Thursday, December 6, 2007

Being Nadal

Usually when you are watching a tennis match even when you do not know the score of the match you can tell who is dominating at the moment by looking at the body language, usually ... but not when it is Nadal playing on one side.
Nadal seems to play with the same exhuberance no matter where he is at, the best example would be Nadal playing the 2nd set in the 2006 Wimbledon final( He had lost the 1st set to Federer 6-0 !)
Having played numerous tennis matches in the last 2 years( V and I actually played our first match USTA try out match on 31st Dec 2005); I have realised when you lose a set or a game and not lose your go get attitude, it sort of unnerves the opponent. Sometimes riding on that wave it even brings your confidence back, your belief back, it puts you back right into the game!

I am happy to say that this never say die attitude has won us many a match, brought us back from the brink of defeat to victory, sometimes we lose too but.... oh well it is the journey that matters not always the destination ... a match hard fought and lost is much better not having put up a fight and lost!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Something to cheer about

The year end USTA results are out and I am happy to say that 'V' is a now officially a 3.5 rated player.

Aside from the fact that V definitely exhibits a caliber of a 3.5, it is good to have been officially bumped up

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Good Bye 2007 Welcome 2008

No I meant good bye to the 2007 Tennis Season :)
It was great to see Federer win the year ending Masters Cup Shanghai in style, coming from a first round robin defeat to Gonzalez to emphatically defeating Roddick,Nadal and Ferrer in that order.
Some points during that match were so amazing all the commentator could say was "are you kidding me?".
It is really beautiful to watch Roger play and I think we the current tennis fans are really fortunate to see Roger in action; history being made.
2008 seems really exciting not only because Roger will try to cross the "14" mark and make another bid to the French Open but also because the later half of 2007 has brought to light a whole bunch of promising players- Djokovic, Nalbandian and Ferrer(What a discovery!) and we also have Roddick, Gasquet and yes ofcourse Nadal!
Go Tennis!
Found the link to this cute commercial which was on TV a while ago featuring Roger Federer and Tiger Woods

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Madrid Year End Championships

The year-end championship match between Justine Henin and Sharapova was an amazing match, worth watching again and again. Both players played their best; a total of 10 deuces in the last game of the first set says it all. None was ready to give up which is very rare in a women's match off late.

I thinkwomen's proffessional tennis is not doing great at the moment, there isnt much depth. Justine the no 1 player defeated 9th ranked player Marion bartoli 6-0,6-0: go figure(on a side note; what a revenge!). Although I am not a great fan of the William Sisters I absolutely like their fighting spirit on the court.

Coming back to the championships I think the match was very refreshing. In the end it was Sharapova's fitness which gave in and not her spirit and Justine prevailed as the 2007 champion.

Friday, November 9, 2007

A strange day and a strange serve

I do not remember playing 2 tennis matches in a row, today was one such day but that was not the strange part; It was the contrast between the two matches that really got me excited.
The first match was mixed doubles 7.0 level match which was fun, with lot of speed, spin and drama in the beginning but once we won the first set the opponents' game fell apart and we won the 2nd set an easy 6-1.
(usually my husband V and I play as a mixed doubles team. We are both USTA rated 3.0 players so ideally we should be playing 6.0 mixed doubles, but since this is the off season we are playing up at 3.5 level)
From there I went to have dinner and to the 2nd match which was a women's doubles 6.0 match.
Our opponents C and P were 2 elderly ladies easily in their 50's and during warmup we figured they were soft hitters and that it could be an easy match. But one serve our P served and we were all frazzled.
In my 2 years of tennis I have always been told that the serve should be deep or angled or on the body and that is what has been working for me but this serve went something like this..this lady would toss the ball high, the on the ball's downward journey would hit the ball high up!, the ball would land anywhere from very close to the net to sometimes on the side line and would bounce in the most awkward way. The other thing was each and every return of C was a slice shot. A slice does weird things to the ball and a slew of slices does weird things to your brain. Not to mention the ladies were almost aristocratic, they called out the score deliberately before each point, they also gave us the balls after every other game in a gentle manner and expected us to do the same :)
So really the match was not tough but it was awkward which frustrated us and thus losing points in a frenzy, as hard it was to believe we lost the first set 4-6
And then...I remembered my coach's mantra--adjust adjust adjust--yes however good a player we are we have to adapt to the game. A little bit of that, a little positive attitude and the thirst to win saw us winning the 2nd set 6-2.
By virtue of we running out of time(90 mins) and by virtue of us having won more number of games we won the match...yay
A nice end to a strange day :)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Milestone Reached

This post is sort of delayed...but I had to chronicle this!

Last sunday I reached the 5 mile mark in my running adventure. It was a proud and exhilirating moment for me.
About 2 years ago I started running basically to supplement my tennis. During tennis matches and clinics I would get tired after 45 mins of hard play. I realised I needed to build my stamina; what better way than to run?
I started off with a mere 1 mile run and another 15 mins of stationery cycling. As I increased my distance I figured that running was a lot of fun.
The best part is our gym(worldgate sport and health) has a running track; I dont enjoy running on a treadmill so much. Also I try to run outdoors whenever I get a chance.
I usually run full stretch once a week and with shorter spells whenever I can on other days.

To go back to where it all began, yes my running has definitely paid off. I am in better shape, my tennis is much better, I can run faster, reach more balls.. I reach to some balls or pick up drop shots....which was impossible 2 years!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Prince in Shining Armor

Everyone expected Nadal to dethrone The Mighty Federer sometime in the near future especially after the Wimbledon final, then came our Djokovic and stole our hearts. It seemed like Djokovic had a better chance to get to no.1 (if at all). And then out of nowhere came Nalbandian, regained and regrouped. Who not only beat Federer twice(both matches were pretty close!) but also beat Nadal pretty convincingly, 6-0 the last set in Paris masters Final.

What is amazing about Federer is that he has raised the level of tennis for the last 3-4 years, anyone who plays him, unwillingly plays his best tennis. Now that Nalbandian(DN) is back it will be interesting to see how this plays out ..whether DN will continue play at such exemplary levels and if he does.... will Federer raise his tennis to even higher levels(Gosh I never thought I would say this about him) or if this prince will finally become the King :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


How do you find if you have been infected by TennisCrazitis?
1) You wake up smiling and you know your day is going to just bright... because they are showing some live tennis on the tennis channel
2) Your weekends are always good when there are semifinals and finals of some tournament on that weekend
3) you would get ready no matter what time of the day or how tired u play tennis
4)When u go to the gym with the intention of workingout but one look at an empty tennis court you cannot hold back and just go and play...kya kare control nahi hota
5) Your heart flutters when u see an empty tennis court while on a long drive
6) You carry your tennis gear whereever u go :)
7) You always first think of tennis vacations whenever you plan on vacations
8) When you are househunting you make sure there is a tennis court around even before you consider looking inside
9) You refuse to move to NewYork because tennis courts around are way too expensive.
if anyone feels like adding more to this list, go ahead, would love to know more symptons ;)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Good News and a Racing Heart

My younger Brother G got selected in the Indian Army for a SSC(Short Service Commission). It really makes me Happy and proud but at the same time my family is a little anxious because he is taking on such a huge responsibility and not to mention those responsibilities involve risk.

He was only one of the 3 to make it from a batch of 45 aspirants. He had to undergo some tough tests and finally even after making through everything, he was declared unfit on basis of a eye condition "extropia", a condition wherein in rare conditions he cannot see distant objects . Extropia is like many eye conditions; not easily treatable. After having ruled out the option of surgery, he underwent a series of physiotherapy and ayurvedic treatments. Finally his positive attitude and perseverance paid off.

I am so very proud of you my brother!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Match Lessons #1

Match: 6.0 Women's doubles against BreakPoints
Time & Venue 10/20/2007 Saturday, 6.00 pm @ Herndon Community Center
Position: Court No.1 with Zan

During warmup figured out that our opponents were quite handleable, just no mistakes play your game and we should be fine is what I told my partner.
thats how pretty much our 1st set was and we raced to a 6-1 win.
2nd Set:
Don't lose intensity and it is not yet over is what I always tell myself after winning a set
but...I dont know what happened, it began with them winning the first game and then on we made a unforced errors on regular basis and we were at a tantalizing 4-4.
We knew we could win it...but @ 4-4 what do you do?

Go back to basics
1) When your opponent is serving, concentrate on when the Racket strikes the ball
2) Keep your return shots deeper
3) Expect every ball back!
That and never to forget
4) Play one point at a time
5) Be positive
Thats what I did and sure enough we broke their serve and I held mine serving @ 5-4.
And thats how we won the match
isnt that cool :)

One more Key Thing:
when you find yourself making too many unforced errors, your timing might be going wrong, try this simple technique

Monday, October 22, 2007

Why oh Why

Why Roger why did you lose to David Nalbandian? You broke millions of hearts. I am sure no one believed until the last point that you would lose.
But no doubt David played an amazing match, he was doing what Roger does to others. Some how Roger was out of position at many points which is very unlike him. Though I hate to see Roger lose, I think it is good for tennis, one more rivalry to watch out for!

The Ambitious project

I am fairly new to the tennis world, I have been playing tennis for the last2 years or so. What started as an evening pastime and mainly because V had to play tennis, has now become an all consuming passion. Tennis has taught me a lot of things, it has helped me handle life better, made me more positive and yes sort of made me discover myself. It has been an amazing journey until now and I am hoping to chronicle my tennis life here.

I currently play @ USTA 3.0 level; hoping to be a 3.5 someday soon!