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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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
Roger Federer at work at Barclays ATP World Tour. He entered his 100th final after beating David Ferrer 7-5, 6-3.
In my previous article, I wrote that Roger Federer had tweaked three things post-US open: Improved first-serve returns, clear posturing to attack the second serve and, most importantly, a more powerful backhand.
In the first semifinal against David Ferrer in Barclays ATP World Tour Finals semis, a real and stern test of the improved Federer SHB was the most discernible aspect of his game.
It is fairly safe to say that Federer has more work to do on this front. One could witness a litany of errors late in the first set which allowed Ferrer to come within two points of claiming the first set.
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Pick: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Had you been up at 1.30 am local time and warmed up yourself with the pre-match euphoria that gave a 50-50 chance to the greatest tennis rivals, you would have just empathised with Roger double-faulting at the opening point of the match.
Nerves. That’s what it was. Continue reading
There was little doubt that World No.4 Roger Federer would cinch up two back-to-back victories at Basel Open and Paris Masters. The question was how definitive and spell-binding these wins would get.
I am not sure if “the old Roger” that Tomas Berdych talked about after he lost to the Swiss maestro in the Paris Masters semifinals is back to the circuit after a long title drought. We all know how some of the younger players have beaten Roger and stripped him of that aura of invincibility that he wore like an invisible cloak every time he waltzed into the court.
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