defending champion

This tag is associated with 6 posts

Magnifique Novak Djokovic wins battle royale, US Open title


2009 US Open

Magnifique.

In a veritable slugfest lasting a little over four hours, Novak Djokovic trumped the defending champion Rafael Nadal—6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1—at Flushing Meadows on Monday, Sept. 12,  2011.

The No.1 seed had an answer for everything the Mallorcan threw at him—from his top-spin forehands, ripped backhands, deceptive serves and breaks of service.

If Nadal would break the Djoker’s service, Djokovic would come roaring right back with his incisive return of serve. The Spaniard was outlasted, out-rallied and outplayed by the Serb on his own terms—from the baseline.

The US Open is his fourth major and leaves only the French Open to complete a career Slam.

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Otto the German Shepherd puzzles over the US Open


A German Shepherd Dog.

My dog, Otto the German Shepherd, is nonplussed.

“Who do you think will win the men’s US Open title this year?”, he barks at me.

I am none-too-pleased at being drawn from my morning cuppa while catching up on the funnies in the paper.

“Why do you want to know?” I growl back.

“I need to know because I need to know.” replies Otto.

“Your guess is as good as mine.” I respond.

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Underwear, one-way streets and Central European champions


Novak Djokovic during the 2008 Tennis Masters ...

“Bjorn Loves John”—that’s what will be emblazoned on Bjorn Borg’s new line of underwear.

Mac the Mouth disclosed that he has donned the Borg name under his pants for the past 10 years. Now, he has a chance to get his own back.

The former champs are serious.

But John, why wear those undies beneath your clothes? Wear them over  like a modern-day superhero where those labels are visible to all and sundry.

A better idea would be for Bjorn to launch a special edition of ‘Borg loves Nadal’ when the Spaniard equals Bjorn’s record of 11 majors.

For a man who is immensely flattered to be compared to the inimitable Swede, there could be no bigger compliment.

But then, Armani might not be too happy about it.

For now, it’s merely a Perfect 10’  for the Mallorcan.

Rafael Nadal was on his way to a third Wimbledon title and his 11th major, until he turned into a one-way path—‘Djokovic Street’. Unfortunately, traffic was not flowing his way.

The Serbian knocked out the defending champion in four sets, a thorough demolition of the man who would be ‘GOAT’. Is there a chance that we might soon be saying the same of Nadal, that he is the best ever except he was not the best of his generation?

That’s assuming the Djoker can sustain his spell of excellence and attain a stranglehold over his senior—by a year.

We shall see.

Did you know?

Petra Kvitova is the first Czech woman since Jana Novotna—in 1998—to win Wimbledon.

Jan Kodes was the last Czech man to triumph at Wimbledon in 1973 representing the erstwhile Czechoslovakia.

Novak Djokovic is the first Serbian to win the men’s title. He is the first man from a Central European country to win the title since Croatian Goran Ivanisevic in 2001.

No Central European ‘pair’ have lifted the singles title in the same year.


Quote of the day:
In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite. – Paul Dirac

French Open 2011: Top four seeds match wits in men’s draw


Rafael Nadal

“The hunter has become the hunted”

Novak Djokovic has his sights lined up on his third major and the No.1 ranking at the French Open. Barring his path to the final is Roger Federer, holder of 16 Grand Slams.

The duo fought it out at the semis at the last two majors, with Djokovic mastering his erstwhile conqueror. This year, Federer is content to lurk in the shadows while the top two seeds battle it out for the premier ranking in men’s tennis.

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Rafael Nadal: What he said, really meant and definitely did not


Rafael Nadal against Nicolás Almagro in the 20...

What he said:

“I’m not playing well enough to win this tournament.”

Defending champion Rafael Nadal feels a bit off-key as gets into the final stretch of the French Open.

What he really meant:

“But then, so are six others. It’s all relative.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Oh what’s winning got to do, got to do with it
What’s winning but a second hand emotion
What’s winning got to do, got to do with it
Who needs one more French Open
When my legs are creaky and broken.”

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Tennis Bytes:Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi triumph in Chennai and other stories


Leander Paes (the lauda) and his former double...

Image via Wikipedia

Mahesh Bhupathi and Leander Paes have done it again.

The Indian Express triumphed at the 2011 Aircel Chennai Open subduing the Dutch-American pair of Robin Hasse and David Martin 6-2, 6-7 (3), 10-7.

The Chennai tourney has Indian champions once more. This is the first time since 2002 that an Indian pair have inscribed their names on the trophy. It was the duo of Bhupathi and Paes who claimed it then as well.

Somdev Devvarman came close in 2009, losing to Marin Cilic in the final.

It was fitting that the duo came together in the sweltering environs of the South Indian city that boasts the best-known tennis families in India—the Krishnans and the Amritrajs, to clinch their first title this year.

Sceptics felt  that the two would find it difficult to reprise their form of the late 90s and early oo’s, given their aging bodies and slower reflexes.

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