Leading Off

June 16, 2014
TWO PHOTOSPHOTOGRAPHS BY BOB MARTIN FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDFrench Restoration Roland Garros, eponym of the French Open venue, was a World War I fighter pilot but not much of a tennis player. Still, the propeller of his plane—displayed on the grounds—is emblazoned with words that, a century later, are a fitting motto for the 2014 tournament: "Victory belongs to the most tenacious." Clay-court tennis is less about talent than toil and trouble, pressure and persistence. In each of her last four matches in Paris, Russia's Maria Sharapova (inset) was pushed to a third set. No matter. She won her second title in three years, outfighting the opposition and raising her game when the situation called for it. On the men's side, Spain's Rafael Nadal won his record ninth title, mostly with a fortnight of dirty work. He bushwhacked his way through seven matches, including a four-set defeat of rival Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final. Nadal's reign as history's best clay-court player continues; one Spanish king's abdication was enough last week. PHOTOPHOTOGRAPH BY BILL FRAKES SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDChrome Uncrowned For the 13th time in 36 years, a horse came to Belmont Park with a chance to become history's 12th Triple Crown winner. And for the 13th time in 36 years, that horse came up short. Kentucky Derby and Preakness champ California Chrome, ridden by Victor Espinoza (purple silks), finished in a dead heat for fourth behind winner Tonalist. Commissioner, who took the lead at the start but relinquished it down the stretch, came in second, and Medal Count was third. Chrome may have been hurt (his right front foot was stepped on after he left the gate), bothered by mud kicked up by his peers, or just fatigued in running the longest race of his career to end a grueling five-week campaign. But his finish, 1¾ lengths back of the winner, is testament to this undeniable racing truth: It's hard to win the Triple Crown. PHOTOBILL SMITH FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATEDDon Zimmer (1931--2014) Sixty-six of his 83 years on Earth were spent in baseball—that's a .795 mark for you sabermetricians. But numbers don't tell the story of Don Zimmer, who died last week (page 68). If not always a prime participant in events—though he was named NL Manager of the Year after leading the Cubs to the NL East title in 1989—he seemed to be everywhere: (insets, clockwise from top left) campaigning in 1957 with teammate Pee Wee Reese to keep his first club, the Dodgers, in Brooklyn; getting pointers from Ted Williams in 1978; feeding balls to Rockies hitters in 1993; managing the Padres in 1972; getting close to Marlins manager Jim Leyland in 1997; throwing out the Yankees' Yogi Berra during the 1955 World Series; heading the Rangers when some players (Larry Parrish and Doc Medich) were embarrassed by the team's slow start in 1982; warming the bench with Yogi in 2002; playing third for the 1962 Mets; and chatting with Evan Longoria while with the Rays in 2008. PHOTODAVE TENENBAUM/AP[See caption above]
PHOTOV.J. LOVERO FOR SI[See caption above] PHOTOLONG PHOTOGRAPHY FOR SI[See caption above] PHOTOBOB ROSATO FOR SI[See caption above] PHOTOMARK KAUFFMAN/SI[See caption above] PHOTORON HEFLIN/AP[See caption above] PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON/SI[See caption above] PHOTOHERB SCHARFMAN FOR SI[See caption above] PHOTOAL TIELEMANS/SI[See caption above] PHOTOBETTMANN/CORBIS[See caption above]

Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)