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

Return of the Emperor

Roger Federer still remains the one big reason why I watch tennis, and even at this age, what he is still managing to achieve remains pretty much awesome – despite the blind fans of many other tennis stars still not willing to see the same and those who don’t know tennis failing to look at it doesn’t make it any lesser. With the most grandslams in men’s tennis and the most number of weeks as the world number as well as the most consecutive weeks holding the same, plus so many other records, Federer has got not much to prove.

Yes, this is another one of those years in which he hasn’t won a grand slam, and has reached only one final of the same, that too of his favourite slam. He was without slams in 2011 and 2013 too and compared to last year, this one is a big improvement. He was number six last year, the lowest for him in ten years, and also with the lowest win percent and having no grand slam finals – the worst year since his rise to the top.

Federer with the ballboys and girls after winning the trophy :)

Federer with the ballboys and girls after winning the trophy 🙂

Consider this year though, as he is back to the world number two, gaining four spots from last year. He also has the best win percent since 2007, and could throw the miserable 2013 behind him. With only Novak Djokovic in front of him, he has also beaten the current world number one multiple times. With Rafael Nadal struggling to find form and time without injury, it is brilliant how Federer can manage it at this age.

Imagine Federer at one of our malls in front of his photo :D

Imagine Federer at one of our malls in front of his photo 😀

This year, he won Dubai Tennis Championships beating Tomas Berdych in the final, and followed it with the titles Halle Open, Cincinnati Masters, Shanghai Masters and Swiss Indoors, plus almost winning Wimbledon in a comeback which was almost not there for him. He was also close to winning Monte-Carlo Masters and Indian Wells Masters. Time to retire? I wouldn’t think so, and neither should anyone else. See how he is still evolving his game and adapting – there is more to see from him.

The Roger Federer Foundation - beautiful stuff :)

The Roger Federer Foundation – beautiful stuff 🙂

The ATP World Tour Finals is yet to come with four hundred points to defend for Federer, and an year end number one is quite far away with Djokovic in nice form. But being the world number two itself is an achievement. Whether some miracle strikes and makes him the year end number one again or not, this year has been big for Roger Federer, and it is not based on slams or the number of finals he has won, it is based on how well he has played among his younger opponents.

Players with Wilson racquets - theres Simona too :D

Players with Wilson racquets – theres Simona too 😀

There is also the Davis Cup World Group Final coming up, with France vs Switzerland as Federer’s home country look forward to their first title, and France looking for another title to add to their long list. As Federer teams up with Stanislas Wawrinka (finally a worthy partner from home) to who he had lost his Swiss number one spot which he has now regained, it is certain that there will be a lot to cheer for as far as the fans are concerned – this is going to be good.

Meanwhile, IPTL (Indian Premier Tennis League) is coming up, and Roger Federer is coming to India. He will play for Indian Aces teaming up with Pete Sampras, Ana Ivanovic, Gael Mofils, Sania Mirza, Rohan Bopanna and Fabrice Santoro, and sparks are going to fly for sure. It is known that the tickets for Federer’s matches in Delhi were sold in twenty minutes, and that is the beauty of having the maestro here, and that was despite the ticket prices being so high. Federer is not done yet, know that! *All the photos are from Roger Federer’s official Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Federer).

TeNy