When it comes to finding environmentally-friendly alternatives, creativity can come in handy. A business called Project Green Ball is working with a turf manufacturer in upstate New York who is producing the tennis ball-
based equestrian turf. The recycling efforts use the entire ball – crushing it and using it as a component of equestrian turf. Schools in New England with equestrian programs are currently considering using the new surface to replace their old turf arenas.
Project Green Ball’s goal is to promote the idea that tennis balls don’t have to be dumped in landfills. They hope to recycle a total of 1,000,000 balls. Although this sounds like a large amount, 300 million balls are manufactured each year and over 125 million are used in the US annually. The mission has just begun and Wilson Sporting Goods is on board, committing 20,000 used balls to the project. So far, the organization has collected over 23,800 tennis balls and is continuing its mission.
If you wish to contribute to the idea, please visit this link.
The Big Three: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic are all more than ready for the prestigious Wimbledon Championship. Each player is hoping to add another grand slam title to his history. These three great players have dominated the Tennis game over the last few years. Over the last 30 grand slam titles, dating back to the 2005 Australian Open, there have only been two winners besides “the big three.” However, this year’s Wimbledon Championship may offer some star players their last chance to make a run at the title.
Andy Roddick has not won a grand slam since his 2003 U.S. Open title. However, he’s been playing very well as of late, coming off with a win at the AEGON International championship on Saturday (which is a practice tournament for Wimbledon.)
Furthermore, Andy Murray, seeded 4th, is trying to win his first grand slam after losing a previous three. Recently, he hired Ivan Lendl as his new coach (once ranked number one in the world in 1983 and winner of eight grand slam championships). Andy will be the fan favorite going into the tournament and will represent Great Britain by playing singles in the Summer Olympics. On the other hand, Novak Djokovic will be the player to beat since he won the championship a year ago. He also might be fueled by his grudge that came after losing the 2012 French Open Championship in the finals a mere month ago to Rafael Nadal.
Rafael Nadal once again looked to dominate at the French Open. Astonishingly, he improved to 52-1 overall, defeating the number one player in the world, Novak Djokovic to earn his 7th French Open Championship. It was payback since Novak beat him in the last three grand slam title matches. Nadal now ties Björn Borgand Rod Laver with 11 Grand Slam titles and is fourth among the all-time leaders, trailing Roger Federer with the most at 16.
Check out a glimpse of the action:
The championship match started Sunday night but was disrupted by rain that turned the court from clay into mud, as Nadal led two sets to one. It was an exciting match to watch. Rafael was pushed to a fourth set – losing a set for the first time during his championship run. The match then finished as Nadal took control on Monday afternoon in Paris. He is known as the “Master of Clay,” with his exceptional speed and mesmerizing spin put on the ball. At the age of 26 be sure to watch out for Nadal as he is catching up to Federer’s historic grand slam titles.
A role model for every young tennis player (with nerves of steel) has been born – Steve Johnson, a senior at USC. Carrying the weight of the whole championship on his shoulders, with the chance to become NCAA team national champions for the fourth year in a row, Johnson has really made a name for himself in the world of collegiate tennis.
As a five-time All American and Singles National Champion for two consecutive years, this kid just doesn’t stop no matter what the challenge. The Orange, California native must have eaten his fruits and vegetables as a child – going into his senior year of high school, he was the national champion in singles and doubles and he finished his college career with a record of 112 wins with only 21 losses. To add some icing to this already amazing cake, he went his senior year with a 32-0 record, finishing his college career with 72 consecutive wins. I don’t think he even remembers what it feels like to lose; all he does is win (*Cue the DJ Khaled song*).
The road to the championship game for Johnson was wrought with fallen trees and multiple potholes. By the time he reached the championship game against Kentucky’s Eric Quigley, he had already been through a veritable marathon, battling through six weeks of shin splints (which were quickly becoming a stress fracture). I can tell you from personal experience – it is difficult to just walk on shin splints. Throw in a pulled abdomen and food poisoning during 9 consecutive days of play…Johnson is a tennis-playing MACHINE!
With all of this, he only lost one set throughout the entire singles tournament. Johnson won in a 6-4 victory against Quigley. According to ESPN, when Quigley was asked later about Johnson’s injuries, he stated, “he was stunned by the accuracy of his opponent’s serve.” Quigley added he “…didn’t know Johnson was in pain, particularly when bending his back on a second serve”. Johnson definitely deserves this second singles title in a row, and I cannot fathom why anyone would disagree. He was able to partake in all four consecutive team national championships that they won including 2012.
Steve Johnson, I believe, should be included in the top ten on Sports Center and all over ESPN headlines. He is the epitome of a role model for student athletes. Do you agree?