Saturday, January 26, 2013

I enjoy that!

"It's something I'm excited about." Those were the last words said by my Swiss hero in the post-match conference after losing to the Scots star. It's always  heartbreaking to see my maestro lose, especially when the matches extend to five sets and his opponent plays more aggressive, thereby giving him less chances to break their service games and making it more difficult for him. I want him to win whenever he plays like the way I want my cric hero, the Sachin, to score whenever he walks to the 22-yard battlefield taking the sledgehammer bat in his hand.

Three years ago, the Scot lost to the Swiss Star in the Australian Open final, 2010 in straight sets. He cried and added,"I can cry like Roger, it's just a shame I can't play like him". Today, it was the semis of Australian Open 2013 and his opponent was none other than the Swiss legend, Roger. But, this time the result was otherwise. Murray dominated the game in five-set thriller, winning it and reaching the final to face the title defender, Novak. Another fighter of the game.

It's been thrice since Federer has reached the semi-finals of Australian Open and lost. But for the first time in a five-setter in semis over here. Throughout that match I was hoping, now the Scot will make an error, there he will scream at himself. But, nothing as such happened. Murray has learnt over the course of time to be calm, not allowing the opponent to read his mind, henceforth giving himself a better chance of taking a shot at the grand slam. It comes with experience and he, too has learnt it like a sincere student. Anybody who would have seen him playing in the last grand slam then and now, can easily spot the difference in his attitude. But, why with my Swiss hero? It breaks hearts when he loses coming so close. Today, his usual elegant movements were not noticeable in the final set. He didn't run that hard and the poise with which he slices the ball with his backhand was not there. May be the back-to-back five setter would have tired him out, but he's not the one who resort to excuses and he said, "No regrets from me." He is six years older than the Scot but still he keeps playing at an intensity which will surprise a 20 year old guy. No other play in the tennis history plays so gracefully with one hand as he does. From his backhand to serve, his repertoire of shots ranges from a whole lot that one would simply love to sit and watch. As he says,"
I enjoy that", Roger Federer will be coming back more strong, as strong as an ox as he always has been. He enjoys playing tough tennis.

Friday, January 18, 2013

3 years to reckon

On a day, when 
the fight for the 'India's girl' still goes on; 
Prez rule is imposed on Jharkhand since its formation;
Captive hostages are released in Algiers; 
Boeing Dreamliners are grounded in India, also; 
Aaron's law (based on the death of the internet activist) to be tabled is suggested by the Congresswoman;
India's 3rd largest IT company, Wipro, posts a 2.4% growth in sequential dollar revenue, but lower than Infy's 4.2% and TCS's 3.3%;
Aussies are bowled for a paltry second lowest total of 74 in an ODI; 
Djoker continues his form over the Czec and Maria crushes William's sister in the third round of Australian Open'13
Armstrong admits to doping stating, "Certainly, I'm a flawed character" at Oprah's show, 
I complete three years of my working experience, three memorable years in the so called IT world in the Silicon valley of India. 

 Welcome to the another year of 2013 IT :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

It's all about RAFA!

Being a FedEx fan for over the years, it's tough to applaud his opponent, though I may be biased towards my ten times ATPWorldTour awardee, but I am forced to acknowledge that sometimes the classy, sublime FedEx also seems fallible against this brawny Nadal, rather Rafa as the world calls him.

Last weekend, I was looking for a biography of my maestro-RF but ended up picking up RAFA (as the maestro's one is yet to come out). This book is an absorbing read for all those Rafa fans, who wants to know more about him - what is so special about him, why is he ranked among one of those tennis legends, is he worthy of those for what the world hails him & many more self-posed questions. Borrowing a part of the quote from Shakespeare, Rafa has 'achieved greatness' like some of the greats in the tennis history. A mere example of his grand continuum can be assessed from the fact that he has been a record 7-time French Open champion till now starting with his first grand slam of 2005, apart from the fourth round Solderling-tragedy of 2009, which was a blessing in disguise for my Swiss hero.


Wimbledon 2008 was a dream for Rafa, until he finally made it true on 6th July, etching his name in the history books as one of the greatest matches ever played in this Open Era with his favorite rival, Ah!, my Swiss maestro. This book delineates in bits & pieces in every chapter, the way how he sustained the mental battle & long anguish, exercised his self-belief & played to his game-plan and ultimately, made his way to glory, along came his career ranking of No.1, too. An apt phrase for the Spaniard will be the partial application of Newton's laws that once he gets going, he just gets going. The rate of conversion becomes proportional to his hardened, rock attitude, maintaining his 'Una buena cara'.

At an age when the nippers just play, have fun & frolic around, this Mallorcan has been practising daily under the tutelage of his Uncle Tony, the calculative man and his coach, who stood like a rock behind this Spaniard. Lines like 'Look, however small the possibility might be of victory, fight to the very end' says it all about the attitude of Tony Nadal. In the final of Australian Open 2009, where he was to play FedEx, Rafa was exhausted to a point in the semi-final that his muscles had cramped-up & became stiff; he wasn't sure that he could win or he could continue to play either. He presumed that he had lost it before playing the match and said to his uncle, "I'm sorry... I just can't". Then his uncle voiced his words and gave a stirring speech to him. "Don't say you can't. Because anybody who digs deep enough can always find the motivation they need for anything. In war, people do things that appear to be impossible. Just imagine if there were a guy sitting behind you in the stadium pointing a gun at you, telling you that if you didn't run and keep running, he'd shoot you. I bet you'd run then. So, come on! It's up to you to find the motivation to win. This is your big chance. Bad as you might be feeling now, it's likely that you'll never have as good a chance of winning the Australian Open as you do today. And even if there's only a one percent chance of you winning this match, well, then you have to squeeze every last drop out of that once percent. Remember that phrase of Barack Obama's, 'Yes,we can!' At every changeover, repeat it to yourself, because, you know what? The truth is you can do it. What you can never allow yourself is to fail because of a loss of will. You can lose because your rival played better, but you can't lose because you failed to give your best. That would be a crime. But you won't do that, I know it. Because you always do give your best and today will be no big exception. You can Rafael! You really can!".(Excerpts from the book).

And Rafa, indeed, won 7-5,3-6,7-6,3-6,6-2 and as his physical-therapist friend, Titin said, pain is in the mind. If you can control the mind, you can control the body and Nadal triumphed above all that day to prove it forthright to become the Australian Open champion of 2009.

A shy boy, a homely person and a Real fan, he tells how he adjust his timings to watch matches and how he rushes back home to spend time with his family & friends - Miguel, Tomeu & others, whenever he can find time after the matches and tournaments. How he handles fame, lives in his islandic-home, his candid confessions about his likes & dislikes, his relationships with his sponsors and how he manages them along with his day-to-day life is very neatly outlined & beautifully described in his 'story of life'. And as he says, the three most important ladies in his life are his mom, his sister and his low-profile girlfriend, Mario Perello or Xisca as the media defines her. The world may be bemused about him, but 'Vamos' for this brawny, hardened, dynamic & emotive-volitive RAFA. Australian Open 2013 will definitely miss him!