spaniard

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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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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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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

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

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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: Barcelona,Julia Goerges and 2 year rankings


You  think that maybe he’s vulnerable , that maybe, just maybe, the challenge of Djokovic and the younger brigade is too much to push back; it’s just too much pressure to hold on but then along comes clay season, and Rafael Nadal rises to the occasion, undulating effortlessly to the top.

“You can’t touch me here, I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” is what the Majorcan sings out, scything through the field like a knife through melted butter.

This Sunday, it was the Barcelona Open making it two out of two for the Spaniard on his favourite surface this year.

Once again, it was his compatriot David Ferrer who succumbed to the No. 1’s might.

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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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