For the 2nd year in a row, the entire sports staff at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is going to host a day long event on the day following Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. This year, that falls on March 12th. The event will once again be hosted by the Oxmoor Center on Shelbyville Road, and will encompass a total of 6 hosts and 13 hours of sports programming. Plus, we will host a BRACKET CHALLENGE with a chance to win a super-nice Gorilla Basketball Goal, courtesy of Steepleton's. Below is the entire rundown of events, so feel free to head out to Oxmoor any time in the day and you will get your sports fix headed into tournament time:
7-10AM: The EarlyBirds w/ Drew Deener
10-12PM: KentuckySportsRadio w/Matt Jones
12-1PM: Lachlan Mclean on WKRD
1-2PM: Drew Deener on WKRD
2-3PM: Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM: The Afternoon Underdogs w/Tony and Dave
530-6PM: Terry Meiners
7-9PM: Occupy Lachlan (the entire cast of hosts together on stage at the same time)
WHERE TO LISTEN ON THE AIR
Early Birds with Jody Demling
7-10AM (790AM WKRD)
The Tom Leach Show
9-10AM (1080AM WKJK)
KentuckySportsRadio with Matt Jones
10AM-12PM (1080AM WKJK)
Joe B. and Denny Show
10AM-12PM (790AM WKRD)
The Afternoon Underdogs with Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM (790AM WKRD)
Sportstalk84 with Lachlan McLean
7-9PM (840AM WHAS)
by Shawn Teer
The French Open is one of the more interesting of the major tennis tournaments. For starters, there is the fact that the players are playing on clay. If you look at some of the greatest players of the open era of tennis, which started in 1968, the French is almost always the proverbial white whale. It seems to be “The one that got away” for most of the all-time greats. Unless you happen to be Bjorn Borg, or maybe perhaps the greatest clay player of the open era, Rafael Nadal. Nadal is a grand slam champion, but perhaps this tournament is where he seems to shine.
To say that Nadal is near unbeatable is quite the understatement. Nadal uses an extreme western forehand grip, and that seems to give him an edge on clay. If you are a hardcore tennis fan, then you are probably aware of what the slight or major turning of the racket can do to influence the spin of the ball when it is struck. The clay can play very fast, and also cause the ball to bounce higher when topspin from swinging low to high is introduced. The different grips can play a huge part, but the fact that he is so fast on the court that you just can’t seem to get too much past him.
It seems to be second nature for the Spaniard to slide around on the clay, and still be able to hit a shot that is almost perfect every time. The game of tennis has changed over my time watching and playing tennis. When I was growing up in the late 80’s and into the 90’s, the game was dominated by serve and volley type players like Pete Sampras. At the end of the 90’s, however it switched over to more of hitting the ball as hard as possible at the baseline and only come to the net as a last resort. This is mostly how you have to win at Roland Garros, and for players like Sampras, it was something that tennis players seem to never want to do, and that is to change their game up. For players like Nadal, it could not have worked out better for them and his titles and his near perfect record do all the talking.
As I mentioned before, in the open era, only Bjorn Borg can come close to matching the greatness that is Nadal on clay. Borg was hard to beat on any surface, but he was arguably the most deadly on clay. He won 6 titles and four of them back to back from 1978-1981. In the French Open he was 49-2 all-time. That’s pretty good, but Nadal is better. He too has won the title 4 times in a row, but his record is 53-1 and is still going in this current tournament.
When you put together the style of play with heart and determination, you tend to have a champion. When you have Rafael Nadal you have one of, if not the greatest clay court champion of all-time. It should also be known that Nadal is a grand slam champion, winning all four major titles, but the French is really where he shines brightest. He is currently at seven titles and still counting.