Impact of Tennis Poetry

There are lots of sportspersons who have created some great impact on me. I have been a fan of The Undertaker when I was a child, and I used to be a big fan of Saurav Ganguly later. Well, I no longer use the word fan because I have never been that kind of a fan that hates everyone who doesn’t like his or her favourite celebrities. I have been a person who admired these people who have had great impact on me. But there has been one person whom I really needed to write about.

I am talking about that person who is considered to be the greatest tennis player of all-time, and I never had any doubt about that. As you might have guessed the name of that person by now, this blog post is about Roger Federer. If you look at the records, you will know there are so much of achievements which he got inside his pockets. He has broken many records and has created his own including that of the most Grand Slams won and the most time spent as the world number one.

Well, I believe that you know most of it, and so, this post is going to about the impact that he has made on me rather than the impact which he has made on the tennis world. Even though the impact in tennis can be considered bigger, it is not that much behind in my case either. I have always believed in Roger Federer, and whether he wins or not, he has been the one who made the most impact on me, a lot more than any other sportsperson, and I am extremely glad about that.

I have always compared Federer to a certain kind of tennis poetry, with the way in which he has been playing, not making those terrible sounds or trying so hard. He just moves around seemingly without any trouble, and there is no overdose of emotions like some other players who are rather too aggressive with showing off after each shot. The biggest impact that his style has had on me is to control the emotions. It has helped me to take a game, whether it is badminton, cricket or football as a game in its own spirit.

Another impact that he has had is on my way of playing badminton. Yes, badminton is not tennis and also vice versa. I have never played tennis, but I have played a lot of badminton. So, I have tried to use his style of play in badminton, and that backhand has worked for me as a surprise weapon; the tennis forehand also works! Well, I have been accused of playing badminton like tennis, but there is this impact that Roger Federer has made, and I could never try not to do that.

He has won awards for sportsmanship, and has been the fan favourite for so long, and there is no surprise about it. I have never really stopped believing in Federer; I have always known that he will be the impact-maker no matter how the world changes. He also founded the Roger Federer Foundation to help the children in need. He has been a person known for his philanthropy too, as he has also made an impact outside the court. If you ask me about tennis, there is Roger Federer and then there is everyone else.

In the last few years, I have realized that I only liked Federer better and his performance never really mattered. It was all about the way in which he played and how he has been on the court as well as outside the court that has made such a huge impact on me. I have always been interested in Federer for being the person that he has been. It is never going to change, no matter what comes around in the upcoming years. He had that impact on me and it is forever, without conditions; it is the impact of tennis poetry on court and a great human being outside it.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of Roger Federer.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

TeNy

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Where Everything Ends

The year end is here, and so is the ATP World Tour Finals. The best men of tennis from the year are back to compete for the one final prize, the trophy which will make this year and awesome one. With Roger Federer having won the title six times and Novak Djokovic four times, there is nobody else in the top ten who has won this one – well, there is nobody even in the top 200. So with eight top players ready, there were six trying to get their hands on the big prize for the first time.

The one person who really should win this title though, is Rafael Nadal. He came second twice here, and deserves to win this title to make his achievements even better. But he couldn’t go past the World Number in the knock-out stage, as Djokovic has been far ahead of the rest of the ATP throughout the year, except for Federer who could manage something against the Serbian juggernaut. Nadal could still top the group which didn’t have Federer and Djokovic who were to fight against each other early to a Swiss win.

djoko

Nadal still went past Andy Murray and Stanislas Wawrinka without much trouble. Surprisingly, it was Wawrnika who joined Nadal in the other match of the semi-finals and not Murray. He came second by beating the last of the Big Four and David Ferrer who became the only man who could bring the fight to Nadal in that group; he will always be the greatest fighter of all time in men’s tennis. I have often wondered if he is the best player of this century never to have won a Grand Slam.

Meanwhile, in the other group, Tomáš Berdych and Kei Nishikori couldn’t go past the two men who won twenty seven Grand Slam titles and one hundred and fourty six singles titles between then; Djokovic lost only to Federer who made it perfect with cent percent wins, and the rest could only watch. With this tournament, Federer also has the most number of ATP World Tour Finals appearances, and he has played fourteen of these tournaments continuously until this one.

With Djokovic having an easy victory against Nadal who came nowhere close, Federer made it past Wawrinka in straight sets making the final once again a clash of the titans. Djokovic is the tree-time defending champion with this title, and last year had Federer not playing in the final due to health issues and Djokovic winning by a walkover. This final was to be a repeat of the last year’s ATP World Tour Finals match which never really happened, and so the fans were to be a lot excited.

When they went into the finals, the rivalry between the two players had Federer leading by 22–21 head to head; the Swiss Master being the only person in the big four and the current top players to have a positive head to head record against the World Number One even as it is such a small lead. Djokovic actually had a great year, and even though he was defeated by Federer in the group stages, he was the favourite considering how well and consistently he had played throughout the year.

federer!

Federer couldn’t win his last three Grand Slam finals against Djokovic. This one was opportunity for Djokovic to erase the negative head to head record with Federer too, and he did exactly that. He started the favourite in this tournament and he ends it as the winner. This ends an almost perfect year for him, with only the French Open somehow keeping away from him – that was rather a surprise. With three Grand Slam wins, a Slam final and a victory in the year end tournament, Djokovic seems to be ready to dominate men’s tennis for some more time.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Pages of the two players.

TeNy

Warriors of Scarlet Lands

***Here is the story of French Open told in a different way 😀

On the land dominated by the gods and demigods, there were two warriors going for battle for a change. The gods were becoming weak due to old age, and were not as good as they used to be. The magical spear and the lightning bolts had lost the energy which were drawn from the prayers of the common man. The recent change to the golden bow and arrow as weapons didn’t help the cause either. It meant that the gods had to bow out of the competition. It was up-to the warriors to finish things.

Well, the gods were also warriors at one point of time. They had dethroned the gods of their times whom they had replaced to attain glory. There were many of them at one point of time, but in the last few years, there was only one god in this realm, except for one year of power transfer to the God Emperor. The rest of the realms were also changing hands for the last few years, and the mortal warriors have been taking over one realm after the other lead by the current king of the down under and the number one warrior of the present.

sw

A new king was already established last year in the north beyond the ocean. These Scarlet Lands remained the only territory which was left unconquered by the mortals of these times, which is why the man who lead the mortals, the best of the present time and the strong contender to immortality once again reached the final level of battle, troubled only by the hero of the magical isles as he defeated the God of the Scarlet Lands with so much of ease. It came as a shock to many.

Well, the time of the current gods were coming to an end, but the fans just refused to see the same, and so did the predictions from the experts up-to an extent. But our great warrior had to face another champion of the down under, as he came from the world of the Greatest God of all time. He didn’t do that well last time and was not an expert of this realm. But he went through the same, the Greatest of all gods, and also defeated the favourite of the people of the Scarlet Lands to reach here.

And there is always the Djoker looking for his opportunity.

The Great Battles of the Grasslands were still pending, and there was the need to establish one’s ability to go closer to immortality, because the Scarlet Lands was the one place to make a difference as it had been the one fortress of the gods which was so difficult to conquer. With the power of the minotaur, and often directly transforming into one, the God of the Scarlet Lands had defended it with all his divine energy channelized towards his magical spear.

Therefore, this victory for one of these warriors is nothing less than a big boost to the person’s chances at immortality, even though the defeated fighter can also be proud of coming so far. Well, you have to accept that this winner, is another possible future immortal of our times, with having conquered two realms now. The number one warrior of these times had a great chance, but somehow couldn’t really get there in the end when the need came.

The conquest of the present realm which signifies Fire, will go on nicely with his possible conquest of the next, which is of Earth as he will be fully confident about winning the Great Battles of the Grasslands, even in the presence of the immortals and the magicians there too, along with the warriors. These two warriors do have a good chance to meet in the final stages there too, considering how well they have been fighting their battles.

***The images used in this blog post are from Facebook Pages of these players.

TeNy

The Lost Badminton Days

Among the best memories of life, there were always the days of the Badminton, something which I started in detail in the year 2001 with the first Badminton bat I ever had – Kamachi, a sporting season which improved further in 2002 and carried on with no real training and finding one weird way or the other to play the sport. Now, with almost no chance to play Badminton anymore, I take a look at those memories. The Badminton had somehow survived until 2014 first half for me; even now it is not dead, but is close to it.

The first season of the Badminton Days was the Kamachi season – it was a racquet that survived only to make way for the next one – Wish. 2001-2004 was rather my learning season, and it was the time when I tried my best to work on a certain style for my game, and was hoping to get at least a few smashes right (as long as I could keep getting the shuttle to the other side :D). Except for getting the drop-shots right rarely, I could only come up with some very rare surprises against those power-smashers.

You see the former bat with the pole on the background which acts a stumps too :D

You see the former racquet with a shuttle (pack is empty :P) a pole and the court too 😀

2004-2006 was my next season, finding the smashes with the new racquet, and somehow able to return some of those smashes, but still having almost no backhand. It was only during the 2006-2008 season with the next racquet Kennex that I somehow discovered that backhand shots could be played, and for that I can only thank my love for Roger Federer reaching new heights. Even as I liked him much earlier, the imitation of that classic backhand was coming to me this time, and there were the good-looking wrist bands and elbow supports to inspire 😀

2008-2011 with my next Wish racquet was my best season ever, and this was also the time of having best energy. With a ban on cricket, football and any sport which required a ball by our association, Badminton thrived at that time, and it is to be noted that there were so many people to play the game from 2001-2011, these ten years being awesome for the sport. I perfected the tennis shots during that season, and could do the tennis backhands too; and there was my tribute to Roger Federer 😀

A bat to remember, as I would like to talk about it and the Badminton days :D

A racquet to remember, as I would like to talk about it and those lost Badminton days 😀

2011-2015 is the time of the next racquet, the fifth in the list, the Silvers blue one which is continuing its journey even as there is no Badminton anymore, as my hope to find a place to play has failed miserably. This is my best bat so far and has lasted more than any other considering the years, but if we consider the time spent playing, this one is yet to see enough of the court. I have still managed to damage it enough already by diving on the court with it in the beginning stages itself 😀

Badminton has been so much of a fun game, and I miss it so much nowadays. I even miss that wind which helped me to get the shuttle in even after it was hit outside. Among the things that I really wish to do and bring back to my life, Badminton should come first. Our Badminton group used to be at its best at that time, and during a golden age, there would be about twelve people around just trying to get a game, and having tea or lime juice after the game was priceless. I wonder why there is not much Badminton around these days – lazy people all around!

The present Silvers racquet and the kitty who wanted to join the game ;)

The present Silvers racquet and the cute little kitty who wanted to join the game at night 😉

I miss playing those weird shots – those tennis backhands to the corners, the hook shot drops, the tweener drop shots, the surprise tennis forehands, the leg glance drop shots, the surprise slice drop shot, the diving sweep shot – all variety inventions which have a lot of chance not to succeed, but there is always that awesome day at the court when things work 😀 You can guess that this kind of strange nonsense shots are not going to work against a good, trained player – but there is the happiness that you get once some of these work and use the surprise elements to win against a player of your same level 😉

*All photos used in this blog post were taken on my Nokia N95 and Sony Cybershot DSC-W310.

TeNy

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

Of a Romanian Beauty

I have been watching tennis for quite some time now, and I have watched and admired many players, but none so much as Roger Federer, who redefined my days of watching that game which I have never played and might never play. I have spent hours just watching the maestro play, and have watched almost all the grand slams he has won, mostly as live action and sometimes in the form of highlights.

I have also admired Novak Djokovic with his game on a lot of occasions, and has considered him a worthy successor to the number one title which he is holding now. When coming to the women’s tennis, it has never had a clear favourite player in my list, as there used to be Maria Sharapova, replaced by Caroline Wozniacki who still remains one my big favourites, Agnieszka Radwańska who is there forever, and Eugenie Bouchard whom I occasionally root for as part of another army – Genie Army.

Roger Federer and Simona Halep, my choices for every Grand Slam :D

Roger Federer and Simona Halep, my choices for every Grand Slam 😀

Then there is Simona Halep, whom I have been supporting for months now as the latest addition to that list. Along with supporting Roger Federer, I have been wishing that she had one the women’s division too. I might still name my cat Agnieszka who have been the fan favourite player for the last consecutive years (and mine too), but the admiration for Simona has been something that has been growing like a vampire’s fangs. She is not screaming and doing all those strange actions on the court like some of the other players who overdo the same.

It is a feel-good moment when she wins those points :)

It is a feel-good moment when she wins those points 🙂

Ever since reading Dracula, I have always wanted to visit Romania, and support the nation in something, and Simona is the answer to my prayers to find something for the same cause. Yes, another reason to love Romania here, and I was actually surprised at how much she has come up in the rankings all of a sudden and how well she has improved her game. Well, it is still safe to say that not many people from this part of the world knows her yet, and that is rather a disgrace to all kinds of sports.

Always looking good whether on the court or off-court!

Always looking good whether on the court or off-court!

The twenty three year old from Romania has jumped in rankings and has arrived and settled inside the top ten of WTA Rankings, and now sitting steadily at number three below veterans Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. She looks small, but has such an intelligent game to take on the stronger opponents. This was achieved after being a rather less heard name in Women’s tennis, which with frequent serve breaks, has been such an unpredictable side compared to the men’s tennis which has had the big four of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

Hope she wins the next grand slam and more :)

Hope she wins the next grand slam and more 🙂

She came so close to winning the Roland Garros this year too, but there is a thing about the French Open, as it is too elusive for the best players and those who play beautiful tennis. After having not that much of a good record in the grand slams, she could rise to the occasions this year reaching the final of the French Open and the semi-final of the Wimbledon in an year which saw her rise which also lead to the demolition of Serena Williams in the WTA Championships even as she lost in the final to the same opponent.

Not difficult to find Simona here :) (Pic from Simona wiki page)

Not difficult to find Simona here 🙂 (Pic from Simona wiki page)

Among the players who are doing so well in the WTA, I would vote for Simona Halep this time, and the player who recently turned twenty three and at 5 feet 6 inches among the shorter top players, seems to be the rising star for the future of women’s tennis. Lets hope that she continues to play the wonderful tennis that she is producing and keeps us admiring her talent. *All the photos in this post except one are from the official Facebook page of Simona Halep (https://www.facebook.com/simonahalep)

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.