Monday, June 9, 2008

Le Jeu Francais

Ana Ivanovic beat Dinara Safina and went on to displace Maria Sharapova from the World No.1 female tennis player slot.

Ana grew up in war-torn Serbia. During the NATO bombings of 1999, she could only train in the mornings to avoid the bombings. She would train in an abandoned swimming pool during the winters as there were no other facilities available. Like many people who find opportunity in diversity instead of quoting hardships as the reason for their failures in life, she overcame all obstacles to emerge as one of the top women tennis players of the world. Such is the stuff that champions are made of!

I personally like Ivanovic’s game a lot. She’s an offensive player, and she’s a strong baseliner. Her shots are deep and clean. She's got really powerful two-handed backhand & forehand shots.

In the men’s final, Rafa literally annihilated Roger Federer in a straight set 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 win. I love Roger (don’t we all) – he glides through the court, he’s unarguably the most elegant player on the men’s circuit right now, he can play a variety of shots with equal panache. His game flows, he makes it look so easy! However, last night saw a different Roger all together. After losing two successive sets, he completely gave up. Nadal breezed through the third set and Federer surrendered without even a hint of a fight. Felt bad for Roger as I have never seen him give up like he did yesterday.

By instinct, Federer doesn’t play a baseline game – something that’s required on a clay court and that Nadal does so well! Clay courts are slower than grass & hard courts, therefore one needs to play shots from the baseline. Federer, however, instinctively rushes inside the court, a strategy that’s best suited to grass courts. I feel that’s the reason he has trouble taming Nadal on clay. Nadal has a very strong baseline game. If I had to name my other favorite men’s tennis player apart from Federer, it would have to be Nadal. I admire him for his sheer stamina and athleticism. He forces his opponents to make errors. Many people feel he’s bull-headed but he’s got determination to win, and that helps him come back from behind in a match that could be slipping out of his hands & win it.


The knife said...

seems like you have started a new blog. that's great. Look forward to posts there. I was quite a tennis follower in school in the heady days of Becker Edberg Aggasi Lendl rivalries (who would be as archaic to you as Carrie and her gang in the new Sex and the City flick). Lost touch with the world of tennis from Federer's era

Nirav said...

Landed here while searching for something - good stuff.

The French Open finals (both of them) were such non-events... I was quite taken aback to see Federer being annihilated the way he was...

Scarlett said...

@the knife - u're quick on the uptake! :)
while this blog is more about general stuff, i'm planning to put up my opinions & views on various issues on the other blog. guess it wont be as trivial as this one. lets see how it goes!
and i love becker and i love edberg and i love agassi. yes, i've seen them play (edberg a little more than becker & agassi) & they were my favorites when i was a teenager. so was steffi graf! oh, i was a complete fan!!

@nirav - thanks. keep reading! federer was quite laidback even in the semi-final against monfil. he was just letting things go.

The knife said...

and of course the heavenly Gaby...the subject of many a fantasy of young boys in the eighties

Scarlett said...

even my dad was a fan of hers :D