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Thread: Tennis Forever

  1. #1981
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    Great win for Roger.
    Had very little confidence that Fed would be able to win against Rafa in a 5 setter that too after such a long lay off @ 35.5 years.
    Perfect win to answer those many questions thrown at him.
    Couldn't have been sweeter!!

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  3. #1982
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    Congrats to Rafa for a great tournament as well....

  4. #1983
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    High quality stuff especially from Federer. Just rocking the backhand.This is the best I have seen him play against Nadal easily. First grand slam win against him in ten years and that too in a final, in five sets and being a break down 1-3. Riveting
    The court and the balls assisted Federer to be honest. Faster court and lighter balls. Federer flat hitting the backhand and creating great depth. Looked incredibly difficult for Nadal to break through. Federer snatched that victory emphatically
    Last edited by Arvind Srinivasan; 30th January 2017 at 08:41 PM.
    “You never fail until you stop trying.”
    ― Albert Einstein

  5. #1984
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    Why tennis can't afford to lose Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal -- just yet

    By Danielle Rossingh, for CNN - January 31, 2017

    "Keep playing Rafa, please, tennis needs you," Federer told the Spaniard during the trophy ceremony after winning a record-extending 18th men's major title at Melbourne Park that broke viewing records around the world and lit up social media.

    http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/tennis...ennis-rivalry/

  6. #1985
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    Ramkumar Ramanathan makes first Challenger final; Leander Paes through to doubles decider at the ATP Challenger event in Tallahassee.

    It was a day of double joy for Indian tennis fans as young Davis Cupper Ramkumar Ramanathan and veteran Leander Paes both sealed their respective berths in the final of the doubles and singles draws respectively.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/spo...ger-tallahasse

  7. #1986
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    ATP Announces Trial Of Rule Changes & Innovation For Next Gen ATP Finals In Milan

    -Shorter Format: First to Four games sets (Tie-Break at 3-All), Best-of-Five sets, with No-Ad scoring.
    -Shorter Warm-Up (Matches will begin precisely 5 minutes from the second player walk-on).
    -Shot Clock Between points, during set breaks and medical time-outs).
    -No-Let Rule (No-Let rule will apply to serves, consistent with normal ‘let’ occurrences during regular point exchanges).
    -Medical Time-Outs (Limit of 1 medical time out per player per match).
    -Player Coaching (Players and coaches will be able to communicate at certain points in the match. Coaches will not be allowed on-court).
    -‘Free movement’ policy for the crowd except behind the baselines (Will enable fans to move freely in and out of the stadium during matches).

  8. #1987
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    Congratulations to Roger Federer for his 8th Wimbledon and 19th grand slam title!!!

  9. #1988
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    From The Hindu...

    How do you solve a problem like Maria...

    http://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis...le19604716.ece

    The tennis world has mixed feelings about Sharapova’s primetime return after a doping ban

    Maria Sharapova stepped onto Arthur Ashe Stadium donning a glittery black jacket over a little lacy black tennis dress, with a smattering of shining crystals. Brazen, by some means, but she was making a statement. A bigger statement, however: a first round victory — 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 — over World No. 2 Simona Halep at her first Grand Slam appearance in 581 days. Unstoppable… she had titled her recent autobiography. And she seemed the part.

    Was that really Sharapova? The audience could scarcely believe it. But there it was. The familiar ear-assaulting shriek. The hard-hitting ground strokes. The grim expression from possibly the most mentally tough athlete in the game, even after winning a crucial point. It was 11 in the night when she won, but the crowd had just started cheering.

    Monday’s match proved she is still one of the best players in the world. It also showed just how much the tennis world missed her. Sharapova in her fiercely competitive element was pure blockbuster gold; a record 23,771 attending the night session of the first round.

    Asked what she’d learned about herself after the match, the Russian said, “Behind all these Swarovski crystals and little black dresses, this girl has a lot of grit and she’s not going anywhere.” However, for many within the tennis world, that she is here at all seems unfair: her return on a wild-card after a doping ban has been dubbed premature and undeserved.

    Sharapova is a formidable opponent, but she is not well-liked by a considerable number of her fellow-players on the WTA tour. She has served her punishment, but the continued vilification of her as a cheat hasn’t stopped. Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard said, “She is a cheater, and so, to me, I don’t think a cheater in any sport should be allowed to play that sport again.” They met at the Madrid Open this year, and even if Bouchard won, the handshake at the net was awkward at best and frosty at worst. Bouchard went on to say that her opinion of Sharapova was widely shared by most players in the locker-room. When asked a question about Sharapova after her round-one loss at the US Open here, Bouchard responded with a deadpan face. “I think my comments are pretty public already.”

    What constitutes punishment?

    Calling her a cheat seems a tad unkind, especially when the Court of Arbitration for Sport emphasised in its decision reducing Sharapova’s ban that in no way can she be considered an ‘intentional doper.’
    Also Read

    At the US Open, Sharapova sniping practically a sport itself


    Following comments from many other players on tour, former tennis star Martina Navratilova urged them to stop focusing on Sharapova. “I think it is time for the players to lay off Maria. She made a huge mistake, paid dearly for it, ‘done the time’ and now let’s play ball,” she said.

    But has she ‘done her time’? Is it correct to equate the end of Sharapova’s suspension as the end of her punishment? Should she be treated like how exactly she was — former World No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam champion? WTA CEO Steve Simon certainly thought so. He said Sharapova had paid the price for her negligence. “I don't think a suspension should wipe out the career’s worth of work.”

    At the time of her return, she was ranked 262. In tennis terms, that is effectively being demoted to the level of an average country club hitter. Of course, it does not go to say she is the 262nd best player in the world. It is just the nature — or limitation, if you’d prefer — of the ranking system. Only tournaments played in the last 12 months can be added to a player’s account, which is why Sharapova was found rock-bottom. And the struggle to the top was always going to be arduous. When she was denied a wild-card entry to the French Open, French tennis federation chief Bernard Giudicelli didn’t mince his words. “So,” he said, “it is up to Maria, day after day, tournament after tournament, to find alone the strength she needs to win the big titles without owing anything to anyone.”

    And that is what critics feel Sharapova should have done. Worked her way up the line and not be parachuted directly to the easy-access spot. Today, over three months since Sharapova re-debuted on tour, she ranks a mere 171st. World No. 3 Garbine Muguruza said when asked about the decision to give her a wildcard, “When someone has been, you know — I don’t know if it’s banned, the word, or, like, out of competition, you have to work for it a little bit, to go and play your tournaments. You’ve got to work hard and deserve it again. I think that’s the way.”
    Also Read
    Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova says she failed a drug test for meldonium at the Australian Open this year.

    What is meldonium and why did Sharapova take it?


    The US Open wild-card is the tenth that Sharapova has received ever since her return from the ban. A wild-card is a coveted prize and handing that prize is at the discretion of the tournament and each tournament has, predictably and understandably, its own vested interests. Top players were dropping like flies even before the US Open had begun, it needed someone like a ‘destroyer ship’; someone to help lift them off Dunkirk. Could the USTA be at fault for wanting to bring in more fans by leveraging Sharapova’s popularity and glamour? As American Madison Keys said the other day about the opening match: “I don’t think any tennis fan in the world is not going to have that match on.”

    But was Sharapova unfairly privileged? Perhaps a better way was to hand it to a player who hadn’t served a doping ban and needed the ranking points that come with winning matches at premier events. Without that wild-card, players have to fight through exhausting qualifying-round matches. Or slog it out at other tournaments with smaller prize money. Something that Sharapova would not be too familiar with. Throughout her suspension, the entire team behind Sharapova stayed with her. Such was the money muscle in play that, prior to her return, her management went on a media blitzkrieg: many interviews, the release of her book and of course, Sugarpova. Sharapova is more a brand than a player and rakes in more money than anyone else on tour.

    The debate surrounding her return will probably continue awhile. But soon, the questions about her doping and return will stop featuring at post-match conferences. If her first night this week was any indication, however, she will be a force to reckon with. The fans needed her, however flawed or faulty. And she needed tennis — “It’s prime time, baby! I love it.”

  10. #1989
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    If anyone is really reading the above posting and is confused about what the title refers to, here it is...

    From the 1976 Hollywood classic; The Sound of Music:


  11. #1990
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    India's Paes a mainstay at the US Open

    By Ashley Marshall (USTA News)
    Friday, September 01, 2017


    http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/art...en.html?chip=2

    It was the first Thursday of the 1993 US Open, 24 years to the day on Saturday, when Leander Paes made his US Open main draw debut.

    He walked out onto a court that no longer exists, partnering a player that has now been retired for 16 years. A lush circular park then stood where Arthur Ashe Stadium currently looms over the grounds – a facility that didn’t have Billie Jean King’s name attached to it for more than a decade.

    And on Friday, the 44-year-old Indian – the oldest player at the US Open – was back in action in New York again, his 14th consecutive trip to Flushing Meadows and his 20th in the past 21 years.

    “You have to be passionate about what you do,” Paes said after his first-round men’s doubles match with countryman Purav Raja. “Tennis is a phenomenal sport we have, and to call it our job? We’re really lucky. It’s a privilege to have this life.

    “I love my sport. I love the late-night workouts. I love waking up in the morning, knowing Purav is by my side and we’re going to help each other out through thick and thin. Whether you win, lose or something in between, it doesn’t matter. You’re together as a team. That camaraderie you share with your partner becomes a brotherhood. That camaraderie you share with each other families becomes a team. The power of the team creates the power on the court. That’s what I love.”

    Paes won the US Open boys’ singles title as an 18-year-old in 1991 but lost in the qualifying tournament for the men’s singles competition in the two years that followed. More than losing in the final round of 1992 qualies, the thing he remembers the most is getting lost in the parking lot for an hour, eventually climbing over a fence to get into the site so he could change for his match.

    Paes’ first taste of the main draw came in the doubles competition of the 1993 tournament. Partnering Canadian Sebastien Lareau on Court 21, he was playing in just his second-ever Grand Slam match after losing in the first round of the men’s doubles at Wimbledon earlier that year.

    But out of nowhere, the unseeded, unheralded duo of Paes and Lareau provided one upset after another on their way to the semifinals.

    “I was playing the ad court back then,” Paes recalled. “Sebastian had an unbelievably world-class backhand. He just played the deuce court and he kept on winning every point on the deuce court and I made some returns and we won. But I remember back then it was a different style of play. I’ve had to adjust to so many partners and that’s what makes tennis fun for me to keep remodeling my game to suit my partners’ best and bring the best out in them.”

    Paes hasn’t had to scale a wire fence to play another match in New York ever since. =

    Paes' run to the semifinal 24 years ago was the start of his love affair with New York City and the US Open.

    In the almost two-and-a-half decades since then, the 44-year-old has had some of his most memorable moments in the Big Apple. He won men’s doubles titles in 2006, 2009 and 2013 with Martin Damm, Lukas Dlohny and Radek Stepanek, respectively. He also won mixed doubles crowns in 2008 with Cara Black and, most recently, in 2015 with Martina Hingis. Between five titles and seven other finals appearances, Paes has plenty of reasons to love New York City.

    “The fans in New York are some of the greatest fans,” Paes said. “It’s the energy of the place. It’s just a live wire. You can really tap into it. I’ve had some great matches with [Andre] Agassi here on the old Armstrong court. I had a good ’93 semifinal on Court No. 1 where I won my junior singles final, and I remember Wilt Chamberlain was watching back in ’91.”

    Paes, the only tennis player to ever compete in seven Olympics, has 55 career doubles titles to his name, including 26 with Mahesh Bhupathi – a team that earned the nickname the Indian Express. As a testament to his doubles prowess, Paes has achieved the career Grand Slam in both men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

    On Friday in New York, Paes partnered with the 31-year-old Raja, who was just 11 years old when Paes made his Flushing Meadows debut.

    The duo first played together in 2013 in the first round of an Asia/Oceania Group I Davis Cup tie against Korea in New Delhi. Raja was Paes’ 92nd men’s doubles partner, a list that has since expanded to 118 men with the latest addition of 20-year-old Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati last month. If you include females in mixed doubles tournaments, Paes has partnered 143 other players.

    “If we can create some magic like the old Indian Express created, we have a new Indian Express rolling into town,” Paes said. “The old makes way for the new and if we can create some history like that, that’s my dream.”

    Watching Paes in person is a treat in itself. From the bleachers, you can hear the way fans speak in superlative and you can get a sense for his movement and touch that you don’t necessarily get from TV.

    "He's the best doubles player I've ever seen,” one fan said to the strangers sat in the rows in front and behind him in the Court 12 bleachers.

    “Watch his hands. He has the softest hands,” said another, gesturing with his arms, twisting his wrists so his palms were up, then down, then facing his body.

    At 44, Paes’ game is not made for power and certainly not for speed. But in doubles, that’s not necessarily a prerequisite for success. The game is determined as much by court positioning, feel and tactics, and in that regard, there are few players – his age or younger – that ply their craft better.

    On serve Friday, Paes had zero aces and zero double faults, but his placement was perfect and one-quarter of his serves never got returned – impressive numbers against former world No. 8 Tisparevic and No. 12 Troicki. On the return game, you see Paes swaying gently side to side a foot behind the baseline, double-tapping first his left foot, then his right, slowly leaning forward as he jumps into a split step. His anticipation is remarkable, surpassed only by athleticism which belies his age.

    When Raja was serving and Paes was at the net, you watch Paes straddle the center line, placing his left hand behind his back and signaling both serve direction and his own movement. From the deuce court, a flick of the pinky twice indicates a serve out wide and Paes following the ball in that direction. If he flashes his pinky then his forefinger, the serve is still going wide, but Paes is going to his right, usually after a stutter step or a head feint left.

    That’s drastically over-simplifying the approach, of course, but you get the idea.

    “It’s been a while since I played with someone who understands doubles this intuitively,” Paes said of Raja. “The last one I can remember would be Radek Stepanek, who I won with in 2013. To have that on the same side of the court gives me a lot of peace of mind, a lot of comfortability that I can play my regular type of doubles that has allowed me to get to 35 Grand Slam finals.”

    That could soon be 36 if Paes continues to showcase his complete repertoire, as he did in Round 1. A flick of the wrist that rolled a forehand down the doubles alley in the opening game; a half-volley pickup that he sent for a winner; an angled drop shot at 3-3 in the second set from a seemingly impossible position at the net; a pair of forehand returns winners in which he created space with his footwork and guided the ball past Tipsarevic at the net despite not taking a full swing at either ball.

    Those shots, full of touch, experience and finesse, are what Paes has become known for. And they’re what had a large and enthusiastic New York crowd applauding his every move.

    Back home, Paes is a national treasure. He has a medallion from when he was presented with Indian’s highest sporting honor, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, in 1997; a scroll which accompanied the Arjuna Award for representing his country with distinction; and medals from the Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the third- and fourth-highest civilian awards the Indian government presents.

    “I think it’s a reflection of the years of hard work by my team,” said Paes, who has a Twitter following of more than 1 million despite being born three decades before the term Twitter was even coined. “I wouldn’t be who I am without my parents or my sister or my team – Sanjay Singh, Dave Herman, Rick Leach, Bob Carmichael, James Dicker. It’s unbelievable. They’ve all done so much for me. Every one of these accolades has their names engraved on it. Every one of my trophies has their names engraved on it.

    “There are so many Indians here in New York. We’re lucky that the tennis-playing community has been able to transcend the Indian community. Whenever we go, we have such a big following. It’s almost like a responsibility for us to bring people some happiness through our brand of tennis.

    “Tennis is the second biggest sport in India after cricket and I guess some of us are responsible for the growth in tennis and we continue to be. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a big responsibility and a great honor to represent my country. My parents did it in basketball and field hockey. For me, I grew up playing for the blue. To play for India is the greatest joy that I’ve ever had in my career and I will ever have in my life. To do it for 1.3 billion Indians? It’s magic.”

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