This tag is associated with 11 posts

All-Williams and Fedal: Stuff of dreams, embellishment of legends

Would you have believed it, dreamt it, envisioned it? Yet, we can savour it—the stuff of dreams, the embellishments of legends—another glorious chapter in the annals of tennis history.

A fitting ending to two momentous occasions—nostalgic yet novel.

An all-Williams final that culminated in Serena’s 23rd singles Grand Slam win and a Fedal encounter lasting a pulsating five sets that saw Federer reverse his hoodoo against his younger opponent Nadal equalling Jack Nicklaus’ golfing record of 18 Slams.

Roger ‘Tiger’ Federer, take a bow while Serena pirouettes with her trophy.

Vamos, Rafa, see you at Roland Garros, hopefully biting into the silverware.

Martina Navratilova: What she said, really meant and definitely did not

Martina Navrátilová 

What she said:

“It’s the way the game is played now. The two hander will rule, no doubt in my mind. Unfortunately, it’s a beautiful thing that’s kind of passe.”

Martina Navratilova agrees that as the game progresses it becomes harder and harder for a player with a single-handed backhand to triumph against two-handed backhand players.

What she really meant:

“A single-handed backhand player? Soon to be extinct—a museum for him or her, perhaps?”

What she definitely didn’t:

“Federer still rules.”

Roger Federer versus Rafael Nadal, Interloper Novak Djokovic

Novak Đoković (Djokovic) hits a volley during ...

Just one Grand Slam final in over two years between the giants that straddle the men’s circuit. Yet fans and critics alike are terming it a revival of the Fedal rivalry.

Is it, really?

It cannot be much of a competition if the duo have faced off just once in the last eight Slams.

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French Open 2011: A realm of possibilities in the women’s section

Svetlana Kuznetsova at 2009 Sony Ericsson Open...

No Kim Clijsters, no Caroline Wozniacki, no Samantha Stosur.

The women’s round of 16 has a threadbare appearance.

Three big upsets in the first week tells a tale of the unpredictability visited on the WTA tour—absent the Williams sisters.

Fans are so used to seeing Serena Williams perched atop the rankings that they failed to note the depth in the lower rungs.

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Novak Djokovic discovers his clay legs in Madrid against Nadal

Novak Djokovic playing at the 2008 Rogers Cup

Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-4 at the Madrid Masters on May 8, 2011.

Was it expected?

Yes and no.

Yes, because Nole is on an unbeaten streak, second only to McEnroe’s 42 in 1984.

No, because it was in Spain, on clay and against Rafael Nadal.

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Rafael Nadal endorsed by John McEnroe and Andy Murray: An Anticipated Retort

Roger Federer receives Rafael Nadal's serve du...

Image via Wikipedia

Rafael Nadal has been endorsed twice in the past few days.

John McEnroe has gone on record terming him the best athlete among the current lot of players; probably as good as his contemporary, Bjorn Borg.

He has rated him above Federer in that respect.

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Soderling clinches Paris Masters in style: Heartbreak for Monfils again

PARIS - NOVEMBER 13: Robin Soderling of Sweden in action against Michael Llodra of France in the semi-final during Day Seven of the ATP Masters Series Paris at the Palais Omnisports on November 13, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Soderling takes home the Paris Masters for the first time.

Monfils could not use the momentum of the crowd to make inroads into the Swede’s game.

The first set was an one-sided affair with the tall Nordic breaking twice to take the set 6-1.

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Soderling hangs tough to oust Llodra,Federer capitulates to Monfils

Robin Soderling of Sweden celebrates after defeating Michael Llodra of France during their Paris Masters tennis tournament semi-final match, November 13, 2010. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (FRANCE - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

It will be Robin Soderling versus Gael Monfils this Sunday at the Paris Masters but not before both protagonists overcame hiccups en route to the final.

The first semi featured Michael Llodra—on a hot streak—against Swede Soderling.

The initial set went with serve 6-6. And it was Llodra—playing with the foot pressed to the accelerator—who romped home 7-0 in the tie-break.

That served as a wake-up call to Soderling who started to find his feet in the second, hitting his returns nice and deep. But it was all bazookas and Llodra’s brilliance until 5-5.

Soderling broke Llodra to go up 6-5 and then served out the set to make it 1-1.

Scintillating tennis continued with Llodra negating an early break to come roaring back into the match in the third set.

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Tennis bids farewell to Elena Dementieva : Has the romance faded?

DOHA, QATAR - OCTOBER 29: Elena Dementieva (C) of Russia, flanked by her mother Vera Dementieva (L) and Vera Zvonareva of Russia, receives a standing ovation at a ceremony to announce her retirement after her match against Francesca Schiavone during day four of the WTA Championships at the Khalifa Tennis Complex on October 29, 2010 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

The retirement of Elena Dementieva comes as a bit of a shock and surprise to her many fans. She was one Russian player who always seemed on the cusp of usurping a Grand Slam but just could not pull it off. She came close twice—each time losing to her fellow Russian contemporaries,  Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Myskina.

Elena does have the consolation of winning a Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Elena, how could you disappoint us so?

Elena Dementieva spent fourteen long years on the tour. Can the younger lot match up? What if success does not come that easy? Are they willing to struggle the way Elena did and the way Sharapova is right now?

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Rafael Nadal: How Our Disbelief Obliterates His Many Achievements

Rafael Nadal of Spain, winner of the 2010 U.S. Open tennis tournament, poses with the trophy at Times Square in New York, September 14, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)

Now that Rafael Nadal has staked his claim to being the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), let us examine the reasons why tennis aficionados are still leery of anointing him the heir to  Federer’s not yet vacated throne.

Is it that he is a Spaniard not too familiar with the nuances of the English language?

Is it that he does not typify the usual tennis player? Is it that he appears to be a muscle-bound hulk?

Is it that he’s built more like a boxer or a sprinter?

Is that what blinds us to his ever improving court craft?

Or are we just peeved with the alleged illegal coaching by his Uncle Toni from the sidelines?

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