Midweek Bulletin - Tennis And Hockey, Stephen Jenness and Djoky

So Novak Djokovic did the unthinkable and defeated Roger Federer in the final of the US Open ... alright alright, it's not quite unthinkable that Federer would lose another final. Djokovic obviously goes alright at this tennis thing which only reminded me just how lucky we are to be enjoying three of the all-time greats at the same time. 

Perhaps Federer isn't at his peak anymore and at 34 years old, many people would rather discuss Federer's retirement than celebrate the fact that he has made two Grand Slam finals this year. I reckon it's a pretty fair effort for Federer to still be one of the best in the world at his age, but it's understandable that the hasn't been able to win a final in recent times as Djokovic at 28 years old is certainly in his prime.

Rafael Nadal hasn't won a Slam since the 2014 French Open but he's only a year older than Djokovic so there's still plenty of time left for Nadal to add to his 14 Slam wins. Djokovic is currently the best of the trio as he's won three Slams this year with his only loss of coming in the final of the French Open against Stan Wawrinka. 

Djokovic is the best right now, but he's only got 10 Grand Slam wins (only - lol). Nadal has 14 while Federer has 17. Djokovic is also understandably behind the other two in career titles as he's played less tennis. Djokovic has 55 titles, Nadal's got 67 and Federer has 87 titles which puts all three in the career titles top 10 during the 'Open Era'.

We've been able to sit back and enjoy these three great tennis players for almost a decade and I don't see it stopping which is fine by me. They each have their own narrative - Federer's trying to keep up, Nadal has to bounce back and Djokovic is chasing them both down so if you haven't picked a favourite, then do so and ride that bandwagon all the way home because we've still got a few years left.

......Or you could support Andy Murray who has 35 career titles and two Grand Slam wins.

After a day off yesterday, the National Hockey League will fire back into gear today with two more days of pool-play ahead of us before we're graced with knockout hockey. On the men's side of the draw, Auckland are six points clear after going undefeated in five games but they face a few tricky games today and tomorrow. Today the Auckland men will take on Capital who sit in second place with one loss and a shootout loss and they're led by Black Stick Stephen Jenness who is the leading goal-scorer with five goals.

The Southern Dogs will be eyeing an upset win over the Jaffas on Thursday, in what will be a crucial game for the Dogs as they currently sit in fourth place and will need to finish in fourth to make the semi-finals. Midlands and Canterbury are hot on their heals to qualify in fourth but Midlands still have to play North Harbour (third) and Capital so that could open the door for Canterbury to sneak in to the semi's as they will pretty much be guaranteed a win over Northland today and could upset Harbour tomorrow.

While the Auckland men are dominating the men's side, the Auckland women currently sit in fifth spot. The Auckland ladies are however nicely poised to make a run into the semi-finals as they are on 12 points along with Midlands (third) and Harbour (fourth), especially as their last two games are against Capital and Southern who are already out of semi-final contention.

Today we've got a top of the table clash between Northland and Canterbury who look to be the two best teams in this year's competition. Northland are led by Black Stick Stacey Michelsen who, along with Anna Thorpe are their top goal-scorers with three goals. Thursday's game between Canterbury and North Harbour will also be important as Harbour will need a win against the second placed Cantabrians to ensure that they make the semi-finals.

Keep an eye on Midlands women, who are in third and have plenty of quality with Gemma Flynn leading all goal-scorers with five and key Black Sticks Samantha Charlton and Rosie Keddell doing the work in behind. They'll play Harbour today and Capital tomorrow, from which they should definitely get a win against Capital. 

Friday will be a perfect time to touch base with the NHL again because we'll know who's in the semi-finals on Saturday.

The Hayne plane took off yesterday afternoon and I've gotta admit that it was pretty damn cool to see Hayne kickin' it in the NFL. The constant/stupid All Blacks stories this week have only been surpassed by Hayne dominating Australian media which has been weird to see as the Aussies either credit the NRL for all Hayne's glory or they low key talk shit about the NFL. 

The Arctic Monkeys once said "don't believe the hype" but in Hayne's case the hype is real. However, it's going to be interesting to see how the Hayne-hype heats up or drops off as the week to week grind gets underway and other major events like the NRL Finals and Rugby World Cup reach a climax. The Wildcard's all over Hayne though, so if you're on Twitter and can't be fucked watching NFL just tune in to the Wildcard's thoughts; he mixes NFL knowledge with common sense.

Cool yarn here about young English footballers taking a different path to profession football. It sounds pretty sweet - go to college in America, earn a pro contract and bang Sydney Leroux #SignMeUp.

Champions League football, it's cool and here's some bits and pieces.