Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award goes to a horse?

There was a little awkward moment after Serena Williams lost to American Pharaoh for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year Award last week.

True, Williams would’ve had absolutely no chance of winning if the awards were based from the votes on YOU web site.

During the two-day debate, we didn’t come close to analyzing the sporting merits of both contenders, since most people could not overcome the first objection: it is a horse.

But Sports Illustrated have to explain their decision.

While American Pharaoh, would not be able to voice out its thoughts, there were a lot of thumbs raised in its favour when Sports Illustrated put the list of twelve athletes in front of magazine’s readers. It was a close call with 47 percent of the votes going to American Pharaoh and the editors’ choice Williams earning less than one percent.

She certainly deserved to be called in front of American Pharaoh, according to the respected British racing journalist Brough Scott.

Some say that Williams, who currently ranks as one of the world’s greatest Tennis players, both in male and female categories, of all time, should’ve won the title for the first time a long time ago. So could the magazine editors really let her lose it again? And to a horse at that?

Adding to the controversy is the fact that no horse has ever won the said award, even if jockey Steven Cauthen won in 1977, and for understandable reasons.

This is surely one controversy that everyone wants to keep track of. Who will get the award in the end – American Pharaoh or Serena Williams? We’ll find out soon!

World No. 3 Garbine Muguruza beats Angelique Kerber

Muguruza

22-year-old Spanish sensation Garbine Muguruza, who rose to World No. 3 position on Monday, attacked with aggression from the net and dictated the play for most of her match against Angelique Kerber, her more experienced opponent.

Muguruza started the contest full of positive intent. She immediately found the corners and stroked the paint with her powerful ground strokes, taking control of the game from the beginning before Kerber had got a chance to settle in.

Kerber hung on hard to save three break points in her opening game which contained some spectacular net exchanges. Her performance demonstrated how she matched Serena Williams’s record of 53 Tour victories this year as she fought back to tie things at 2-2, but Muguruza stayed calm and took that setback in stride. And it was not to be for Kerber as the dominant Muguruza showed her class throughout.

Kerber knew that a victory would have seen her progress to the semi-finals. However, at the end of the match she had failed to get the job done and she slumped to a fourth successive defeat.

“It’s an example of something that can happen, obviously,” Muguruza said. “I think it’s hard to manage a lot of things. I saw an example in [Bouchard]. It’s not a good example. But, hopefully, I can manage better these kind of situations, [and try not to let it happen to me.]”

At the beginning of the week in her first singles match at the WTA season finale, Murguruza had beaten Lucie Safarova 6-3, 7-6.

Will Simona Halep beat Serena Williams in the finals?

So here’s what everybody’s asking in the U.S. Open: how do you beat Serena Williams?

It was only a week ago when Simona Halep has given Williams the fight of her life, in the final of the Western & Southern Open. Even if Williams managed to emerge as a winner in the said tournament, Halep did well. Now, she is hoping to have another chance to play against the World No. 1.

It was Alize Cornet, who was seeded 27 on the US Open, that gave a good answer, “It is advisable to go on the courtroom and ‘know’ you’ll be able to win.”

If Williams win the tournament, she will be the first female Tennis player who will claim major titles – all four of them – in a whole year since Steffi Graf did in 1988.

Halep has only managed to beat Williams once out of the seven tournaments she had against the World No. 1. Still, the scoring in the many of these losses have been close, like the 6-0, 6-2 score victory in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals held in Singapore and had been presented by SC Global just last year. Well, it Williams’ equal-worst loss in her career in terms of games won.

“It was a great day for me, but it goes very fast,” Halep said. “I know she didn’t play her best that day. I know that I went on court and I had nothing to lose, and that I was just going to enjoy the time. And I played her early in the tournament, which is better than in a final, because in a final she gives everything. But it was still a great moment for me, and I believed – I still believe.”

Not surprisingly, Halep added that she would surely root for Williams if she (Halep) didn’t make it to the finals. “If I’m not in the finals, I want her to win. If I’m in the finals with her, then I want to win!”

Well, whoever make it to the finals – best of luck, ladies!

Rogers Cup update: Williams advances to semis

Top-ranked Serena Williams advances to Rogers Cup semi-finals on Friday night, after beating Italy’s Roberta Vinci, 6-4, 6-3. The 33-year-old Williams extended her Toronto-match win streak to fourteen, powering her way past to win with the aid of a dozen aces during the 78 minute match.

“I definitely feel more positive today. I don’t want to peak too soon.”

But first, there’s Bencic – Can Williams beat her?

“I had a day off and it really helped. The last couple of matches it was OK,” she said.

Williams has three-quarters of her service points. Also, five out of six break points were turned.

Simona Halep and Sara Errani will come head to head in the early match, while Serena Williams and Belinda Bencic will meet in the more popular evening match. The spectators are sure to get their money’s worth in that match! After the fall of the first of seven games to Radwanska, Halep has started to find her rhythm. She will face Italy’s Sara Errani, who defeated 6-4, 6-4 in another semi-final the Ukrainian qualifier Deserves Tsurenko.

“At the beginning I could not move my legs. I felt very tired,” said Halep. “I just kept focused on what I had to do and just tried to keep the ball in the court to make some longer rallies.”

Whatever she needed to do, she clearly did. You can see it not only in the final score, but in her drive throughout. Clearly, she wanted it more than the others.

Spotted: former tennis pro on a date with her long-time beau

Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias

They have been together for fourteen years already, but they’re more loved-up than ever, judging from Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias date of last night.

The forty-year-old singer and the thirty-four-year-old former Tennis pro were spotted at the Palm Restaurant in Beverly Hills for an apparent date night.

They’ve been together since 2001, when Kournikova starred in Iglesias’ Escape video, yet the couple looked just as smitten with each other as ever.

Kournikova looked particularly stunning although wearing a simple black tank, leggings and sky-high ankle boots while her long-time boyfriend opted for a zip-up and a pair of jeans. The former tennis pro was seen wearing a massive diamond solitaire ring with baguette and a huge diamond eternity band, fueling rumors that the couple may have already tied the knot.

Despite the rumors though, the couple were vocal in saying that they had no intention of getting married.

“I’ve never really thought marriage would make a difference,” Iglesias said in an interview with Parade Magazine back in 2012. “Maybe it’s because I come from divorced parents, but I don’t think you love someone more because of a piece of paper.”

His lady-love is obviously on the same page, telling Women’s Health back in 2011, that as long as she’s in a happy relationship, it’s all that matters.

The couple are no stranger to break-up as they’ve been plagued with split rumors back in 2013. Two years later and they’re still together.

It was only last year that Enrique admitted that Kournikova haven’t met his famous father Julio Iglesias yet.

Well, the singer told Billboard magazine that it’s neither his or his dad’s fault as he felt that the last 14-15 years of his life have flown by.