Friday, August 15, 2008

Ooh. Losing hurts! Grow up Blake

So Olympics are on and as expected, the tennis fun continues and so does Federer's downward slide.

Of course, not withstanding Fedex's loss, some scintillating tennis is on display. If you watched Nadal/Djokovic match, you know what I mean.

Can you imagine this kind of intense rivalry in an Olympics tennis tournament! Such rivalries always seemed only to be meant for Grand slams. I would have loved to see this level of competition in the earlier Olympics, but this one is compensating for all the previous ones! I'm so glad that top tennis players decided to play in this Olympics and give us fans, such a treat.

Before I go on, I have to say that I didn't like the bitching and moaning coming from James Blake about Gonzalez, he kept on saying;
-how it was unsportsman like for Gonzales,
-how he lost faith in a fellow competitor,
-how Gonzalez should have conceded the point,
-how who Gonzales does everything in his power to win, “usually” within the rules.

In effect, Blake brought everything possible into press conference about his opponent EXCEPT the fact that he failed to convert three match-points in the final set. The real reason for his loss.

I have high respect for Blake, and if you have read his biography, you'd agree with me too - the man is fighter. He has faced high odds and lost his dad to cancer, a man who shaped him and his career and inspired Blake to achieve these lofty heights. In fact, he mentioned his dad in the post-game conference too though I wish, he had used his Dad's reference in a better context.

Blake just came out as a bitter man, venting out his frustration, of losing in a crucial match, winning which could have gotten him to a Golden final.

What is surprising to me is the fact that if you look at the match TV footing, you can see that Gonzales genuinely didn't seem to have felt the brush of the few fibers of the ball on the BACK of his racket.
Sure, Blake was close to the action and even if we presume for a moment, that Gonzales knew for sure that ball had hit his racket but didn't acknowledge it, would you blame him!

I mean, its a match and a crucial one at that. I've seem many a top players, simply look at the umpire and wait for the chair to call a point and not concede a point on their own, EVE when they know that the point belonged to their opponent.

By crying out like he did, Blake has only come out as a cry baby and not someone who can take a rough day stoically.

Oh Nadal! Man is he good and lucky or what! If you watched the match you know what I mean! Poor Novak- he blazed through Nadal in the second set only to get a little tight and then smash himself out of the match and for chasing the gold. I don't blame him for being emotional in the end. He was so close.

Novak, my man, its not you! Nadal is on an unbelievable run and apparently supprted by Gods of Tennis.

Now to my favorite Federer - he just doesn't have the confidence, does he! I was already thinking that he's not gonna go far when I read the news that he had decided not to stay in the Olympic village and was lodged in a hotel. This is what he said;
"It's not possible for me to stay there," he said. "There are so many athletes who want their pictures taken with me. "I don't mind it, but every day? I can't escape it. It's not the ideal preparation for winning Olympic gold."

Doesn't it sound like he's almost afraid. Some would say its arrogance but, I don't take his statement as a display of arrogance. I've always thought that this man speaks the truth, always, though at times, it can appear that he has airs.

I just think the Fedex is suddenly hugeky unsure of his game and, what seems to be worst is that, NO One in his entourage has the guts to tell him that by tweaking everything except his confidence, he's only losing a chance to make a forceful come back.

I always thought that a key legacy of Federer will leave behind is, his humbleness, his graciousness, his style and the fact that he's a perfect gentleman. Looks like he may lose a bit of the gloss on his leagcy by the acts like staying away from olympic village.

Even more intriguing was his comment after winning the doubles matches against Bryan brothers - “I’m very excited,” Federer said. “Having beaten the best in the world and going for gold, it’s an incredible scenario. This is a big moment in my career.”

So should we think that he's reconciled to the fact that he's no longer a force in the Singles and is resigned to being a good doubles player! I knew it had to happen some day but so soon!

Big moment in the Career! Get out of here!

McEnroe tirade - you have likely already read the news " McEnroe got tossed from his opening-round match at the Hall of Fame Champions Cup on Thursday for cursing, arguing with the chair umpire and making an obscene gesture at fans."

Somethings will never change! I recall that couple of years back I took my kids to the US Open on Arthur Ashe day - a dfay meant for kids to involve and indulge in tennis. As we were going around, we saw that McEnroe was on one of the tennis courts playing with some one, (I think the guy was a ski athlete and good one at that). So my kids pleaded that they would like to watch the game and wait to get his autograph at the end of the friendly game. We all patiently waited in the hot sun for McEnroe to come out of the gate and get his autograph, once the game was over. Imagine our shock when McEnroe walked off the court and in a high voice went on to say someting to the effect that " I'm late for appearance at another court so I can't scribble on your booklets", I felt so bad for my and other kids who had braved the sun for more than an hour for this man to just move two fingers and here he was almost yelling to the people, kids really, who were his fans. I silently said, shame on you McEnroe - this day is meant for kids and you choose to insult them! I really thought that he was pits as a man.

Later as the days went by and I watched him on the TV speaking so well as a commentator and oh so gently, about all the players, coupled with the last year's American Express dispute-resolution commercial, in the commercial he travels to meet an an umpire from the 1985 US Open to mend fences with the umpire who McEnroe had called "Evil" for an 'Out' Call.

The magic of TV make-believe led me to presume that, this McEnroe was a changed man, a mellowed man, boy, was I wrong!

The man is a raging lunatic and will remain so.

Now for the the last word , everyone talks about how China and India are going to be superpowers. Just going by Olympics medals , looks like there is a great disparity between China and India.

India Shining - well not in Sports at least. With its gowing middle class I would like to see a growing Medal class!

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