Posts Tagged 'Federer'

Tendulkar, Federer and the pull of love

The two careers have much in common. Both are global icons who transcend their sport. Within cricket and tennis they are regarded as the most complete players of their generation. At their best, both have touched a kind of serenity that is beyond the imagination, let alone the ability, of even very good players. Both have avoided controversy. They have little left to prove to anyone.

But I suspect the deepest pull of all is love. Love of the peace that comes with total concentration; love of the craft and the discipline of routine and practice; love of defining and controlling events; love of nervous excitement; love of winning; love of mastery; love of the stage.

via Ed Smith: Tendulkar and the pull of love | Cricinfo Magazine | ESPN Cricinfo.


Roland Garros, bulleted.

Few thoughts on the French Open…

  • Time is such a rare commodity these days that I took nearly 3-4 days to realize that French Open had started.
  • Was wishing for a Nadal-Federer cracker, got the wish 🙂 Got to see exceptional tennis from the two masters.
  • Djoker was blown away in the SF. Federer was majestic in that match, seemed to me he was intent on taking revenge for the Aus Open SF loss to him.
  • Earlier there was Fed, Nadal, daylight, others. Now it is Nadal, Fed, Djoker, daylight, others. Murray is still no match for the top three.
  • While I’ve always been a Nadal supporter, I’ve no doubt that Federer is the best player of all times; it is just that even though he is the best, Nadal is almost always better than him 🙂
  • And while I’m talking about Federer-Nadal rivalry, this article is a must read: How did Rafael Nadal humble the great Roger Federer. Bear in mind it is a two year old article.
  • It was good to see Li Na cross the final hurdle. Was rooting for her in the Aus Open, but Clijsters had been a better player that day.
  • Can someone tell me how is Caroline Wozniacki still the world number 1? Guess it is akin to SA getting the top ODI/test rankings despite not winning any major tournament. Consistency is rewarded…

It is so easy to write a post in the form of bullet points 🙂

Tennis Time

Last week was spent in watching the Australian Open anytime I could, else listening to commentary if possible. And surprisingly this year, I enjoyed the Women’s matches far more than the Men’s Singles (talking about only the QF, SF and Finals). Only one match among the Men’s draw was thrilling to watch – Federer vs Joker was an awesome match. Apart from that this tournament I preferred watching Li Na and Clijsters play some awesome tennis.

It was bad that Li Na lost in the Finals but at least, Kim Clijsters won a hard fought match. All the three sets were equally watchable, and thrilling – both of them produced exceptional tennis regularly. After a long time – post the Serena and Venus era – there were some other players who were playing awesome tennis. Caroline Wozniacki played wonderfully till the semis and then she lost her cool in a pressure match – how can she justify being the world number 1?

I was looking forward to the Men’s Final but it was a letdown. Novak Djokovic was playing a game that reminded me of the way Federer used to toy with his opponents before crushing them. I did not even feel Murray turned up for the Final, rather he sent a clone of his who played passable tennis. There were flashes of brilliance from Murray, but one cannot win a Championship with just a few flashes – there has to be sustained brilliance which was produced by Novak Djokovic. I enjoyed his defensive tennis, when he would be running from one corner to another and then out of nowhere would produce either an exceptional lob or a sizzling cross-court winner while off-balance.

I was hoping for a Rafa-Fed encore, but I think that can wait till Wimbledon 🙂 This Australian Open was only the 3rd in last 24 Grand Slams that has not been won by either Federer or Nadal – that is an exceptional statistic! And not a good read for players ranked 3 or more.

A Perfect Weekend

French Open, Euro-2008, and the Canadian Grand Prix! What more could you ask for?

I have always been anti-Federer; the way he demolishes every player on any surface other then clay – has made me anti-Federer. But yesterday I seriously pitied him, he has humiliated by Nadal in the French Open Final. Almost everybody knew that Federer would lose to Nadal on clay court, but nobody would have expected him to lose a set 6-0! It was not as if Nadal was playing on some other level, he was playing his natural game, but Federer’s game was pathetic. Why would Federer want to play a volley from the baseline when Nadal had hit a rasping return on Federer’s weak second serve? Gael Monfils, after losing the semi-final to Federer, had said, “But those are not dropshots. I don’t know what they are, but these are not dropshots. His balls were not bouncing up at all. They had a spin effect. I’ll ask him to explain to me, because I don’t know what these were.” Yesterday on more then one occasion Federer’s attempted drop shots did not even clear the net. I feel he peaked at the semi-final stage and had no fuel left for the final. Come on Federer, I expected more of a fight from you!

Ivanovic defeated Safina in straight sets, but that was an amazing match. The quality of play in the Ladies Final was worthy of a final – ok it was not the Steffi Graf, Navratilova quality, there were lots of nervous moments – but both being first time finalists with both vying for their first Grand Slam title, that was normal. The latter stages of the second set had some high quality rallies. Safina fought hard, but Ivanovic was a worthy winner.

F**k you Hamilton! You were on the verge of becoming the F1 champion last year, and you do not know how to drive in the pit-lane, you don’t know what the pit-lane rules are when there is a safety car out! You screwed your race, fine – not a problem, but why did you have to screw Kimi’s race 😡 … Anyway, this threw up a new champion – Robert Kubica… Since last year he is the guy I root for after the two Ferraris 🙂 He had a flawless race, especially the segment between the laps where he made his first and second pit-stop. He was just 11 seconds ahead of Heidfeld (who was on a 1-stop strategy) when he returned to the track after first pit-stop, and he had opened a big enough gap before he made his second pit-stop – awesome! Massa was great to get to 5th spot after being 18th at one stage, some of the overtaking maneuvers he pulled out were just unbelievable; but I feel Massa is a good driver when he is in a hopeless situation. Rarely have I seen him get to top after starting from second or third row. His strength is his Ferrari, not his driving skills – Kimi, Hamilton, Alonso, and maybe Kubica too are much better drivers then he is. Next year, I’d love to see Kubica starting in a Ferrari. He will surely kick some ass 😀

Euro-2008 has kicked off, and there have been good matches, and some boring matches. For me the best till now was yesterday night’s Germany vs Poland. The Gomez pass to Klose that set up the Podolski’s first goal was perfect. Hoping for more high class stuff in the coming days 🙂

By the way, the Ind-Pak-Ban tri-series has started. Came to know of that when I opened Cricinfo today morning 😛

Meet the Blogger…

I write! Topic does not matter, can be my life, or my travels, or any match I saw, or the Hyderabadi life, or reminiscing about Raipur, or penning Short Stories & 55s.

I can be contacted at kunalblogs[at]gmail[dot]com.

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