What was the first thing that hit your cells when you read the title ? If it was Ganguly being the odd man out in the list of names- you rock dude(tte) ! - you *are* the die-hard Indian cricket fan :P
First, Sania Mirza, the lass creating ripple of jaw-drops, made it to the fourth round of the US Open Tennis Championship. There are two ways of looking at it. One, no indian tennish player, male or female, has been as successfully consistent in making it to the Grand Slams rounds. 3rd at the Aus. , 1st at the French, 2nd at the Wimbledon and 4th at the US Open. This in itself is a 'first' for Indian tennis and add to it the gender factor - no wonder she is a celebrity !. She is nowing knocking on the doors of the Top-30 list which is a real great achievement. Second, way to look at it, yes, so what ? - It may be a rare thing for Indian tennis. Don't players from world over, small countries or otherwise succeed in all walks of life, sports included ?. Why is it that it we, as Indians, should be so proud of someone making it to the initial rounds successfully ?
IMHO, the middleground, as always, is somewhere in between. [:p ;) ] She should be duly credited for breaking the shackles, and duly encouraged to perform and reach higher goals. (p.s For the record, I had initially made-these couple of posts about Sania (Sania1, Sania2)
Second, Agassi. Just hats-off to this old-work-horse-warrior. Just amazing, to look at how he has managed to remain so focussed, fit, determined and dish out such quality tennis at such an age. His game was simply awesome. The commentators have now taken a stand, that he is the best-ever returner the game has known. I guess, i have to agree looking at the way some of the returns were made in today's US Open finals ! - I had hoped that he would win US Open this time around and end his career on a high-flying note, but that was not to be. May we see more of this man and his wonderful tennis !
(p.s For the record, I had initially made-this posts about Agassi)
Third, Federer. So far, i had not seen Federer play tennis, in-line with his reputation of the best ever. That was primarily coz of one Aussie named L.Hewitt - who happens to forget his tennis, when Federer seems to be anywhere on the planet. But today was different. Man, this guy can hit a winner from anywhere on the court, and best while it is his forehand. His back-hand was still very questionable, but even then his shots were real good. His serve was good, high first serve percentage. The power he packs into his shots are awesome. While Sampras did all of this pretty much the same way, the one thing that separates both is the 'aggression' that Federer seems to be made of.
Sampras, never used to bother about attacking the opponents' serve, but for the closing moments of a set, he would gently knock it in, get his serve done with in matter of seconds and get to the closing moments, move to the next gear, unleash his running forehand, couple of backhand passing shots and be done with the game.
But Federer, plays every point like that - as if there is no tomorrow ! If he can maintain such intensity through his career, and remain injury free, and play like this for another 4 years, Sampras reign could come to an end, easily at that. Only time will tell. ! (This is a radically different stand than the one i took sometime in may. Robbie, i partly agree with you :P )
(p.s For the record, I had initially made-this posts about Federer)
Zero'eth, oops, Fourth, Ganguly (why does mind tend to correlate ducks & ganguly always :-?) - hee hee, am not sure what to write Ganguly. But let me add a word about all the hulla-bulla that had been raised in the recently concluded series against SriLanka. It was about whether Indians were batsmen short or bowler short or fielders short. I think it is all of them.
Think of it,
when Indians win, do all the batsmen score ? no Only two people do.
when Indians win, do all bowlers take wickets ? no Only two people do.
when Indians take good catches, do all the fielders do well ? no Only two people do.
(and all of such feats - neatly separated by a gap of two years - too much 'planning' huhh ? )
My recommendation : Indian team should follow NFL style strategy. Have a batting-team (where all of them are batsmen), bowling-team(where all of them are bowlers) and fielding-team(where all of them are good fielders) and a coach (to decide, when to use which team :P)
Let us enjoy the week ahead and please write in to the BCCI suggesting for the NFL style teaming strategy :-)