This tag is associated with 8 posts

Will Roger Federer continue his descent from the totem pole?

Roger Federer - Australian Open 2009

Roger Federer won his last major in January 2010 in Melbourne at the Australian Open.

The six majors that followed were divided among two bionic contestants, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard claimed four, the Serb two.

Has the Swiss truly fallen by the wayside?

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‘Red, Red Clay’ by Francesca Schiavone and Li Na

Red Red Wine 

Li Na finally won her first major at the ripe, old age of 29.

Francesca Schiavone’s hopes of defending her 2010 title were dashed by the daughter of a former badminton player. Li Na was told to switchover to tennis at eight by her coach. 

If there is a theme song for  the two unlikely protagonists in yet another fairy-tale ending at Roland Garros, it can only be ‘Red Red Clay’, a modified version of UB40’s ‘Red Red Wine’.

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Novak Djokovic: What he said, really meant and definitely did not

српски / srpski: Новак Ђоковић на балкону Скуп...

What he said:

"It was best five months of my life."

Novak Djokovic comments on his 43-match winning streak after losing to Roger Federer in the French Open semis.

What he really meant:

“It was the best five months of my life.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“It was the worst five months of my life.”

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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Tennis Bytes: Wozniacki stays No. 1

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark reacts to her win over Francesca Schiavone of Italy during their WTA Tour Championships tennis match in Doha October 28, 2010. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad (QATAR - Tags: SPORT TENNIS IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Caroline Wozniacki ensured that she retained her No. 1 ranking for the year by winning her first match at the WTA Doha championships.

She beat Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in three sets.

Vera Zvonareva stays No. 2  behind the sizzling Dane.

It would have been interesting if Zvonareva had come through to be ranked No.1.

I wonder how many instances are there of two different players ranked No. 1 in the same year without ever having won a Grand Slam?

Any bets as to which of these two will clinch a Slam first?

Samantha Stosur lost to Elena Dementieva 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) in her third round robin match.

But her earlier victories against Wozniacki and Schiavone have propelled her into the semi-finals.

Clijsters, too, has made her way to the semis triumphing over Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 5-7, 6-1.

All Time No. 1s in Women’s Tennis

Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open.



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Can Samantha Stosur Go Far At The US Open?

NEW HAVEN, CT - AUGUST 26: Samantha Stosur of Australia returns a shot to Nadia Petrova of Russia during the Pilot Pen tennis tournament at the Connecticut Tennis Center on August 26, 2010 in New Haven, Connecticut. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Samantha Stosur cuts a striking, even imposing figure on court with her trademark baseball cap and dark shades.

She brings to the tennis court her unique persona and style.

She started out as a doubles player and was ranked No. 1 in the world with Lisa Raymond.

Samantha Stosur is the Australian No.1. She goes into the US Open ranked No. 5, her highest ranking ever at Flushing Meadows.

If 2009 marked the rebirth of Stosur in her singles avatar, 2010 confirmed her status as a challenger to beware of.

2009 saw her reach the French Open semis and 2010 saw her go one better reaching the finals only to cave in to an uninhibited Schiavone. Ironically, it was Schiavone she knocked out in the first round at the 2009 edition of the French Open.

2010 has been her best year ever on the WTA tour. Her career high-ranking of five has come on the back of her stupendous showing at the French Open. This period also includes seven successive quarter-final appearances, a record of sorts.

Quote of the day:
Any woman who thinks the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach is aiming about 10 inches too high. – Adrienne E. Gusoff

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Uruguay: Tainted? Yes. Defeated? Yes. Disgraced? No.

July 10, 2010 - Port Elizabeth, South Africa - epa02244246 Uruguay's Diego Forlan during the FIFA World Cup 2010 3rd place match between Uruguay and Germany at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 10 July 2010.

What if?

We could debate for hours, days, months, years , perhaps until the next World Cup in Brazil, but there can never be a definite answer to our perambulations, our speculations on what could have been. England fans will berate Sepp Blatter and other FIFA officials for not bowing to demands for the introduction of  Hawk-eye technology: Frank Lampard’s goal would have been allowed and a recharged, rejuvenated England side would surely have thumped Germany into submission. Or so they would have us believe.

Frank Lampard

Image via Wikipedia

What if Luis Suarez had not succumbed to his heart-felt instincts to prevent the Ghanaian goal, throwing his hands at the ball, to stop it from crossing the goal-line. I wonder if Suarez is a betting man. If so, he surely knew that the odds of saving a penalty kick were much better than expecting a magical tailwind to swerve the Jabulani ball away from the goal line and towards safety. Did that thought cross his mind?

His words describing the incident were something on the lines of Maradona’s Hand Of God. Funny how Maradona gets quoted by all the cheats. Perhaps, they hope that his cheeky greatness will gloss over the heinousness of their folly.

But this article is not going to dwell on the Uruguayan fortune in entering the semis on the back of a piece of impudence by a suave Suarez , a hero to his countrymen , who has been termed – tongue-in-cheek – the best goalkeeper of the tournament. His save on the line was ,arguably, the most significant save of the tournament.

Our hearts and minds went out to that man from Ghana- Gyan – who had till then not missed a single penalty. And in that instant of despair, his stricken face told the story. In that moment , all our hearts cried for Africa, for Ghana, for Gyan. We were one in solidarity with the Ghanaian team. But those are the rules of the game: a handball deserves a penalty and a red card. And that is how it is. To twist a cliché: Abide By The Rules, Die By The Rules.

The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.
– George Eliot, writer.

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Disastrous run at World T20!

Harbhajan Singh - Ind Vs Eng,Mumbai, March 29,...

Image via Wikipedia

With India’s 2 matches of the Super 8 match over and with them effectively India’s hopes of qualifying for the semis,  it is time to make a couple of points about India’s no-show at this tourney.

1> The standard of cricket exhibited at the IPL and the World T20 are reams apart. In the latter, we have the best teams representing their country, whereas the IPL teams are constrained to having just 4 foreign internationals representing them and at the same time they need to ensure that deserving youngsters (read youngsters with potential) are given a chance to ware their talents. So suddenly we have our IPL heroes peppered with short-pitched balls and when you are a team batting second and chasing a  large total, you have to try and hit every ball and the proclivity to succumb to the short-pitched variety is both exposed and exploited. Besides, since when have Indian batsmen known to be masters of the short ball?

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