This tag is associated with 7 posts

Magnifique Novak Djokovic wins battle royale, US Open title

2009 US Open


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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Roger Federer: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Roger Federer at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

What he said:

“I’d rather be 30 than 20, to be honest.”

Roger Federer celebrates his 30th birthday this month. He has no regrets as he gets older and is comfortable in his own skin.

What he really meant:

“I’m 30, not 20. Let’s face it, I can’t reverse Father Time. I just wish my competition was 30 as well.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Novak and Rafa are welcome to join me in cutting the cake.”

Kevin Pietersen: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Kevin Pietersen after training at Adelaide Oval

What he said:

“But we don’t hate the Indians, we are friends with them.”

Kevin Pietersen—in his column—emphasises that his team enjoys a friendly rivalry with the Indian cricket team.

What he really meant:

“Of course, we’re pals. RCB, IPL, Vijay Mallya, cheerleaders—our common interests.And cricket, of course.”


What he definitely didn’t:

“Bamboozle me, Yuvi.”

Nick Bollettieri: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

Nick Bollettieri at the 2006 US Open doing a t...

What he said:

“I can tell you one thing, Nadal doesn’t burn the candle at two ends.”

Nick Bollettieri, celebrated tennis coach, is convinced that a big reason for Rafael Nadal’s and Roger Federer’s continued success is dedication to the craft and very little off-court activities or late-night partying.

What he really meant:

“Nadal has a schedule and sticks to it. No half-measures in practice either.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I can tell you a million and one things, but do you want to hear them all?”

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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Federer Versus Nadal: The War Of The Report Cards

Wimbledon Men's final 2008, Federer serves for...

Image via Wikipedia

I have shied away from tackling the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) debate for some time because:

1> I think it’s been done to death.

2> It’s gotten to be tiresome; there’s little new under the sun to be said about the great Federer – Nadal rivalry.

3> It’s the season end and just as the players will be taking a well-deserved break , so should B/R writers take a rest from this acrimonious topic.

4> I feel the other players deserve some space and time devoted to them.

But since there seems to be no abatement of interest in the subject , I will have another dekko at the risk of seeming repetitive.

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Very, Very Special Laxman does an encore

On Laxman

Cometh the hour, cometh the man!

How trite it sounds, how repetitive , how boring.

But there is nothing trite about VVS Laxman,nothing monotonous and his sublime touch has cricket fans transfixed and spellbound.

He has always seemed the bridesmaid,never the bride.

Even though he has that very,very special 281 and that blinding, blistering 167, both against the Aussies, one at Kolkata, the other at Sydney in 2000 when he opened the innings at the outset of his career.The 167 denotes a period when the selectors persisted and insisted that he take up the opener’s role.

This at a time when although the Indian team had a multitude of contenders to the middle order , finding a regular opener to see off the new ball was an exercise in futility. Laxman, however, put his foot down and signaled his intention to stake a place in the middle or not play at all. For a lesser light it would have meant a premature eclipse to a budding career, but neither Laxman nor his claim to greatness could be denied, would be denied.

The 2001 home series against the Aussies cemented his place in the pantheon of cricketing greats. Laxman will always be identified by that defining, unbelievable, edifying knock against an Aussie side that seemed nigh invincible.

Steve Waugh’s kangaroos were made to bleed from a thousand cuts by a cavalier Laxman; the Eden loss also ended the Australian team’s run of sixteen victories on the trot. Interestingly, Australia’s world record of sixteen consecutive victories , was ended by India twice over. There really is something about an Aussie-India series; it brings out the best and sometimes the worst in both sides. A rivalry to match and perhaps surpass the Ashes.

Quote of the day:
Saying what we think gives us a wider conversational range than saying what we know. – Cullen Hightower

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