Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tennis is all about the Present, less about the Future

Mint's story on tennis: With age restriction, advancement of technology and physical fitness taking centre stage, pretty young things are taking much longer time to breakthrough. The seniors are more dominating

http://www.livemint.com/2010/07/28213231/The-future-is-in-the-present.html?h=C

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Tomas Berdych Has Grown Up

Of the two men's semi-finals I watched during Wimbledon 2010, I enjoyed Tomas Berdych v/s Novak Djokovic. This match had it all. Don't let the score board of 6-3, 7-6 (11/9), 6-3 fool you into believing that this was a completely one-sided match. Djokovic fought till the end, but was no match to the finesse of Berdych. I always like to view matches where there is a lot of variety. Nadal v/s Murray was bit boring to watch on this count and it was quite simply a baseline slug fest where one would keep hitting shots, the other would just keep retrieving. But Berdych-Djokovic match had drama. It had fine shot-making too.

Tomas Berdych is a talented player. I remember watching him in the finals of the Mumbai Kingfisher Open a few years back (September 2006) where he narrowly lost to Russian Dimitry Tursunov in three close sets. Ever since while Berdych has moved up, slowly but gradually, Tursunov seems to have disappeared. Berdych is such a player that on a good day he could beat anyone. He came close to beating Roger Federer at the 2009 Australian Open but lost in five. At this year's Wimbledon, Federer wasn't so lucky. Having going through a career slump himself, it didn't help him that he ran into super-confident Berdych who I am sure- like many other men's tennis players- now think they can beat Roger Federer anytime and on any day.

Yesterday, Berdych was in full form. His serve and forehands were the two weapons responsible for getting him to the Finals. The court coverage was phenomenal and both players, especially Djokovic, scrambled all the court to retrieve. Berdych's height 6"5 makes him a formidable server; he served 11 aces in the match,as against Djokovic's nine. But Berdych's biggest fears rest in his mind. He was up 6 points to 2 in the tie break and he allowed Djokovic to fight back and save all those set points and another two before saving two himself, eventually winning the set when Djokovic gifted him a double fault of his own. Berdych covered the court well and hit shots with pin point accuracy. His lethal forehand also drove Djokovic far off wide the court, only to sweep in to the net to put the volley away.

This is the game that he needs to beat Nadal on Sunday. But Berdych would do well to remember that he's about to play one of the toughest competitors of tennis in Sunday's final. Unless he truly believes in the heart that he can beat Nadal, he would have lost the match before he even steps on to the court.

What's The Point?

What's the point of these commercials that show death defying stunts to sell a product and then carry a disclaimer at the end saying they're too dangerous and not to be imitated! If it's a bike, show me a features of it and what it can do and how it is different from several other bike models on the road. Don't show how the bike goes through a tornado and faces a tsunami. India does get to see tornadoes and tsunami hit us in 2004 for the first time in as a long as I can remember. Yes, India gets a lot of floods, even those that paralyze the entire cities. If that were to happen, God forbid, will this bike just zoom through it all while the entire city, trains, cars, buses gets stranded and come to a standstill? Your guess is as good as mine.





P.S. I remember a camera advertisement that was on air a few months ago where the couple does some stunts to get that perfect picture. I tried to youtube it but could't find it. The girl is the pillion rider, she takes the camera in her hand I think, then gets up and circumvents round his boyfriend who is riding the bike, and then leans over in front of him on the bike's tank, then gets a shot of him. Phew!

Canadian Rockies: Day 11-13 (Vancouver highlights)

On day #11, I took the ferry and came to Vancouver. Much of Vancouver is filled with Asians. The whole 36 km distance between Tsawwassen Fe...