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 :)