Category Archives: Tennis

Alpine Charm, Watches, Chocolates and Roger Federer!

All Part of Swiss Glory!

Federer Shows Why He is a Maestro with an Easy Title Win at Wimbledon

Switzerland is a dream location for most who love, and can afford, international travels. More so for honeymooners, with its breathtaking alpine charm and nature’s bounty being a big draw.

The small country, which is often compared with Singapore for the economic successes the two nations have had despite their size, is also known for its chocolates and watches.

That was until Roger Federer hit the tennis circuit and the Grand Slam records started tumbling. Now, though, any mention of Switzerland is certain to invoke the sporting genius of Federer.

Fedes Wimbledon

Today, by winning his 19th Grand Slam title with an easy win over big-hitting M. Čilić at Wimbledon, the man often referred to as FedEx cemented his position as possibly the greatest tennis player ever. Remarkably, he lost no set through the course of the tournament, from Round 1 to the Final.

It did not appear to me that the Croat was at his best today. The aggression and the confidence I saw in Cilic’s semi-final win over Sam Querrey was missing, leaving Federer with a resounding win.

In doing so, he may have become the oldest player ever, at 35+, to clinch Wimbledon, his eighth at the premier Grand Slam championship, now ahead of Sampras’ seven. But they are just another pieces of trivia.

What matters most is that he has shown the world why he is called a tennis maestro, the best ever!

G Joslin Vethakumar


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Serena, a Deserving Winner But Match was Unexciting, Even a Yawn

In a fairly one-sided match at the Australian Open final this evening, Serena Williams expectedly walked home with her 23rd Grand Slam title, with a straight-set win over sister Venus.

The sisters (below) relish the moment with a hug.

The win made Serena eclipse Steffi Graf’s 22 Grand Slam titles. All credit to Serena for taking her tally to 23.

But I found the match unexciting, even a yawn. Possibly because it was a family affair and the competitive spirit had gone out the door.

The sisters, though, cannot be blamed for any loss of spectator interest. They went through the rigour, the paces and made it a sibling final.

Serena is a deserving winner, better and stronger than Venus by a mile.

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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‪Federer at his Best with a 5-Set, but Easy, Win over Nishikori

It has been a happy outing so far for Roger Federer who proved all naysayers wrong with a five-set win over Nishikori at the Australian Open moments ago.

It was hardly a tough match though the scoreline may suggest otherwise.

Nishikori’s killer backhand did not appear to have troubled Federer much. In fact, his forehand winners were serving him well.

The media may think Federer’s win is as much a shock as the defeat of Murray, earlier today, and Novak in Round 2.

But then these are days when the media hardly get anything right.

Federer, though, will face a tough test in the quarterfinals where he faces German M Zverev, today’s conqueror of top-seeded Andy Murray.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Davids Slaying Goliaths at the Olympics Not Uncommon

Djokovic Makes a First-Round Exit in Rio

You can expect the unthinkable in any Olympics. Davids slaying Goliaths are not uncommon.

So, at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, Leander Paes landed an unexpected bronze and to think it could have been a Gold (or at least a silver) when he gave champion Andre Agassi a fright, frittering away two set points and subsequently the match!

Djokovic in tearsBut none will have anticipated Novak Djokovic to be tossed out of the Rio Olympics in Round 1. Or the Williams sisters losing at the same stage in women’s doubles.

Juan Martin del Potro may not exactly be a David, having been a top 10 player not too long ago, but he did pull off Rio’s biggest upset by leaving the world number 1 in tears.

Potro had defeated Djokovic in the bronze medal match at the London Olympics as well.

The loss, on a day when legendary swimmer Michael Phelps won his 19th Gold medal, meant Djokovic will have to wait at least for four more years for a Golden Slam, something that has eluded Roger Federer too.

Anything can happen at the Olympics with inspired athletes playing their hearts out for the countries they represent and reducing stature and rankings to nought.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Indian Media, Tennis Team Betray how much they Hate Paes

Indian Journalists are going nuts over tennis star Leander Paes not having reached Rio yet for the Olympics that gets under way tomorrow.

He appears to have informed the All-India Tennis Association (AITA) in advance about his other commitments in the U.S. where he and Hingis represent Washington Kastles in the World Team Tennis (WTT) tournament. They had helped the Washington Kastles win the WTT title last year, with the 2016 tournament now under way.

Paes, who captained the team, had, in fact, emerged as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament then, having won the Men’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles matches.

He is the only Indian tennis player to have won an Olympic bronze in singles. That was two decades ago – in 1996.

Obama presenting trophy to paes teamWith AITA aware of the commitments of Paes, I am amused at coach Zeeshan Ali and Bopanna pleading ignorance about his whereabouts.

The pretensions are just to make Paes look like a villain with the active support of the silly Indian media brigade.

It is no secret that the entire Indian team, including big-mouth Sania Mirza and Bopanna, hate Paes. So it is not difficult to understand the discomfiture of Paes in having to share space with them.

Paes is expected to arrive in Rio later today. So patience guys! Two extra days of practice will make no big difference for seasoned players.

Paes and Hingis.JPGIdeally, Bopanna and Paes should have played a tournament or two together before the Olympics.

But Bopanna dislikes playing with Paes and had made it clear that he did not wish to partner  him even at the Olympics. As did Sania! So, they are the real villains, not Paes.

In any case, India has no chance of winning a medal in tennis. The world’s top singles players are representing their countries, so they will feature in the Doubles events unlike in the regular Grand Slam tournaments. So relax guys. And this is for the Indian media who are prone to blowing things out of proportion.

So relax guys. And this is for the Indian media who are prone to blowing things out of proportion.

G Joslin Vethakumar 

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Needless Intolerance Towards Djokovic and Moore

The World is Fake, NOT Free!

Politically correct public statements from those who will indulge in sly, behind-the-back bitching can make one tired!

The smart are liars, pretenders, outwardly free thinkers but at heart dishonest to the core. These so-called liberals conjure up politically correct statements smacking of insincerity but winning encomiums all the way.

On the other hand, a Djokovic has had to apologise for saying the pay disparity between women and men players is justified.

Indian Wells director Raymond Moore, a former player, faced all-round flak for saying: “If I was a lady player, I’d go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried this sport.”

Serena Williams squealed, other present and former players followed suit and Mr Moore had to relinquish his position.

Just a Matter of Fact: I don’t think any of the two men was wrong. It is no secret that the male players have to work a lot harder than their female counterparts to come up with performances that enthrall audiences. This does not amount to insulting womanhood or the calibre of the women players. It is just a matter of fact, without any prejudices!

So why grudge the extra bucks they make? Why make it out as sexist, discriminatory pronouncements? It is just politics at work.

Sly Bitching in Corporate World: Let individual sport not become like the corporate sector where it is common to come across people making politically correct statements in the open. Just that behind one’s back they will have different stories to tell! That’s called sly bitching!

Greater tolerance is needed in a world that is predominantly democratic with freedom of expression.

As long as statements do not verge on hate mongering and are not made to incite social disturbances the world can afford to be tolerant.

The kind we saw coming from Djokovic and Mr Moore should have just been seen as their individual opinion without reading too much into it.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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Do Beauty and Brains Go Together?

Safarova Sends Ana Ivanovic Packing in Paris

SafarovaLucie Safarova is no match for Ana Ivanovic in the beauty department. I can nonetheless readily concede that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. But when it comes to playing intelligent tennis with verve, she leaves Ana far behind.

Safarova (left) and Ana (below)

TAna-Ivanovichat ability served her well as she reached the final of the French Open final a little while ago with a straight-set win over Ana.

The player with stunning looks started well, racing to a 5-2 lead in the first set, but fumbled thereafter to lose rather tamely.

Another player from the past is Anna Kournikova, known more for her good looks than her tennis prowess.

I will still not fully agree with the common notion that beauty and brains do not go together. Science and research always confuse and confound us with misleading study results. One study a few years ago even said that “good looking men and women have a higher IQ.”

Portrait of India Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi, 1966. (no credit)

Portrait of India Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi, 1966. (no credit)

Indira Gandhi and Nehru: Late Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was a beautiful lady and a brilliant leader. Her father Jawaharlal Nehru was a handsome man who had beautiful women succumb to his charms, a combination of looks and intellectuality.

Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino matches physicist Stephen Hawking with an IQ of 160. Sharon Stone has an IQ of 154.

David Duchovny has degrees from two Ivy League universities – BA (English) from Princeton and MA (English) from Yale, giving up his PhD to start a modelling career before venturing into acting..

Pretty star who is a Harvard Graduate: Israeli-American actress Natalie Portman (IQ 140), who is seen in the picture here, is a Harvard graduate, speaks six languages and has published pieces in scientific journals. She is reported to have once told The New York Post that “she’d rather be smart than a film star.”

Natalie Portman

Madonna with an IQ of 140 is a Mensa member and Nicole Kidman (IQ 132) is an alumnus of the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne.

To be a Mensa member, you need to have an IQ higher than 139.

Such examples abound but are they only exceptions or is it true that good-looking people have it in them to be smart?

Contentious? It is too trivial to attach too much importance to the subject.

G Joslin Vethakumar

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