Rafael Nadal of Spain entered Wimbledon 2013 with great confidence after winning his record-setting eighth French Open title at Roland Garros, having defeated top-seeded Novak Djokovic in a grind-out five-setter in the semifinals. Nadal suffered from a partially torn patellar tendon during the middle of 2012, which caused him to withdraw from the 2012 London Olympic Games and stay sidelined for nearly a year after his second round loss at Wimbledon 2012. Despite this long hiatus, Nadal returned and displayed a championship performance during this year’s French Open. However, the fifth-seeded Nadal did not have as much luck last week during his Wimbledon first round match against Belgian Steve Darcis, who is currently ranked 135th in the world. Darcis upset Nadal in a tight three sets (7-6 (4), 7-6 (8), 6-4) to advance to the second round.
Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings predicted that his team would defeat LeBron James and the Heat in six games. Jennings may be a little too optimistic, however. I would be incredibly surprised, as would many NBA fans, if the Bucks even prove to be more than a slight bump on the Heat’s road to the Finals. Milwaukee doesn’t have anyone to guard Dwyane Wade or LeBron, and they will thoroughly dominate the entire series. Although Larry Sanders has been playing outstandingly for the Bucks this season, he, Jennings, and Monta Ellis will not be able to keep up with the speed and quickness of Miami. Among all the potentially great match-ups in the first round, this is definitely not one. The Heat should win easily.
“Uh-oh uh-oh, Rose came down bad on his left foot. See him? Holding on to his knee … holding on to his knee… and DOWN.” This was the voice of play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan on TNT during game 1 of the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs as Chicago Bulls all-star point guard Derrick Rose, arguably the most explosive player in the NBA, suffered an injury that would keep him out of basketball for over six months. At this point in the game, the Bulls were up by twelve with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter, and many Bulls fans were wondering why Rose was still on the floor. After watching Rose land awkwardly and tear his left knee’s anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on a meaningless play, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau must have regretted his decision to keep Rose in the game after the Bulls had already sealed the victory. Although the Bulls won this game, they lost the best-of-seven series to the lower-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in six games. More importantly, the Bulls were going to miss their leader and superstar, Derrick Rose.
Resolute dedication, judicious time management, and hardy discipline are just a few of the qualities important to MIT student-athletes as they strive to get the most out of both academics and sports. The academic rigor of a school like MIT poses a significant challenge for athletes here as they strive to succeed while keeping stress levels low and maintaining optimal physical and mental health. They invest a considerable amount of time on school coursework and team practices alone. On top of these commitments, many student-athletes do even more, engaging in clubs and extracurricular activities. There is no question that this lifestyle is susceptible to conflicts and requires prioritization and prudent decision-making.
Ethan E. Peterson ’13 is a Course 22 (Nuclear Science and Engineering) and Course 8 (Physics) senior on MIT Men’s Varsity Football. He has started on the MIT offensive line for the last three seasons and became co-captain last season. For his stellar play, he has received much recognition, including being selected for first team All-New England Football Conference. In fact, Ethan recently won the National Scholar-Athlete Award given by the National Football Foundation. This award selects 15 honorees out of the national pool of 147 semifinalists, who are selected from all divisions of college football for their academic prowess and their achievements on the field. Ethan is the sixth person in MIT Football history to receive this distinguished award.
Third-seeded Andy Murray of Scotland won his first Grand Slam last Monday after defeating second-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia in five sets (7-6 (12-10), 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2) in the U.S. Open Men’s Singles Final. Murray is the first British man to win a Grand Slam since Fred Perry won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1936.
Roger Federer of Switzerland won his seventh Wimbledon Championship last Sunday at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London. On his path to the championship, he defeated first-seeded favorite Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the semifinals in four tough sets (6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3). In the finals, Federer rallied back to beat the fourth-seeded Andy Murray of Scotland in four sets after dropping the first set (4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4).
The 2012 NBA Finals features the two valiant number two seeds: the Miami Heat from the East and the Oklahoma City Thunder from the West. Both teams have had to battle back in the previous rounds in order to arrive here at this point. The Heat trailed 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers before winning three in a row to wrap up the series. They were also down 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics before winning two straight to thrust themselves into their second straight NBA Finals.
The 2012 French Open is in full swing, and the men’s side is still in contention, competing for the top spot at the Roland Garros in Paris. Top-seeded Novak Djokovic of Serbia will face third-seeded Roger Federer of Switzerland in the upcoming semifinals. In the process of reaching this stage, the 30-year-old Federer has dropped five sets, one in each of his second through fourth round matches and two in his quarterfinal match against the ninth-seeded Argentinian Juan Martin Del Potro. Djokovic won his first three matches of the tournament in straight sets but had to grind out his last two, both five-setters.
Mitchell H. Kates ’13 is a Course 6-3 (Computer Science and Engineering) junior on the MIT Varsity Basketball Team who has been recognized for his stellar play on numerous occasions throughout high school and college. During high school, Kates won the Kerwin Award, awarded to the best player in the Shore Conference (New Jersey), broke the career assists record at Colts Neck High School, and received a gold medal on the National U-16 United States Maccabi Basketball Team in Israel in 2005. After coming to MIT, Kates became NEWMAC Rookie of the Year as a freshman, was selected to the NEWMAC all-conference team all three years, and was a 4th team All-American this year.
Charles Hsu ’14 is a sophomore in Course 7 (Biology) who is on the MIT Varsity Heavyweight Crew Team. He enjoys creating things and aspires to become a surgeon. Charles was on the 2011 MIT IGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine competition) team that placed fourth out of over 150 international teams. He is also working on the Solarclave project, which won the 2011 MIT IDEAS and Global Challenge competitions. The Solarclave is a low-cost solar-powered autoclave designed to provide third-world rural clinics with a portable and reliable method of sterilization. He is currently working in the Weiss Lab on genetically engineering autonomously patterning tissues, and has also worked on microfluidics and high-speed photography of cell-printing. Charles balances his scientific interests with his passion for the viola. Not only does he play his viola for a chamber music group, but pursues the craft of violin making in his spare time.
Sung Won (Steve) Cho ’15 is a freshman on the MIT Varsity Squash Team. After starting to play squash a couple of months before moving to the United States from South Korea in eighth grade, Steve went on to play for the Division I Groton High School Varsity Squash Team. He has excelled in some of the premiere squash competitions including the Massachusetts Junior Open and the New England Interscholastic Squash Association (NEISA) Individual Championships. Steve will most likely declare Course 7 (Biology) or Course 20 (Biological Engineering) by the end of this semester. The Tech sat down with Steve’s to discuss life as a student-athlete on the MIT Varsity Squash Team.
The second weekend of the NFL Playoffs mostly went as expected, resulting in three home victories and one road victory. The San Francisco 49ers put together a drive, capped by a sharp touchdown pass from quarterback Alex Smith to tight-end Vernon Davis, with under two minutes to go to escape with a victory over the New Orleans Saints (36-32). The New England Patriots made a statement as quarterback Tom Brady went 26/34 for 363 yards to put an end to Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos (45-10). The Baltimore Ravens, involved in a defensive showdown throughout the game, scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and maintained the lead to defeat the Houston Texans (20-13). The New York Giants and Eli Manning put on an offensive display to come up with an unexpected upset over the team with the best regular season record this year, the Green Bay Packers (37-20). This makes for two anticipated matchups this coming Sunday.
Players and owners in the NBA met on Black Friday to continue their attempts at negotiations to put an end to the lockout that has plagued the league for the past few months. After 15 hours of discussion that lasted through Friday night into Saturday morning, they reached a tentative agreement that will end the 149-day lockout. They plan to start the season on Christmas day, with promises to feature three highly anticipated matchups (Knicks vs. Celtics, Heat vs. Mavericks, and Lakers vs. Bulls). Although the season will likely be shorter than the usual 82-game regular season, many fans are relieved to hear that there will be a season and a spring of NBA playoffs.
Logan M. Trimble ’13 is a junior in Course 10B and a member of the MIT Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor Track teams. As an active sophomore last year, Trimble competed for MIT at the NCAA Division III Championship, in which his relay team earned All-American status. Later that year, Trimble won the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Award, demonstrating excellence in varsity sports as well as academics.
Robert A. “Bobby” Weber ’13, a junior in Course 15, plays cutter for the MIT Men’s Ultimate team. Passionate about the sport since his early years, Bobby started an Ultimate frisbee club in his high school and later played on a team that achieved second place at state competitions twice in a row. When he got to MIT, he was taken under the wing of former MIT Ultimate star Isaac T. Entz ’11, whom Bobby admires considerably. “If I had to describe our team in two words, it would be Isaac Entz. He is an inspiration to all of us and a true mentor.”
After being knocked out in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons, the Patriots hope to return to their championship-winning mode that fans have become familiar with over the last several years. Although many of the former Patriot stars who were a vital part of their championship teams are now either retired or on other teams — defensive backs Ty Law and Asante Samuel, safety Rodney Harrison, linebackers Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel, running back Corey Dillon, and wide receiver Troy Brown — the Patriots still show promise for this upcoming season.
This past summer was an eventful time in professional sports. From the French Open in June to the PGA Championship in August, champions were crowned in everything from tennis to soccer to golf. Here’s a summary of some of the notable results from the past three months.
As we approach the later rounds of the 2011 NBA Playoffs, the team-to-team matchups are incredibly exciting. First, the experienced Los Angeles Lakers are up against the Dallas Mavericks and their high-powered offense. With so many players gracing the stage, there’s just so much to watch for: the slithering drives of the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant (the Black Mamba) into the lane, the physical play of Lakers Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum inside the paint on both offense and defense, the sharpshooting of the Dallas power forward Dirk Nowitzki, the brilliant passing of Jason Kidd, and the acrobatic moves and unique shooting style of Shawn Marion. This is all against the backdrop of the intense sportive atmosphere brought about by the Staples Center in Los Angeles and the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
Isaac T. Entz ’11, a senior in Course 16, is currently taking the intense 2.007 (Design and Manufacturing I), yet still finds time to enjoy playing on the MIT Ultimate Frisbee team. Recollecting how he got so interested in Ultimate, Isaac explained, “I first learned to play after home football games at my high school. Half of the marching band would stick around after games to play, and that’s where I got my start. I didn’t play competitively in high school but did play pickup Ultimate with a quality group at the local college in town.”
Many Bostonians have been to Fenway Park to see the ever-popular Red Sox play. The sounds of the roaring cheers that engulf the stadium following a solid crack of the bat or the whiff of a 95 mph fastball, not to mention the excitement and anticipation present whenever David “Big Papi” Ortiz steps up to the plate or when Tim Wakefield seemingly defies projectile dynamics with his crazy pitching style on the mound, are experiences few fans would be willing to give up.
The Celtics have jumped off to a great start with thirteen wins and only four losses. With Paul Pierce averaging about 20 points per game, Rajon Rondo close to 15 assists per game, and Kevin Garnett around 9 rebounds per game, the Celtics now have a four-game lead in their division and look to be on their way to the playoffs this season. Ray Allen’s tremendous 45 percent shooting from beyond the arc led the team to two wins against a tough Miami team featuring three superstars in LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.