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Saturday, 11 January 2014

Heartbreaks & smiles - 5 best Rafael Nadal matches at Australian Open


A few days ago, Star Sports showed the highlights of Australian Open 2009 and for those who missed that tournament, like I did, even such bits and pieces is godsend. So while I was glued on to the television screen, watching Rafael Nadal conquering all odds and crushing the spirits of Fernando Verdasco and Roger Federer en route of clinching his first ever Australian Open trophy, my mind went back to some of the best matches in Melbourne, featuring Nadal. Some he won, some he lost - but these matches still stay fresh in the memories. 

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Australian Open 2014 and a few musings

Australian-Open-2014-trophies
There was a time when I used to avoid hard court season like plague. In those days, for me tennis began with European clay court season and ended on the picture perfect grass courts of Wimbledon. The reason behind this strange dislike is obvious, as during that time Rafael Nadal (my favorite player) was struggling on hard courts, and people began to write him off as a one-court wonder. But one match changed it all for me - and it was the grueling Australian Open semifinal between Nadal and Fernando Verdasco in 2009. After that marathon match there was another epic in store - a tear-jerking final against the great Roger Federer, and the rest is history. With the 2009 title, Rafa went on to rewrite tennis history books. So thanks to Rafa and Australian Open 2009, my interest in hard court tennis was rekindled. Now, I am putting a sudden break to my Nadal fan story and heading straight over to the post.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Fab Five of Indian cricket – now a distant memory

Sachin-Dravid-Ganguly-Laxman-Kumble
The Fabulous Five of Indian cricket – Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, V.V.S Laxman and Anil Kumble will always be a part of our cricketing legends, inspiring people of all ages. Their nonpareil battling / bowling performance and conduct on-field as well as off-field are etched in every cricket lover’s mind.

But after the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar, the only active international player from this group, I felt like this was the end of Fab Five. Yes, I know that the sentence is misleading, as they are still active on other cricket related programs, including commentary, analysis and writing. But for me it is not the same as like watching them thwarting other teams or battling together to save the team from crushing defeats.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Conquering the final frontier – Andy Murray wins Wimbledon

It was not a great match that can be elevated to a classic status. But for a nation waiting to see their own Wimbledon winner for the past 77 years, it was pure classic fit for the Wimbledon folklores. The moment Novak Djokovic’s backhand hit the net cord, the collective gasps of spectators were released and the whole arena erupted with joy. Andy Murray just translated their dreams into reality. He won Wimbledon 2013 by defeating Novak Djokovic, 6-4,7-5,6-4.

The euphoric scenes that had followed just showed as how much this win meant for Murray, his team and the crowds. The whole stadium along with those crowded in Murray Mound and Henman Hill exploded with cheers. The celebrities in the Royal Box were also exuberant  – from the beaming Gerald Butler, grinning Victoria Beckham, smiling Ivan Lendl and  to whistling Kim Sears. Even the Wimbledon announcers didn’t try to contain their delight.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The art of predicting the unpredictable in grand slams

                                         
“Wimbledon is coming up and who do you think will be the champion?” This can be the looming question in every ardent tennis fan’s mind. Like Wimbledon, other grand slams and masters events are also eagerly awaited and we all possess that lingering curiosity to know more about the potential winners of the tournament.

The answers for such queries can be found through different ways – closely following the matches and by watching and browsing tennis websites, blogs and news channels.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

End of an era in tennis? Hardly so!

Like every other sport, tennis is a game of victories and defeats, of adulations and brickbats. Stringent comments and media scrutiny of the game are also a part of the professional career of a tennis player. Even the greats are not an exception of that rule, including the great Roger Federer.

Roger Federer’s grand slam record in 2013 reads like this, Australian Open semi-final – lost to Andy Murray, French Open quarter-final – lost to Joe Wilfred Tsonga and Wimbledon second round – lost to Sergiy Stakhovsky.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

A day when top seeds tumbled out of Wimbledon

As if the shocking exit of Rafael Nadal on day 1 was not enough, grass courts of SW19 had more terrible surprises in store. Injuries, withdrawals, upsets – Wimbledon day 3 turned out to be a graveyard of top seeds. A routine day of grass court tennis turned out to be a terrible one for the fans and players. It was literally carnage on grass, with stars falling off like flies and going out in a jiffy. The list of causalities is long, and includes some of the top names in tennis.

Here is how the terrible Wednesday unfolded.