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Monday, 26 September 2011

New Blog

Hey I made a new blog about anything really; it's at Check it out! Thanks.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Nothing major nowadays but at least something's going on on the ATP Tour.

With three of the four majors gone already this year tennis seems to ease into the background with many sports taking it's deserved spotlight like football(americans might call it soccer) and the everlasting F1 calendar. However I would like to look back on this year's majors and accomplishments by the top players.

After Federer winning the end of year ATP tournament people seem to think nothing's changed at the very top and that Federer and Nadal are still going to set the pace and whisk off every formality till they get to finals in any bigger tournaments and we are again going to bathe in the genius of those two. However this year was going to be Djokovic's journey to indestructibly and never lasting form.

January came at last and every tennis fan was turned to Melbourne as the top players battled for the first major of the year. The beginning of the tournament was going very smoothly without any hiccups therefore the second week's quarterfinals were as expected with the top 4 being very much in contention. However Ferrer pulled off what seemed to be impossible as he beat Nadal in the last 8 with some superb returns and  unpredictable forehand. So the 'Rafa Slam' as the press called it was diminished. (The Rafa Slam was that at the time Nadal had the last 3 majors from 2010 and if he won the Australian Open he would hold all of them at the same time). So the semi-finals were as follows Ferrer-Murray and Djokovic-Federer. I thought that it's going to be a repeat from the year before when Murray lost in straight sets to the almighty genius that is Federer. However that was the time the lion took his bite as Djokovic won against Federer in spectacular manner and really began his roll of consecutive wins. He was facing Murray in the final as Murray didn't flinch and got past Ferrer in another night of top level tennis. So it was the younger players that reached the final and showed everyone that they are going to be a bigger force in this year's tour. The final started off with long rallies of consistency until Djokovic took the game to another level and was winning most of the points. Unfortunately for British fans the situation stayed the same and Djokovic took his second Grand Slam. For me it was a dramatic U-turn as I was expecting like many people for Federer to take the top spot again in a fantastic form that gave him so many majors over the past years. However what Djokovic did was unbelievable to me as his consistency off the base line was just phenomenal and that he was like a tiger waiting to pounce only not with teeth but accuracy off his forehand and backhand.

So there was it the first major ended in a big surprise to some people. However the hard-court hasn't ended with Masters tournaments in Miami and Indian Wells providing opportunity for Nadal to get his dominance back. At first though I thought it was just a mistake that Nadal lost and Djokovic was wiping his opponents from the court, but this was not the case as Djokovic wrapped up the tournaments in America with ease and still having not lost one match even against Nadal or Federer from which he took the number second place in the rankings in Miami.

With the tennis tour coming into the clay season I was just absolutely sure that Nadal will overcome the unstoppable force that Djokovic had become. However the Monte Carlo tournament that was starting the season was without Djokovic so Nadal had to wait bit more to challenge Novak but at least he showed why he's sooo good on clay. Every time I watch him I'm stunned at how he runs after every ball even if it seems a lost cause sometimes but because he's so athletic he can get to the ball in time and still put so much spin on it the opponent just can't do anything about it but just watch it as skims the line and hits the unsuspecting ball boy. After the incredible win by Nadal in the city of no tax and never ending luxury the top players had a week of peace the world stage went to Madrid with nearly every top player participating. Surprise surprise the final again was Djokovic vs Nadal with the Serb coming on top again.         This seemed very weird to me as how can Nadal lose on clay; however this again might have just been a malfunction so the very next week Rome was the place to host the cream of tennis. It was business as usual again with the top players getting through to the later stages however an upset was generated by the very talented Richard Gasquet as his backhand saved few match points against Federer and managed one of his own and got through.

Ok unfortunately I need to go but more on this later.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Wimbledon Review

A memorable 125th Championships ended with two new names on the singles honours boards. The men's title went, for the first time, to a player from Serbia as Novak Djokovic halted Rafael Nadal's 20-match winning streak at Wimbledon - a run which included the 2008 and 2010 titles - with a merited 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 victory. It was the Serb's fifth victory over Nadal in a final this year and took his won-lost record for 2011 to an incredible 48-1. Nadal was playing with a pain-killing injection in a sore foot, suffered in the fourth round and was below his best form. Djokovic on the other hand swept all before him, and was justly congratulated by the loser for playing "very, very high level''.
In the ladies' singles Petra Kvitova upset the form book by outhitting the 2004 champion and hot favourite Maria Sharapova 6-3, 6-4. The 21-year-old lefty added further lustre to the tennis reputation of the Czech Republic as two of her compatriots and former Wimbledon champions, Martina Navratilova and Jana Novotna, looked on from the Royal Box, alongside eight other ladies' champions of yesteryear. Navratilova, now an American citizen and winner of nine Wimbledons, had perceptively predicted that her fellow left-hander's serve and groundstrokes would prove too much for Sharapova to handle and she was proved correct. The tall blonde kept her nerve and emotions in check until she met Novotna and Navratilova afterwards, when the tears finally flowed.
For Sharapova, defeat came as a bitter blow as she gradually rediscovers the form which had won her three Grand Slams before undergoing a shoulder operation in 2008. She had reached the final without conceding a set but her service remains her weak point - the final saw her lose five of her eight service games and double-fault six times.
If the ladies' singles provided a sea change at The Championships, with the final contested by the sixth and eighth seeds, the men's always promised to be more predictable since the top four seeds looked a cut above the rest of the field from the start. So it proved, at least until the quarter-finals when Roger Federer, a six-time champion and third seed, was blasted to defeat by charismatic Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who overhauled a two-set deficit to demolish the ambitions of the Swiss who was pursuing his 17th Grand Slam title. It was unfortunate for Federer that he caught Tsonga on one of his irresistible days, as tournament statistics reveal. He finished up leading the men's ace count with 108, but was also top of the double-fault table with 27 and unforced errors (143).

Monday, 13 June 2011

Murray wins an extraordinary final at Queen's

After the the final was postponed on sunday because of the traditional English weather, monday was the D-Day for Murray and Tsonga. With most of the spectators set on Murray destroying the frenchman, Tsonga had a tough job to reverse the odds. However that didn't even worry him one bit. He came out like the man who just beat the world No1. The crowd in London was happy at last to see the long awaited sun but they had a surprise as it was Tsonga who took the first set 6-3 with some amazing play at the net. Murray dazzled by his performance tried his best but his famous return didn't break the Frenchman and a tie-break was the way in the second set. Murray with some alpha male instincts crushed Tsonga and was one set all. The frenchman was now over shadowed by Murray and the home crowd. It quickly became a show off match for Murray as he won the 3rd set 6-4.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Final stages at Queens

So another day at London's Queens with two semi-finals which include two British players. I think it's been a while since two British players have been in the semi-finals of a tour event. So this was a real pleasure for the home crowd of the likes of Murray and Ward. The latter was actually 216th in the world before the tournament started so you can understand the surprise of the british fans to see a british player in the later tour stages well except Murray which I think played sublimely today against Roddick and crushed him under an hour. However Ward's chances seemed slim to go through to the final and join his fellow countryman as he was playing against Tsonga for which the surface seem to be working with him at last after years of failures on the grass. Although in the match Ward seemed to have a very good backhand and a consistent game overall which you don't really associate a 216th player in the world to have. However Tsonga played a good match and that seemed to be enough be beat the unknown player that had to come through the qualifier. Even though Tsonga seem to have a much better season I still think Murray will destroy him if he will play to the same level he swiped Roddick of the grass. So yeah an unusual thing to not see Nadal in a final but still it'll be very interesting.

Friday, 10 June 2011

3 reasons why Nadal might never suppress Roger Federer

1) Rafael Nadal’s Game Will Not Age Well
With Nadal winning his tenth Grand Slam title this past week, he is now tied for sixth on the all-time list with Bill Tilden, leaving him six Grand Slams shy of Federer’s 16 titles. Whether he catches Federer may ultimately be decided by their differing play styles.
Federer has an all-around game that is predicated on technique. Nadal’s game, in contrast, is deeply rooted in his supreme athleticism. Nadal actually has a below-average serve and an inconsistent backhand, but he gets by because of other factors in his game, such as his unparalleled movement, defensive ability, stamina, and mastery of spin.
Nadal flies around the court, and as was evident in last week’s French Open final against Federer, the Spaniard was able to keep forcing the Swiss to make that one extra shot, taking a toll on Federer both physically and mentally. But relying on speed and agility is dangerous, as those are two of the first things that most athletes in any sport tend to lose as they age.
The staggering amount of topspin that Nadal is able to generate is a function of his superior strength, which allows him to produce more rotations on the ball than most others can. While strength deteriorates more gradually than speed, Nadal will still see his strength wane, resulting in less spin on the ball.
Durability is a foremost concern as Nadal’s playing style is very hard on the body. As he ages, he will be more susceptible to injury and will be less able to recover stamina during and in between matches.
2) Novak Djokovic, the New Rival in Town
Nadal recently hit his 100th cumulative week as the world No. 1 player. But he still has over three-and-a-half years at No. 1 to go if he wants to approach the amount of time that Federer has spent at No. 1 during his career.
Knocking at the door is Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, who is currently just 45 points behind Nadal in the world rankings. Djokovic has defeated Nadal four times in 2011, two of those wins coming on clay.
While Djokovic’s winning streak came to an abrupt end against Federer in the French Open semifinals, the meteoric improvement in his game is undeniable. Oddly enough, whether Djokovic succeeds at overtaking Nadal in the rankings is probably out of the Spaniard’s control, as the Serb has more room for improvement this year than does the Spaniard, who will enter Wimbledon as the defending champion.
Moreover, Djokovic will continue to stand firmly as a significant threat to Nadal in Grand Slams in the foreseeable future.
3) Roger Federer Isn’t Done Yet
Federer’s legacy isn’t even complete yet. One thing Federer proved over the past couple of weeks is that he is still able to compete at the highest level on the big stage. With his marked consistency in the Grand Slam tournaments, Federer gives himself ample opportunity to further increase his record of Grand Slam titles and perhaps open up another chance to move back up the rankings.

Nadal crashes out of Queens!!

Looking through the news at the end of the day today I saw the results from the Queens turnament in London and a headline grabbed my eye. The headline read that Tsonga has defeated Nadal in 3 sets!!!
This came a shock to me even though I suspected that he was tired from the French Open and wasn't up to his best I expected him to win against any player in the tournament well maybe except Murray which the grass suits very well. This I think is another piece of evidence that Nadal is not a very good grass player and that he always struggles in the first few rounds at Wimbledon because the grass is very fast at that time but he's much better later on in the finals and semi-finals as the grass has eroded away and the whole surface is much slower. I think with Wimbledon coming up I see Federer being the favorite with Djokovic being my second bet. So the next couple of weeks is gong to be interesting for tennis fans.