The celebrations of the truly epic final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the 2012 Australian Open had just begun. Firecrackers were lighting up the sky. Champagne corks were popping. Djokovic was being elevated to the highest ranks. Tombstones were being erected for Maestro Roger Federer.
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As it rained confetti at the 100th Australian Open awards ceremony, there stood Rafael Nadal next to Novak Djokovic—facing floodlights of despair, looking lost, but still holding on gracefully. A layer beneath this grace was the look of a stranger in a strange land.
The Rod Laver Arena was no more the paradise that he inhabited some Slams ago. Someone else lives in there. And that someone has found answers to all the puzzles that helped him rattle his opponents and win ever so emphatically. The more defeats he suffers at the hands of his nemesis, the farther he walks from this paradise. Continue reading
It’s hard to scribble even a few lines when your favourite player gives his best and still walks out the loser. Yet, the only way to soothe this heartache is to just write it out. Continue reading
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Score card is often deceptive. Sometimes a win in three straights sets can make us believe that all went well with the winner. But in tennis, one or two bad games here and there, you might even lose the match despite having a higher number of winners in the books. It all boils down to reining in unforced errors and lapping up crucial points at crucial junctures. Continue reading
When I wrote my first article for B/R, I knew I was treading a difficult path. Owing allegiance to any team, any particular player means entering the battlefield with his/her rivals’ fans. They swoop down on you and rip you apart, questioning each of your points, assertions and opinions. Continue reading