 finishers were from South Korea. On the 18th hole, the birdie made amends for a shorter putt that Brittany missed in regulation that would have clinched the tournament for her. In Bee closed with a 69, Hee Kyung a 67 and Chella with a 63 to get to 16-under.
Finishing in a tie for fifth at 15-under were reigning US Women’s Open champion Ryu So Yeon and American Stacy Lewis. Both fired seven-under 64s. This season, Stacy is a two-time winner. After 11 holes at 17-under, Seo had the lead, but she could not put any distance with her playing partners. She could not get them to fall, although she had a chance to win the first two-playoff holes with critical putts inside 15 feet.
Lang after missing that first playoff putt said that she was able to settle down and compose herself. She admitted that in the past it was the mental side of her game that lacked. She said that she got better with each putt, because she had to make two other putts to stay in the playoff. She further said that she felt much better than she did in regulation, so it was good practice, when the last putt to win. The past seven years had been good practice for this moment.
Detroit Tigers (23-27, 12-15 away) and Boston Red Sox (26-24, 13-13 home) compete in Game 4 (7:10 PM ET, May 31, 2012) of the four game series at Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts. Boston leads the series by 3-0. The Tigers will play for their pride, as they have not won a single match in this series. However, the Red Sox look to complete a four-game sweep of the Tigers. The best betting odds have Tigers (23/18) and Red Sox (13/18).
Boston is 14-5 in its past 19 games and they have won three in a row. The Sox have won nine of their last 11 at Fenway Park. The club has stayed afloat with 12 men on the disabled list is the most impressive thing about the club. They have managed well without their All-Star second baseman Dustin Pedroia nursing a torn adductor muscle in his right thumb. The Red Sox have gotten great production from unlikely sources.
Since being recalled from Triple-A on May 10, Daniel Nava has found a home in left field. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is swinging a hot bat while reigning in a rotation that seemed lost to start the year and Mike Aviles has solidified the shortstop position in his first full year in Boston.
Scoring seven runs and chasing him after 2 2/3 innings of Detroit’s 13-12, 11-inning victory, the Red Sox did plenty of damage against Scherzer on April 8. In four starts versus Boston, Scherzer is 0-2 with an 11.81 ERA. This is his highest against any opponent. David Ortiz is 6 for 8 with two homers and a double off Scherzer. He has 7 for 12 with two homers, three doubles and five RBIs in the series.
Adrian Gonzalez is batting .300 (12 for 40) during a team-best 10-game hitting streak. He has two hits in 11 at-bats against Scherzer. With a career high-tying three doubles Wednesday, Cabrera is 10 for 25 against Boston in 2012 after going 4 for 5. Fielder has faced Beckett six times and has three hits. He is 14 for 27 (.519) while hitting safely in seven straight.
The Tigers will hand the ball to Max Scherzer in the series finale. They have lost seven consecutive games at Fenway dating back to July 31, 2010. At second base, Danny Worth will get a chance with Ryan Raburn demoted to Triple-A Toledo. On Wednesday, Worth was in the lineup and he went 1-for-2 with an RBI. Worth will start Thursday against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett. He started just three games at second base last season after eight games in 2010 and this is his best chance to show what he can do with the Tigers.
Los Angeles Lakers (41-25, 15-18 away) head to Pepsi Center, Denver, CO to face Denver Nuggets (38-28, 20-13 home) in Game 3 (10:30 PM ET, May 4, 2012) of the seven game series. The best betting odds have the Lakers (33/4), while the Nuggets (2/9).
Speedy point guard Ty Lawson believes that the Nuggets back into their first-round series with the Lakers by running and better rebounding. And coach George Karl thinks that preventing Lakers center Andrew Bynum from dominating down low is what boils down to controlling the paint. On the other hand, playing with a lead for once could do the trick to turning this series around.
In falling into a 2-0 hole against the Lakers, the Nuggets have not even led for as much as one trip down the floor. That is why in Game 3 on Friday night at Pepsi Center, the Nuggets are hoping for a fast start. They hope to the boisterous crowd into the action early and jump out on top. This may provide them that much needed spark.
In Game 1, Denver was blown out as Bynum posted a triple-double with 10 points, 10 blocks and 13 rebounds in a 103-88 rout. Denver had the Lakers a little nervous at one point in Game 2. The Nuggets stormed back to make it a game, only to fade at the finish and fall 104-100, trailing by as many as 19 in the third quarter. That furious comeback is what they are trying to use as motivation for Game 3. In a series where Bynum and Kobe Bryant have been so difficult to defend, this has given them confidence.
The type of postseason Lawson would have envisioned has hardly turned in the same. Finishing with as many assists (2) as turnovers, he has struggled in the opener, before finding his rhythm in the second game with a team-high 25 points. Taking the action right to the big men, he has insisted that he needs to attack more against the Lakers
So far, Bryant and Bynum are having a fantastic series. In Game 2, scoring 38 points on a rather efficient 15-of-29 shooting, Bryant has put up a stellar performance in Game 2. Bryant looks almost fresher on the floor and he has missed eight of the last 10 regular-season games.
Pau Gasol is the player flying under the radar. Karl is quite concerned about the versatile center, as he has been doing a little bit of everything for the Lakers. Karl was asked if he thought they could climb their way back into the series with his team against the wall.
The Phoenix Suns are staying in the thick of the race, as the Minnesota Timberwolves‘ playoff hopes continue to fade. On Monday night, Phoenix kicks off a four-game road trip seeking its fifth win in six games and trying to extend Minnesota’s season-worst losing streak to six. The match will be held at Target Center, Minneapolis, MN (9:00 PM ET, April 9, 2012). The betting odds have Phoenix Suns (4/6) and Minnesota Timberwolves (13/10). The odds are in favor of the Suns.
The Suns have since gone 17-8, climbing within one game of Denver for the eighth and final playoff berth, although they had the Western Conference’s third-worst record on Feb. 18. On March 8, the Timberwolves were tied for that spot, but they lost Ricky Rubio to a season-ending injury the following day and they have crumbled. The Timberwolves have dropped 13 of 17 to fall 5 1/2 back of eighth place, including that loss to the Lakers when their rookie point guard got hurt.
However, ne of their wins in that span came at Phoenix ended Minnesota’s nine-game losing streak in this series, but the Suns have won five straight at the Target Center while averaging 111.8 points. On Saturday, Phoenix had its highest-scoring game of the season, winning 125-105 over a Lakers team missing Kobe Bryant. In a loss at Denver, the Suns blew a late fourth-quarter lead the previous night, but that is their only defeat in five games this month.
Phoenix plays three road games in four nights against teams, which would all make the playoffs if the season ended today, after visiting Minnesota. Since replacing an injured Grant Hill in the starting lineup, Shannon Brown has provided a spark. On Saturday, he has averaged 17.6 in eight games and scored 24 points since becoming a starter, nearly double what his season average had been. The Timberwolves have not done nearly as well without Rubio.
J.J. Barea as shot 10 of 27 from the field and committed 10 turnovers, although J.J. Barea has taken over as the starting point guard in the last two games after missing six with a bruised quad, averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 assists. On Monday, Luke Ridnour had been starting but is likely to miss a third straight game with a sprained ankle. On Saturday, Michael Beasley returned after missing five games with a toe injury and scored 20 points, but Minnesota lost 99-90 in New Orleans. The Timberwolves have allowed an average of 107.5 points in their last five games.
The Spanish world number two, Rafael Nadal needed almost three hours to defeat Tsonga 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in a quarterfinal night match. He is chasing his first tournament win of the season. Nadal managed to save eight of 10 break point opportunities, although he struggled at times on his serve, failing to land a single ace. Tsonga dug deep, winning three straight games to force a decider, although Nadal served for the match at 5-4 in the second set.
Nadal broke the Frenchman in the ninth game of the third to lead 5-4 and survived 2 break points in the final game to progress to the semi-finals. The Spanish has reached the final in Miami three times. Nadal was within two points of victory in the second but then the towering Tsonga began his brave resistance, after winning his first set comfortably.
Tsonga broke and then claimed the set with a magnificent forehand return winner. This win was helped along by an untimely double-fault from Nadal. The Frenchman combined explosive shots, deft slices and glorious backhand work around the net to stay in touch with the Spaniard in the third set. Both the played showed some highly entertaining tennis. In the sixth game, Tsonga came close to breaking, but Nadal held his nerve and for all the ebbs and flows of what had become a real battle. Until the ninth game, the pair remained on serve.
Tsonga failed to keep a cross-court forehand in play and although the Frenchman staved off match points and Nadal made the decisive break. The second seed claimed the two hours, 49 minute contest only after his opponent dumped another forehand into the net.
Andy Murray made it through to the semi-finals in Miami by defeating Janko Tipsarevic with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. Murray, the 2009 champion has set up a last-four clash with Nadal. For the Scot, it was a lengthy match and he battled illness. He complained he was struggling to keep fluids down. In the second set, his trainer Jez Green was called for assistance. Before receiving medical attention for what appeared to be a stomach problem, the world number four was trailing by a set and a break.
The Scot then broke the next service game from ninth seed Tipsarevic and went on to clinch the second set. He promptly turned the match around. Murray broke in the third game of the final set and held firm with his serve. His backhand was below par and who made 34 unforced errors.
The upcoming match between Murray and Nadal has some exciting odds for the Miami Open. Various sportbook have Murray 5/4, while Nadal 8/11.
On Tuesday, the No. 1 Vancouver Canucks will battle against the No. 2 San Jose Sharks in Game 5 in Vancouver (9 p.m. ET, Versus).
In NHL betting odds, the Canucks are -172 money line favorites against the Sharks.
Heading into Game 5, San Jose has its back against the wall. The Sharks need to win every game to avoid being eliminated in the Western Conference final for the second straight year as they are down 3-1 in the series against Vancouver. Vancouver will be in the Stanley Cup final with just one win. The Canucks now have a shot at returning to the Cup series for the first time in 17 years as they put a stranglehold on their series with San Jose.
The Canucks are applying offensive pressure on the opposing net. The Canucks could not get many quality shots on goal and that is the difference between game three and game four. The price per head Canucks fans can stop worrying about goaltender Roberto Luongo. It is obvious that Luongo has finally found a playoff groove that is conducive to winning, after his performance in game four. Despite giving up two goals, Luongo was brilliant in the third period of game four. The game was already decided and Luongo’s to win by that point.
For San Jose, the keys for game five in Vancouver are the same as they were in game three: stay out of the box or skate much better down two men. While the Sharks were 0 of 5 so a key could also be score on the power play if you are a San Jose backer, the Canucks were three of five on the power play. The Sharks stand at 3-11 all time in the Western Conference finals as they have simply struggled at this level in the playoffs. Especially after watching the last two games just tough to go against this trend.
For the 2011 clay court tennis season the Internazionali BNL D’Italia marks the deep stages. The tournament in Rome which Scheduled to start on Monday, May 9th will be the second to last event before the Roland Garros (the French Open).
This year, a couple of guys have already proven their abilities on the clay courts of Europe. In Monte Carlo and Barcelona, Rafael Nadal has clinched back to back titles. In Munich, Nikolay Davydenko recently captured the title. In Estoril, Portugal, Juan Martin Del Potro won his second title of the year.
By winning the event in his hometown of Belgrade, Novak Djokovic made an impressive debut to his clay court season. Reaching the finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, Spaniard David Ferrer has been one of the hottest clay courters so far.
For the trophy in Rome, all of these names will be contenders. Roger Federer is one name that’s been awfully silent this clay court season though. Federer has performed poorly, by his own standards based on the previous years, heading into mid may. With little match experience Federer comes into Rome as the third seed. This season, Andy Murray has limited match experience on the clay as well. Until entering the ongoing tournament in Madrid, both Federer and Murray hadn’t played since their losses at Monte Carlo. By an early loss to Tomaz Bellucci in Madrid, in fact, Murray’s confidence has already been hurt.
Morale of Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, and Murray going into Rome next week as speaking of Madrid, the tournament will play a major factor in the shape. Nadal has made the smart decision to skip some clay court events this season to avoid injuries due to excessive match play as he will be the first seed in Rome. For this tournament on Monday, check out online free sports picks for odds.
This weekend, the Baltimore Orioles will travel to Chicago for a 4 game series in opposition to the White Sox. Even though their series could serve as a spring board for one of the teams to bounce back from their slow start, these teams are two of the worst teams in the league.
Both teams are long shots to win the World Series or a pennant in MLB Betting as they are in the basement of their respective divisions.
Although over the last 10 games or so, they’ve really crashed both actually looked good a short time ago. Many of the teams in their divisions have picked it up while they have been down as both teams are 2-8 in their last 10 games.
Even though the White sox have not played especially well in front of their home crowd this season, they will be the home team in this game. To this point they are 4-6 at home. to take advantage of their home field Chicago really needs to find a way which could help them get through bad stretches like the one they’ve been in lately.
Although their lineup has been relatively impotent to this point, the Orioles have a number of veteran hitters that they hoped would bolster their lineup. This season, only the Twins have scored fewer runs than the Orioles.
From their pitching staff the White Sox need some help. They have been extremely inconsistent and they have allowed more runs than all but one team in the American League while their pitchers have shown flashes of solid play.
For both teams to try to turn things around, this should be a good series.
The New Orleans Hornets and the Dallas Mavericks will play in the middle of this week. These teams have both clinched spots in the Western Conference playoffs and they are gearing up to make a run towards the NBA Championship.
NBA basketball betting has Dallas at 8-1 to win the NBA championship this season.
The Mavericks are currently in the 3rd spot in the Western Conference standings and the Hornets are in the 7th spot. The Hornets are in the 7th spot in the standings, but could finish anywhere between the 6th spot and the 8th spot as the teams are all within one game of each other.
There is a decent chance that these teams will end up playing each other in the first round of the playoffs as the Mavericks will likely end up in the 2nd or 3rd spot in the standings and a win over the Hornets will likely improve their NBA playoff picks. This would actually be a favorable matchup for both teams. The Grizzlies and Blazers are much scarier for the top teams to face than the Hornets and the Mavericks are not nearly as intimidating as the Lakers or the Spurs.
This game should have a playoff type of atmosphere as both teams try to gain some momentum before the first round commences. Look for Chris Paul to begin to assert himself more offensively as the team will need him to carry even more of the scoring load during the playoffs.
The Mavericks need to find some help for Dirk Nowitzki. There have been times in his career that he has disappeared for stretches during the playoffs and they need someone to rely on in case he doesn’t come through.