Stories about tennis

A change of guard at Wimbledon

The tennis world is agog at the return of its prodigal son, Rafael Nadal. He’s back from a debilitating injury to reignite his rivalry with Roger Federer. Nadal is arguably the greatest clay court player ever, while Federer is one of the gods of the ‘Grass Courts Pantheon‘ along with Pete Sampras, Rod Laver, and Bjorn Borg. Seeing Nadal head into yet another French Open semi-final, I recall the 2008 Wimbledon classic. The epic finale on the grandest of stages in tennis. When Steffi Graf defeated Martina Navratilova to win Wimbledon 1988, the BBC match commentator announced herald-like, “The ...

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Federer versus Nadal: Who is the greatest of them all?

Art is the purest form of human expression – free from the quagmire of social pessimism. The best way to appreciate it lies in the process of rising above vague parameters of judgment, which in their very design, are destined to create an infinite cycle of controversy.  Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are two modern day champions who epitomise art in sport. Watching these two greats grace the tennis court is akin to the privilege of observing Leonardo da Vinci paint Mona Lisa, or Beethoven author a masterpiece. It is with these thoughts that I attempt to write about two of the greatest champions ...

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Rafael Nadal: The king is back!

June 28, 2012, proved to be the most significant date in the life of Lukas Rosol. He not only beat Nadal in Wimbeldon but rather pulled off the biggest upset in sport, for the last decade. Nadal’s mind blowing accomplishments on Clay sometimes take the spotlight off what he has achieved on other surfaces. Six finals at Wimbeldon, two final appearances each in Australian Open and US Open respectively take some doing. Thus, Rosol not only beat a great player that day, he actually beat a legend. Nadal did not play another competitive match again for seven months. His long standing battle against his ...

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Roger Federer: Still going strong

Wimbledon championships exude the kind of decorum, class and tradition that is existent to a far lesser degree at tennis’s three other major tournaments. For precisely this reason the third grand slam event on the tennis calendar is arguably the most prestigious. The 2012 championships were no different, on the grass courts at SW19; some of the most eye catching tennis drama unfolded. From the ouster of Rafael Nadal in a shocking second round upset, to a troublesome back that almost floored Federer, it was edge-of-the-seat stuff. Yet for the many fans of Roger Federer, the final moments of a two ...

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Aisam and Faha’s separation carnival: The blame lies with us

Pakistani tennis star Aisamul  Haq Qureshi and his wife Faha Akmal Makhdum decide to separate having failed to develop an understanding between each other over the course of their eight-month marriage. First thought: Aisam, the tennis dude, loves milk (no pun intended). Second thought: Eight months! Who the hell walks away from a marriage in just eight months and that too in Pakistan? Third thought: Something scandalous must have happened. Must find out what. I felt pretty ashamed at my personal train of thought when I first heard of Aisam and Faha’s separation, but once I went online to see what the media ...

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Parenting: On Andy Murray’s loss and Judy Murray’s victory

I am not particularly interested in tennis but to keep my husband company, I watched the Murray-Federer Wimbledon final. And at the end of the match – while I, along with everyone in the whole world, had a lump in the throat during Andy Murray’s emotional interview –  it was only when I saw his mother weeping did I break down too. Judy Murray stayed poker-faced while her son gave his all against Roger Federer in the final match, unable to accomplish his historic bid to become the first Englishman to win the men’s singles title since 1936. ...

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Federer ends Wimbledon with a bang!

Sometimes even the bare statistics can be enough to tell the entire story. With this four-set victory over Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final, Roger Federer won an astonishing 17th grand slam, three more than any other man in the history of the game. He also tied Pete Sampras’ record in winning his seventh Wimbledon and, in two weeks’ time, will overtake Sampras for the most weeks spent at number one– an  unbelievable 286 weeks at the top of the rankings; with Andre Agassi being the only player to have reached the pinnacle of the rankings at a more advanced age. ...

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Nadal and Djokovic? Enough with the repetition!

Wimbledon, since you have begun, just one request from an ardent tennis fan. Please, don’t let the final be between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The pattern of the matches between Nadal and Djokovic has become all too familiar, with the latter’s evil victorious smile really getting to me. The last four grand slam finals have only been between these two players and, except the recent French Open, it was Djokovic who ended up winning all matches. While Djokovic beamed and flaunted his trophies and prize money in front of the camera, poor Nadal got photographed with only a shield. While ...

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Image is nothing: Pakistan as Andre Agassi

Even before he had won anything of note, tennis player Andre Agassi became a celebrity thanks to his “Image is Everything” ads for Cannon, which capitalised on his ridiculous blonde locks and cut-off denim shorts. Although he would go on to reveal that the hair was augmented by a toupee and win a bunch of majors on his way to becoming a truly legendary player, Agassi admitted in his searing autobiography” Open” that he was never comfortable with his rockstar status, unearned that it was. The lesson is clear: image is a self-created ...

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Don’t write Federer off yet

Great athletes defy the scourge of age to transcend the presumed parameters placed on them by the others. Sachin Tendulkar’s first Test century, which came in an unusually warm English summer of 1990, belongs to an innocent age. He’s still one of the best in the world. Michael Schumacher began his stellar career in Formula One the following year. He’s retired once, after winning seven drivers’ titles, but he’s back and remains a competitive driver in the paddock despite being 42 years old. In his own domain, Roger Federer shares the unyielding hunger of those two, although he does so in the ...

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