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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sania, Federer, Agassi, Ganguly ...

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 :-)

27 comments:

Aravind said...

Got an sms forward which goes somethin like this..

Ganguly was angry with a spectator since he sang a song from the movie Anniyan.what was the song??

it is ,
run-duck-aa,run-duck-aa,run-duck-aa,run-duck-aa,run-duck-aa
:-)

Arvind said...

:-))))

sen said...

ganguly's days are over.unless and untill he hits some double century in the test matches.I dont think he will remain as a captain,Maybe they will have him as a player for one more tour.

Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

I think we can never progress in cricket or any other field for that matter, as long as we give celebrity image to the cricketers, esply the captain - too much pampering. While genuinely appreciating things is differnt, having a cut out is different.

Arvind said...

Sen,
I am hoping that your word comes true sooner than later. His fielding is horrible. he does bring himself to bowl. Less said about his batting, better it is.

He is only a pale shadow of the great ODI opener he was couple of years back :-(

Kasthuri,
I am not sure, whether the celebrity image is the root cause of our not growing in the field

ROBBIE said...

Arvind,
it was just a matter of time I knew before you bowed down before mighty federer! :P
He plays like a man possessed and he has won 6/6 grandslam finals, the last 23 finals he has entered, that itself is a scary statistic for the others.
His backhand doesnt work that well in hard courts or clay because he cannot negotiate the rising balls, his backhand is best at wimbledon where the grass does not allow high bounce. He also has trouble negotiating nadals top spinning forehand to his backhand side, but these are very few weaknesses compared to his great strengths.
He can serve and volley (sampras had the best ever serve and volley game), he can stand back at the baseline and hit a devastating forehand, he can hit passing shots with unerring ease off both flanks and best of all he can return incredibly well. This is what makes Federer probably the most complete player ever. hmm! Seems like you E mailed me to make me write a whole new post on your blogsite:P
Take care dude
adios

Ram.C said...

Are you aware of the recent controversies surrounding Sania's short skirts?

Mumbai Islam association has raised an issue, saying she should participate, only with dresses like couple of decades back... At the same time, several Female Muslim scholars are supporting her dress code, saying it is only for the sports arena and not in public places... still the issue is hot.

Arvind said...

Robbie,

Back in action eh ? :P Welcome back

Ram,

Yes i heard it through a buddy, about the fatwa. Sorry state of affairs.

Having said that, i must also add, Sania has one of the best PR machinary in the celebrity industry

Anonymous said...

Hey Arvind do u know
Sania lost today in the First round at Bali - Too much hype for her though I agree she has achieved a lot in a short span of time.. I would say its because of her Luck

and regarding Federer...He is the BEST..Calm, super cool, smart

Kavya

Rags said...

With respect to Sania..People back home are overdoing things...

I would say leave her alone...Let her concentrate on her tennis...the rest will come along..

Stop comparing her with Sachin? For god sakes...Sachin has close to 10 yrs of experience.. He is uncrowned master of Modern cricket...Sania has just started... she has lots to acheive before even we start comparing her with Ganguly..(with all respects to Sania).

Federer- Man he looks unstoppable...

Ganesh said...

arvind eppo next review ?
I mean album reviews ?

Arvind said...

Kavs,
It simply is not luck, that is oversimplyfing the problem :-D

Rags,
Leave her alone ? you must be kidding me - you have plans ? :P

Ganesh,
Potuta pochu :-)

Subha said...

Arvind,
I feel there is too much hoopla about Sania. As you said, there are umpteen players to consistently make it to the higher reaches of Slam rounds. If she wins a Slam, then that's another thing!
Agassi,
Simply the best! Except for the fourth set, he definitely put up a good fight.
Federer,
he he, well the fourth set says it all..:) He was untouchable!
Ganguly,
awww, don't say anything bad about Saurav-da! I am his die-hard fan..:)

Rags said...

No for Sanias or Sonias...Let me know if there are any Sowmyas around...

Arvind said...

Subha,

Have'nt seen you around this side of the sphere for sometime ? :-) Sourav-da - yeah, 'da' :-D

Rags,

Yeah singer Sowmya is touring the US with her string of concerts. But, i am the least qualified to write about carnatic concerts :-(

I did not know you were such a lover of carnatic music :P

Rags said...

Arvi - Yen Characteraye Purijhica mattengira...

Rags said...

Dude - Check out my new Photo Blog..

SamY said...

hmm ... just a note ... "players are only loved when they are playing" ...
such is the ephemeral galore of most sportsmen ...

do any of us even care about boris becker and such?

Slice Of Life said...

i could see only sania and sania and nothing else,....cant stand th hype
uma

Arvind said...

Samy,

thotutta po - enna philosophy ;)

Uma,

That's why i said she has a good PR machinary :-)

SamY said...

actually that quote is my adaptation from this song by corrs called "Dreams" ;) ... due credits giving ... just I saw somethin interesting in that ...

philosophy la ungala thottukka mudeeeyuma? no-way

Revo's nuggets said...

enjoyed that note on hewitt. what happens to him when he sees Federer is a mystery to me as well

Ram.C said...

Check out this related article in Rediff on Sania's skirts...

Arvind said...

Revo,

Thanks for visiting :-)

Ram,

No photos huhh ? poor rags ;)

Shiva said...

Federer - it is like a reincarnation of my hero Sampras.. Talk less, Win more - the language of Federer.

Agassi - awesome.

Sania - She needs more cheer. I dont find any fault when we sit & cheer her (or people like Narain) when she just makes it barely to qualifiers.It doesnt matter if we are a small country or big - it is all about sports(wo)manship. It is all about cheering the spirit of players & competition.

And Ganguly - well, what can one say ! the man should stop his stunts for once and just let the bat & winnings do the talking..

Arvind said...

Samy,

"thottukka mudiyuma" - pls dont make me a side dish :P

Arvind said...

Siva,

I like federer being called sampras incarnate :P