On Rafa after Australian Open 2012

Australian Open 2012 Final match was an epic. In a 6 hour give-it-all five set battle, Novak Djokovic won. He played lights out tennis with absolute conviction and precision.

For me, this match was yet another inspirational nugget from Rafael Nadal – The guy is a philosopher and has the best work ethic in the whole wide world.

Rafa was a part of a 6 hour final in the Australian Open against Novak Djokovic which he lost. Novak won again in a match which was a display of supreme relentlessness from both sides. One would think that a player who loses in the end would be crushed and dejected. What Rafa said instead was that he was happy to have been part of a historical match and that he was glad to have fought the way that he did. That he enjoyed being there, fighting, suffering. That he enjoyed the suffering. That is a true sportsperson.

Make no mistake, Rafa is never happy with the second spot. He likes to win more than anything. But, he can appreciate the fact that life sometimes does not happen as one wishes. Despite your best efforts, there is someone who makes a better effort and it pays. That you can try all you got and still fall short. That you can suffer without rewards. Nowhere is this more nakedly visible than in Tennis, where you try for all to see and then lose in the end.

And at the end of it, if you can feel satisfied and be able to say that you have enjoyed the suffering, that you accept what comes in the way after you have tried and given all, that you accept that there has to be a loser and it was you this time, that you accept that it’s someone else’s chance, that you accept that you could have done nothing more than fight and that you enjoyed the struggle is to say that you have the highest character and sportsmanship. That is what Rafael Nadal has.

He has guts, he has talents, he has the will but best of all, he has character to be gracious in defeat and humble in victory. He shows by his way what it means to have a work ethic, what it means to work for passion, what it means to enjoy the struggle – a case in point for ‘Karm Kar! Fal ki iccha mat kar’. I won’t say that he does not care for the fruits of his labor. He does. But, he has the wisdom to accept that sometimes things come to fruition and sometimes they don’t despite your best efforts.

He shows how to live! At least to me! He shows how to go for broke!! People see all the effort and they say he does not earn as much in return, that he loses. But he, he who strives knows the joy of striving, of trying, of improving. Vamos!! Way to go!!

He may have lost this match, but he has regained hope and confidence. Next time, he will win! I know it! He knows it. But he will not take it for granted, he will strive and enjoy striving!


Thus ends Australian Open

I am a huge fan of tennis. I simply love watching it!

2011 season has already started and one of the Grand Slams has already ended- The Australian Open. It is the one with high temperatures and blue court and squeaky noises coming from the shoes. It is also very very unpredictable. Upsets happen here more than anywhere else. This year, it was even more true – for Men as well as Women. Rafa and Roger were sent off in Quarter Finals and Semi Finals respectively. The final contest was held between World Number 3 and 4 ( not technically, but in every other way). The better player prevailed – Novak Djokovic over Andy Murray.

I feel for Murray. I truly do. I can see how much pressure he has on his shoulders but I can also see the inspiration which Novak derives. He has grown phenomenally in the past three years and most of it during the past year. He has polished his game and he has polished his wisdom. Now, he is an inspired and wise player at the same time. Since US Open 2010, he has been in incredible form and it is fitting that he starts 2011 with a victory in hand. I am a great great RAFA fan. Almost a fanatic but if there is anyone else I will support other than him – Its Novak. That guy is just so emotionally charged that it makes him much more human than all the other top players. I can appreciate them all but with Djokovic – I can relate. I feel glad for him.

With the end of Australian Open 2011, I find myself peering through a great hole in my entertainment and inspiration feeds. What am I going to watch now and discuss? What will now divert my attention from the increasingly mundane ways of my life otherwise? What will make my adrenaline rush and push me towards excitement? What is it going to be ?

The next Grand Slam is only in April and it will start a new season.

Damn! I now need to find new escapades.!

So Long! I enjoyed it a lot. Thank you very much!

Roger! Roger!!

What’s up with you Roger?? Just take a chill pill.You are unnecessarily getting riled up. We know what you can do with your potential. So, I say and does you sponsor : “JUST DO IT!! ” 🙂

But, a teeny weeny bit of me is happy. Because since Nadal is out it is kinda good that Roger is out too. But, for the most part, I felt a curious emotion yesterday which was a mix of agaony like most Federophiles and joy like Djoker fans.

So it’s all good. Right now the ATP tour is juicy. If Azarenka is able to beat Serena, and I hope she does, WTA will also become a little interesting. But really, I want Dinara Safina to start winning. Why is she so nervous and self beating all the time? I do not get it.

Gone Bonkers about Tennis

Since the last week some bug has bitten me and I have become so obsessed with tennis that I can’t seem to get enough of it even after I have followed all the matches of Indian Wells and am following the Miami Open. I have lapped up all the info that the internet has to throw at me, be it the player profiles, rankings, their career paths, habits, management deals they have made, gossips, scandals, humour, and lastly but most importantly all the magical momemts that have been fortunately shared on the youtube( those serves, volleys, smashes, crosscourt angles ). I am just going crazy reading about what Federer thinks is going on with Rafa and himself, what others think about it, how Verdasco has become the black widower sort of, why Tisparevic became almost deluded from tennis due to reading too much philosophy, marat safin and his explosive ways, his sister Dinara’s nervous exits, Serena’s smugness, Ivanovic and her hotness, Djokovic with his funny impersonations and controversies and match retirements, the Frenchie trio, the hawtt Spanish league, return of the Taylor Dent, Roddick as the coming back kid……and on and on and on.

And this is just the most recent of the contemporary tennis. I have also looked into the archives and studied them deeply :P. Heck!!! I have even read some fan fiction written about the players. That’s why I said, I have gone bonkers – totally tennis crazy this week. Perhaps it is because I want to play it so badly but just cannot do it right now so in a way I am trying to satisfy that appettite by watching and reading about it.
Damn! I miss that sound when a ball is hit by the racquet. I miss those one or two good shots that I was able to make in the days that I played. Aah! That was so fun!

Love love love Tennis.

At this point of time, the scene in Men’s tour is glowing hot. There are about 10-12 contenders who make the tournaments right from the quarterfinals very very interesting. Even if not a nail biter, almost every match is watchable. Sad that I cannot watch it and thank god for that else I would lose my mind totally.

Off course there is the forever interesting debate of Rafa-Roger going on and it enhances the x- factor of the game, its appeal. To add in, occasional upsets by players like Djokovic and Murray add to the thrill. It is all just delicious.

I have been in the Vamos Rafa! group for long time now. But admiration for Federer is something which has to be there whichever camp you belong to. The sheer beauty of his game and the ease and the fluidity with which he plays compels one to do so. I think that Federer has had his share of demotivations for long now and he is now refreshed and enthused.  He was caught in a rut before, everytime losing an important match to Nadal. That psychologically becomes very disturbing. Now, that he has faced defeat from others also (like Murray in Indian Wells), he is out of that rut. He has now broken the circle. Now he knows that it was just a bad phase and is recharged and I am afraid that means trouble for Rafa which kinda makes me unhapp but makes for a super spectacular match sometime very soon.

I am very very excited!

Whatever happened to Federer?

Ever since the Wimbledon defeat he does not seem to have gotten over it. Imagine, the World no 1, the giant of tennis, gets out in the second round of some tournament and then is unable to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati Master’s! What just happened? Has his morale gone so down? Is it purely psychological or are there some physical factors? I read somewhere that he has been affected by a disease called mononucleosis ( which, apparently and interestingly , is also called the ‘kissing disease’). If it is that, I hope he gets well soon and once again begin the stride of his splendor which the world wishes to see more. These are trying times for Federer fans as they are for himself. On the contrary, Nadal his riding his winning horse in full fury and is poised to become the World No 1 which is all very good for him and for his fans including me. But, it is never ever interesting to see a former champ going down this way without even coming back and putting a fight. I just hope that this is a slight trough in Fedex’s career graph and that we will continue to witness the excellence of his tennis in the upcoming Olympics and the US Open.

Wimbledon 2008 – Rafa Wins!!

Dearest Rafael wins the Wimbledon!! ha! haha!
It is off course a dream come true for him but it is the same for me too. I have been rooting for him since the last year. Last year also he stretched Federer till the last set and then itslef it was visible that this young tiger is not going to go down so easily. In fact, he was going to rise up and up that I knew and that is what has happened. He may not have become the number 1 yet but what he has shown is that the day is not far. Federer is no less a player. In fact he is the greater of them but on that conclusive Sunday, it was a battle of nerves and determination and grit which Nadal won undoubtedly and very deservedly. Federer had reached to such heights that a year and half ago it seemed no one would be able to catch up with him but then came the Spaniard with gentle manners off court and contrastingly fierce aggression on court. He pushed the giant of Men’s tennis to push harder than ever and Fedex was finally stretched to limits which Nadal surpassed in the Wimbledon 2008. Now, the No 1 Federer has to reinvigorate his needs and desires. Only reason that I can see which led him to a defeat is the complacency which he somewhere felt in his heart. He took this championship title a little less seriously than Rafa boy.

But what the heck! What is more important is that the battle which ensued for 4 hours and 48 minutes was a pure delight for the lovers of tennis. A match which is seldom seen in the histories of sport. One of the best matches that I will ever see in my life.

In women’s championship, most of the top players performed poorly and got defeated at the hands of unexpected opponents. This cleared the way for the Williams sisters to dominate the turf and that they did. Venus won the final. I have to appreciate the aplomb with which she plays. Serena on the other hand has an understated agreesiveness. I like the sisters. But women’s tennis yet has to see better standards and tough opposition to these two. There is hardly any consistency. Toppers are on the top for a season or two and then they vanish. I am dying to see a Steffi like player emerge and hoping that it would get more challenging and things would heat up. Zheng Jie has stirred up hopes of providing a challenge and I hope that she would.

On the other hand, I discovered some hotties 🙂 like Safin and Djokovic and Andy Roddick and Mario Ancic. What good looks :D. Nice to watch. All in all it was great watching this wimbledon for all it was. Amazing two weeks.

Being Myself – Martina Navratilova

I have become a reading fanatic these days and am totally enjoying it. I was wanting to read biographies and I chanced upon this autobiography of Martina Navratilova. I am a huge fan of her and am myself a tennis player so I thought that I would read it and what a read it was. Truly good. Some people are born to be great and they know it. They make sacrifices which takes them where they are. Her story is about being true to oneself, being sure and taking action.

She faced many things in life, hard ones, but came out of it only better. Also, through this book one comes to know that she is a pretty emotional person and even screwed her career many times for people and problems arising due to it. One would think that is pretty unprofessional but here we have a Number one champion as sentimental as you and me. Not so inspiring as I thought it would be to me personally but definitely an admirable one. One simply tends to admire her tenacity.

Long live Martina!!! A good book – just the kind to read when you are confused as to what to choose between a serious and totally senseless book.