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Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Roland Garros, 2008

After watching a frustrating French open final i am not in mood to do anything. This is my way to vent the frustration. World number 1 in tennis losing in straight sets, scoring only 4 points in 3 sets, can’t annoy a tennis fan more. Was Federer outplayed by Nadal?

Of course not. One of the worst games Federer has played in years got Nadal his 4th title at Roland Garros. Roland Garros happens to be a French aviator, a trivia i was pleased to know than watch the abysmal performance by one of the greatest players in the history of tennis. Coming from a good match against the frenchman Gael Monfils, least i was expecting from Federer was give a stiff competition to the clay court champ. I knew it was too much to expect Federer to trash Nadal on clay. I was hoping to see a competitive match stretching to 4 sets, or at least a tie-breaker! All in vain.

I would be happy if Federer lost to unstoppable Nadal, but not when he lost to unforced errors. 35 unforced errors, crashing an aggressive forehand to the net or hitting it meters out of the box, like a rookie. Federer’s game annoyed me as much as the praise for Nadal by the commentators. Those morons were talking about how Nadal has ‘dominated’ the match. I could only see a few good passing shots by Nadal when Fed half-heartedly came to the net, and there was no signs of domination as Federer was literally throwing away the match with his unforced errors and poor conversion of 2nd serve to winning points. The commentators also started talking how amazing Nadal would be even on grass as he displayed supposedly some outstanding stuff last year in Wimbledon. I hope he gets trashed somewhere in 1st or 2nd round this year.

At one point in the 3rd set, i got so annoyed that i even started watching some crap talk by the Bachans and Ram Gopal Verma on a news channel! An average game by Nadal was enough to beat the off shine, under confident underdog Roger Federer. The only thing that made me smile this evening was the fast recap of this year’s tournament in the end, which showed the gorgeous Maria Sharapova for a moment. :)

Roger Federer

Having seen the genius of Roger Federer trashing best of the players like Safin and Roddick, it is disheartening to see him underperform and perish. Watching the King of tennis, who as i have seen shoot a winner even when on a wrong foot, to lose to an average game displayed by Nadal was sheer disappointment.

Federer needs to believe in himself and his abilities. He has to believe than he can beat, if not easily, Nadal on clay. He is world no. 1 for over four consecutive years for a reason, and that is because he is superior to the world no. 2, Rafael Nadal. I hope to see the genius display his abilities in full extravagance at the mecca of tennis, Wimbledon, which i truly believe is ‘The Grand Slam’. Watch out for Maria and FedEx sizzling on grass. :)

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Wouldn’t that be great to see on the news channels as breaking news? The whimsical show-off Dr.Vijay Mallya is capable of doing such antics with the god forsaken Bangalore Royal Challengers.

Bangalore Royal Challengers

Having Rahul Dravid as an icon player for a Twenty20 tournament, buying aged ‘star players of the yesteryears’ ignored by the cricket boards of their countries at exorbitant price (read Jacques Kallis), with the ‘first ladies of American football‘ showing off their talents (and assets) and serving liquor in the stands was he expecting to trash other teams in a game cricket? Why does he fire the sober looking sane and not-so-pretty guy in the whimsical Vijay Mallya’s stable, Charu Sharma? Probably he wanted to get Yana Gupta, or maybe Negar Khan as the CEO of the Royal Challengers team, only saved by sane decision to have Brijesh Patel when he was not so high on RC.

When you are in it purely for business, why would you wanna make a mockery of the esteemed sports personalities and commentators like Venkatesh Prasad and Charu Sharma? No doubt Venkatesh Prasad has done an excellent job as a bowling coach for the Indian side, grooming talented youngsters like Praveen Kumar and Ishant Sharma in the tour of Australia. Vijay Mallya thinks he is not good enough to coach the bunch of test-players lead by ever so slow, run-a-hundred-ball getter Rahul Dravid. Charu Sharma is a former national diving champion, and a good commentator. If he wasn’t good enough for you, why hire him in the first place?

A team performs as the captain leads. This has been proven by the dazzling Delhi Daredevils‘ skipper Virender Sehwag. So has Shane Warne with a bunch of mediocre players. The attitude of a leader gives a much needed morale boost for the team, and Rahul Dravid is not able provide that in T20 games. No doubt Dravid is a class player with technically perfect shots but T20 is not the arena for showcasing such hard-to-get talents. T20 is for the Dhonis and Afridis, where the bat speed matters more than the technique. VVS Laxman is another class player who fails to lead the team to success with worlds best hard-hitting star cricketers.

If BCCI would permit, Mallya would want to sport a team of 11 bikini clad Kingfisher calender swimsuit models instead of cricketers but unfortunately this is suppose to be “cricket”. Hope the game remains and not become entirely business, that too in the hands of crazy liquor morons.

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Marion Jones, and Martina Hingis, two of my favorite female athletes of yesteryears, that is before Maria came to limelight, have hit the rock bottom with their doping controversy.

I still remember the 2000 Olympics vividly when Marion Jones shot to fame with three gold medals. The tall and gracious American with a lovely smile was a treat to watch. The elegance in her long jump was uncanny. She ruled the Sydney Olympics, and was the true champion on track. The first woman to win five medals at one Olympics.

Marion Jones winning 100m at Sydney Olympics

Marion’s childhood was marred by unpleasant events, with her own father, George Jones, disowning her. Her step father died of a stroke. The anger was vent on track with young Marion, at age 15, winning 200 meters race clocking 22.87 seconds, breaking the national high school record. Jones’ track future was jeopardized when she failed to show up for a random drug test (the letter notifying her of the test never reached her), and she was banned from the sport for four years. She took up Basketball, and starred even in that. Was brought back to track by her coach and husband CJ Hunter, whom she married in 1998 and divorced in 2001.

Her 2004 Olympics was a mere participation, i watched her intently without much happening. I was disappointed, wondered what happened to Marion Jones of 2000.

Only recently her use of performance enhancing drugs in the Sydney Olympics came to light. In October 2007 Jones announced her retirement from track. She confessed to making false statements during two different government drug investigations. On 11th January 2008, Jones was sentenced to six months in prison for lying about steroid use and a lucrative cheque fraud case. The IOC formally stripped Marion Jones of her five Olympic medals.

Martina Hingis JugglingMartina Hingis, Swiss miss and the princess of WTA. The youngest player to win Wimbledon Championships. She was a darling, with superb agility. Defeating Jana Novotn√°, Hingis won her first Wimbledon title. Unlike Marion Jones, Martina was born to two accomplished tennis players: mother, Melanie Molitorov√°, and father Karol Hingis. In 1993, 12-year-old Hingis became the youngest player to win a Grand Slam junior title: the girls’ singles at the French Open. Soon Hingis became the youngest player in the Open Era (1968-present) to win the singles title at Wimbledon when she won in 1997 at the age of 16 years, 9 months, and 5 days. She was also the first Swiss woman ever to win Wimbledon.

Martina came back from her earlier announced retirement to professional tennis in 2005 and won few major titles, including Australian Open mixed doubles with Mahesh Bhupathi in 2006.

Martina was banned for two years on January 4th 2008 after testing positive for cocaine at the All England Club. This was after she retired from professional Tennis in November 2007. Such a disgraceful exit for the wonderful tennis player.

These two superstar athletes having been at the pinnacle of their sport making such a disgraceful exit is disheartening. At least Martina’s cocaine usage could be excused as many believe cocaine would not enhance the performance in a sport like tennis, but Marion Jones’ use of performance enhancing drugs for winning the 100m, 200m, long jump and other events in Olympics is unpardonable and is a shame. Hopefully Marion Jones’ imprisonment will serve as epitome to other athletes discouraging them from the use any kind of banned substances in future.

Below is the clip of Marion Jones’ Sydney Olympics 100m race, very enthralling to watch even if you know she used drugs.

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