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challengers

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Wimbledon 2011: A tale of four finalists


Maria Sharapova – Wimbledon 2009

Two finals. Four finalists.

Two have won Wimbledon before. Two have not.

Three of the four are 25 or nearabouts. The fourth is 21.

The 25-year-olds have 15 majors between them. The fourth has none.

The 24-year-olds have 15 majors between them. The fourth has none.

Three insiders , so to speak. One palpable outsider.

The three champions’s names are B/R keywords. Petra Kvitova’s is not.

The former champions are favourites in their respective match-ups. One more than the other.

Their challengers are similar, yet different.

Novak Djokovic is the World No.1. ATP rankings on Monday will reflect his new status.

For Czech Petra Kvitova, it is her first major final. She reached the semis last year.

The Djoker has a better chance of upsetting the odds and dethroning current champion, Rafael Nadal.

Kvitova, however, can only hope that Maria Sharapova will leave her A-game in the locker room to stand a chance of clinching her first ever major.

Sharapova has not dropped a set in her march to the finals.

Rafael Nadal has not been as dominant but he is yet a formidable force.

Novak Djokovic regained the momentum of his 41 match unbeaten streak.

To lose just once, this year, a loss to Roger Federer in the French Open semi-final takes some doing.

Knocking over the Majorcan in a Wimbledon final will require some more mojo.

If anyone can dismantle the Spaniard, it is the Serb.

An old champion in the women’s draw is predicted; a second Wimbledon title for Maria Sharapova beckons.

The stage is set. Let play commence.

What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure.

Samuel Johnson

Source: http://quotes4all.net/quote_917.html

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Chris Gayle’s travails highlight ‘club vs country’ debate once more


Chris Gayle on the field at the Telstra Dome d...

What will Chris Gayle do? What can he do?

The West Indian bat is not forgiven by the West Indian Cricket Board (WICB).

“It’s our way or the highway” was the message to the Jamaican all-rounder in the latest meet between representatives of the WICB and the West Indian Players Association (WIPA) called to resolve the differences between Chris Gayle and WICB.

The aggrieved board insists that Gayle retract his statements,critical of the board’s functioning specifically about mishandling his injury and his turning out for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the  IPL.

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Ten reasons why IPL IV failed to capture hearts, minds and wallets


A photo of a match between Chennai SuperKings ...

It was to be bigger,better, grander.

However, it has not worked out that way—for IPL 2011.

Television viewer’s interest plummeted, ticket sales tapered off and there was a jaded, sleazy feeling to the largest sporting extravaganza on the Indian sub-continent.

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What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t: Sidhartha Mallya


IPL logo

What he said:

“If you take away the cheergirls, the after-match parties, etc, then there will be no difference between an IPL match and a Ranji Trophy or a Duleep Trophy match.”

Sidhartha Mallya, the prince of Good Times, comments on the recent cheerleaders’ controversy.

What he really meant:

“Glamour, girls and Gayle, that’s what the IPL is all about.”

What  he definitely didn’t:

“Take away the cricketers and we’ll still have an IPL.”

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IPL: Into the play-offs, into the night


The suspense has ended.IPL play-offs have been decided.

Super  Sunday will repeat itself in two instalments on the 24th and 25th of May, 2011 at the Wankhede.

It’ll be the Royal Challengers Bangalore versus Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier.

Mumbai Indians and Kolkatta Knight Riders will clash once more on Wednesday in the eliminator.

The Eliminator? Sounds like a wrestling tie to me.

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Mumbai Indians face possible relegation from IPL play-offs


Sachin Tendulkar fielding at Adelaide Oval

Mumbai Indians crashed to their third defeat in a row. Shane Warne had the last laugh in the clash of titans.

Surprising how the side that looked so consistent and formidable at the start of the tournament is suddenly found wanting on slower pitches. The first three seasons witnessed the team heavily dependent on the genius of Sachin Tendulkar and to a lesser extent, Sanath Jayasuriya’s.Kieron Pollard’s bludgeoning club added heft.

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Shane Warne’s comeuppance: Who the blazes is Sanjay Dixit?


Rajasthan Royals

Who the blazes is Sanjay Dixit?

Very few cricket fans could have bothered to discover who Shane Warne’s bete-noire was.

Twittering masses have focused on heaping invective on the Rajasthan administrator for his role in making the legendary leg-spinner eat humble pie.

A hefty fine of $50,000 was slapped on the ace cricketer for losing his cool and terming the IAS officer“egotistic” and “a liar”.

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Adam Gilchrist rallies Kings XI Punjab to cusp of IPL play-offs


Kings XI Punjab

Royal Challengers Bangalore were brought down to earth by a double whammy of G-forces.

Adam Gilchrist came to the party exhibiting his prowess in a master-class of aggressive batting at the top of the order. In his previous 12 games he aggregated a mere 226 at a measly average of 18.33.

Combining with Shaun Marsh, the Australian great produced runs at will and with such abandon, that Virat Kohli—captaining in Daniel Vettori’s absence—was left flustered, flabbergasted and clueless.

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Rahul Gandhi and the SMS Pitch (Satire)


JAIPUR—

Sources within the Congress(I) and the BCCI have—in confidence—revealed that the real reason Rahul Gandhi is in police custody is because the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) is miffed with the Congress’ General Secretary and are considering charging him with damaging the Sawai Mansingh cricket pitch.

It is understood that Rahul Gandhi wished to get a feel for farming before he launched his campaign supporting UP farmers. He believed that doing some ‘fielding’ on his own would lend authenticity to the Congress’ support.

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Random thoughts on the IPL, Chris Gayle and Saurav Ganguly


Chris Gayle on the field at the Telstra Dome d...

Random thoughts on cricketing happenings last week:

The Sri Lanka Premier League, in my opinion, has a couple of advantages over the IPL.

  • It will have just seven teams.
  • It will last only 18 days.

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