When Nobody Knows

I am pretty sure that a lot of people have prayed a lot for the Indian cricket team to win the World Cup. But among the things I have wanted the most was for India to win the Davis Cup – yes, Indian football team qualifying for the FIFA World Cup was a necessity, but I had always hoped for a tennis achievement more. This love for tennis had kept me trying to play tennis shots in badminton even as that reinforced the fact that I will never play tennis in my life.

That brings back to the topic – who would I want to win the Davis Cup as it was kind of impossible for India considering the absence of a big tennis player in the ATP division. There might be just one win in the doubles, which would have been quite easy at a time when Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi were at full flow. But then, there is the other option, to watch Switzerland win the Davis Cup, something which happened yesterday at the same time as the ISL match between Mumbai City FC and Chennaiyin FC was going on.

Federer and Wawrinka - redefining Swiss tennis (pic from ATP site)

Federer and Wawrinka – redefining Swiss tennis (pic from ATP site)

I switched on the television and checked some of the so called big news channels starting with Indiavision. I waited till the sports news and kept staring at it, but it seemed that nobody knew there was such a tournament. For a tournament that happened at night, they don’t feel the need to show the news about it in the morning. It made me wonder where our journalism was heading. This is exactly why tennis doesn’t have that much of an impact in India.

Fed-rinka in action in France (pic from Reuters)

Fed-rinka in action in France (pic from Reuters)

Czech Republic did win the Fed Cup earlier defeating Germany in the final, but it is clear nobody cared about it. I would say that most of the people don’t know that there is a woman’s equivalent of the Davis Cup. The media might also need some classes about the same, as they keep searching for cricket even in the ISL. The final didn’t end up being the close contest that I had expected it to, but I am an admirer of Lucie Safarova and is glad to see her team win, as I feel that she has under-achieved. I am surprised that Sabine Lisicki didn’t play a singles match though.

The Swiss Davis Cup team (pic from daviscup.com)

The Swiss Davis Cup team (pic from daviscup.com)

The total number of quality female players in Germany was surely high, but the two players, Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova ended up being too good. These two were far ahead of the rest of the players from Czech Republic as out of the top twenty rankings, the next available players was under rank 150 while Germany had a better team in totality. The same is the case of Switzerland and France in the Davis Cup. Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrnika being way ahead of the others who are ranked below 200, and their opponents having all their five players in the top thirty.

The Swiss players with the Davis Cup trophy (pic from ndtv)

The Swiss players with the Davis Cup trophy (pic from ndtv)

This is a great win for Switzerland, and a wonderful addition to the list of great achievement of Roger Federer who had been fighting a lone battle for a long time before Wawrinka came into the picture – what an year for him too, beginning it with the Australian Open title and ending it with the Davis Cup trophy. The way in which they have managed to get rid of the rift between the two and come together to play for their nation, and how Federer managed to be fit for his country – all these are worth the appreciation.

But do our media know any of this? I have always considered Davis Cup with a great level of esteem. It is more equivalent to the World Cup than anything else, and it is the duty of the media to broadcast it and provide enough information about the same. The same is the case of Fed Cup which is more like a mystery around here. I wouldn’t be surprised though, considering the cold way in which they report Wimbledon. I hope that the senior Malayalam news channels and newspapers take tennis more seriously (a corner in the sports page is not enough for big tournaments), and it can only help the growth of tennis here.

TeNy

Immortals Among Men

We all need our gods. There is no other place where one can be more proud about the existence of God than India, which is indeed a great boost for my own spirituality and beliefs. We have cricket God, and not knowing him is a crime which can bring the religious fundamentalists to abuse, and a later stage of the same can give rise to the worst activities. That should be considered a terrible phenomenon denying someone the right to ignorance, but that story is different. Still, there was always the possiblity of gods in other forms of sports, and the same thing was recently discovered with the use of tennis God to refer to Roger Federer. Yes, it is about that impact that they bring, and despite not being omnipotent as one would expect from gods, they are always loved by people and the viewers always cheering for them.

Well, what is it about being a God? I wouldn’t use that word though, and I will choose to replace the same with the word Immortal. There are Immortals in every sport. We can write them off, and hope that they will go away, but they don’t. They fail to die and there is such clarity associated with the elixir of life which runs through their veins that digging a grave for them would only mean digging one for yourself. Some of the greatest players in the history are often resurrected. For the same, they actually have to die off. But in the case of Immortals, they were never gone and can’t ever disappear. Their game can fade, but not their class. Being a god needs omnipotence, but an Immortal doesn’t need that, and the lack of that quality makes him closer to humanity. We can have golden ducks and the scores of nineties, we can have first round exits and epic final losses, and it is how everything should work.

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (From ATP World Tour Finals Website)

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (From ATP World Tour Finals Website)

Then there was yesterday night. I had witnessed dark clouds gathering on the sky in the evening, but they had soon chosen to wait and show allegiance to the clear sky that Wimbledon had in store, as enough thunder and lightning was actually at on the ground. An Immortal, one who is worth being called the greatest of them all, was taking on someone who was looking to have his place at Mount Olympus, establishing the D-throne. There was thunder and lightning being served, and quite a number of them caught the magic wand and returned on contact. The magic was in the air, and there were legends of other battles watching from outside, cheering for the greatness that awaited them at the arena of great champions, where Immortals have clashed with humans or even battled against their own kind searching an elevation of their status.

The human was rather the favourite, and he has been so for a long time. He was a man who proved to be able rise above the Immortals and seize his glory to become another one himself. The other demigod from the island had lost his weapon early. Meanwhile, another Immortal had been defeated too early, the one who possessed the power of a Minotaur had to bow out as he had tasted the best of humanity in a battle which shocked the world of both the immortals and the believers. It is the best thing about being a mortal, you can surprise people with your awesomeness, but for Immortals, that is not the case. Immortals are always expected to win, and even if they win against another Immortals, it is taken as granted. It is only by losing that they can bring the surprise factor.

The human was sure to get that win, before the final charge was ever to be possible, but the Immortal was never finished, and they never are unless they say it themselves. They are the masters of twists, and the threads of fate runs around their bones. But it had to finish in the final round, because the human was no longer mortal for he was near immortality, and was so much close to that fountain which sprinkled the elixir and he took that extra step to taste the stuff. He was a demigod there, not an immortal, but Djochilles the Great was a man who was better than all demigods, a step higher than them all, and one moment was always going to be enough for him – it was the moment when even the Immortal faltered, the age and the vision of a Ragnarok catching up on him, and in a reversal of what happened in the previous set, the demigod became the Immortal, and joined his two contemporaries at Olympus.

The Immortal causes of Roger Federer (From Roger Federer Foundation Page)

The Immortal causes of Roger Federer (From Roger Federer Foundation Page)

Congratulations, Novak Djokovic, the Wimbledon champion of 2014, and the new World No. 1 also becoming the only person other than Rafael Nadal to beat Roger Federer in the Wimbledon Final, the greatest stage of them all. He also ties the number of titles with Nadal. At the same time, Federer also proves why he is considered the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time), with that wonderful performance which he came up with, even when he is turning 33, an age which is not kind to the Immortals of Tennis. He will always be the greatest among Immortals, and that “God” status will be readily available for him, for that 237 consecutive weeks of being World No. 1 is not of this world. He is not finished yet, and we are sure to see more of the immortality at the court.

TeNy.