Sunday, April 2, 2017

Fedal XXXVII Preview – Miami Final

Whenever there is a match between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, GOAT debate starts making headlines and it is no different this time when they meet for the 37th time for Miami title on Sunday. Rivalry started back in 2004 in the very same venue when 37th ranked teenager from Mallorca defeated the then no 1 player in straight sets to announce his arrival in the biggest stage. Since then rivalry has just gone bigger and better with each meeting.  Tennis being a tough sports and to remain at the top of the game for such a long time is itself an incredible achievement. Nadal played his 1000th ATP match against Philipp Kohlschreiber which did not start the way his fans would have wanted. He was fed bagel in the opening set and then fought his way back to win the match like he always does. This is the only set he lost so far in the tournament so he must be feeling good before coming to the final. But for Roger it wasn’t an easy road to reach yet another Miami final as he had to save couple of match points against Tomas Berdych and then was pushed to limit against flashy Australian Nick Krygios in three sets tie break battle which lasted for 3 hours. 

Nothing gives us more joy than watching Nadal Federer Final. Nadal will do everything possible to win the title here to add one of the few master trophies which is missing in his shelf, other being WTF and BNP Paribas Paris title. Nadal holds 23-13 in head to head count but he has been in receiving end in last 3 meetings so that may start playing in his head. If he passes through this hurdle, he will feel home as clay season is starting after this tournament. 

All the best Rafa!!:)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

A trip to Cancun and Chichen Itza, Mexico

When you do not know something, your opinion then is driven by your ego. This is what our tour guide told us when we were going to Chichen Itza from Cancun in the tour bus. And this is very true.
Before visiting Mexico I had different opinion about the country but after staying there for 6 months I got to see different Mexico. Mexico is not about drug cartels, theft, kidnapping it is about beautiful beaches, ruins, old civilization, its lovely people and of course tequila.
In our first trip we were scared to venture out alone after 6 PM in evening as local people instilled fear in us that it is not safe. But that is not true. If you go out and do not try to be mischievous you are safe. Rare incidents keep happening everywhere around the world but we cannot treat that as a phenomenon.
I too was scared to go all the way to Cancun on my own in first thought but then I thought this is the best opportunity to remove the fear, going alone in a country which doesn’t speak my language, doesn’t eat my type of food and having no one by my side if I get into some trouble. At least my one fear is gone after going to Cancun that I can manage myself anywhere in any situation. You should also try to do that if you get any opportunity like that. But the only disadvantage of going alone is that you don’t get good photos. :D
I was there in Cancun for 3 nights, I thought 2 days will be sufficient but after reaching there, I found there are so many things to do and many places to visit. One needs at least 5 days to cover all the places. I could only manage to see Cancun City, Playa Del Carmen beach, Conzumel island and Chichen Itza (one of the seven wonder of the world). I would have loved to go to Tumul and Xel-Ha beaches and party at Cocobongo. It was a shame that I went in rainy season. It was raining almost all the time since I landed in Cancun so couldn’t walk and see much which I would have loved to do.
There are some photos I clicked while I was in Mexico in particular order
                              Coming back from Cancun to Toluca (City where I was put up)
                                                    On the way to Chichen Itza
                                                          Mexican Folk Dance
                   Good to go in cold water after humid day, coming back from Chichen Itza

                           Chichen Itza - Structure is not as great but history is very powerful

                                       On cruise from Playa Del Carmen to Conzumel
                                                               At Conzumel
                                                            Playa Del Carmen
                                                                Playa Del Carmen

                                                                       On Cruise
        They stamp the sweets on the table, you can choose from here whatever dessert you want
                                                       Friday night party scene

                                Floating restaurant in Valley de Bravo. I love the blue sky
                                                        Lagun at Volcano, Toluca
                                                  Pyarmid of the Sun - the tuacahn
                                                     Liga MX Cup
                                                  Zocango Zoo, feeding the giraffe

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Is this the start of a great season for Rafael Nadal?

This is the first year when Rafa has not won a grand slam when he started after winning French Open in 2005. He has won at least one grand slam each for consecutive 9 years.

His performance this year has been below par. He didn’t even reach the semifinal of any grand slam and some very low ranked players have beaten him. He was beaten by Novak Djokovic in French Open in straight sets. When he was losing people started asking him to change the coach as he needs some fresh ideas but Nadal rejected the idea of having a new coach. Then some people jokingly suggested him to get married as Murray and Djokovic seems to be doing good after marriage but he answered as I don’t need to get married, I believe, to play good tennis. I played lot of good tennis during a lot of time without being married, so that’s not going to be the key. 

Everyone was questioning him whether he is good enough or not to win a slam. But after seeing him play in last two weeks I am convinced that 2016 is going to be a good season for Nadal. He is gaining confidence and believing in himself. You can see old Rafa completing as he used to be, he is chasing even after trailing 0-40 in a game. He is believing in his shots, he is running well on the court. One major difference in these two weeks is that he is standing near to baseline and not very far. Players stand far away from the baseline when they are not feeling confident. 

 I see resurgent Rafa. He beat three tough men on the way to Shanghai Semifinal before losing to Frenchman Jo Wilfred Tsonga but not before he bageled him in second set. Now nobody is asking about his coach and marriage plans. As they as success has many fathers failure is an orphan is true.
By beating Milos Raonic in Shanghai Rolex Master in third round, he has secured a place in Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for an Eighth time to be played from 16 to 22 November in O2 Arena in London.

Looking for a great season ahead!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ye Jo Mera Bihar Hai: Ravish Kumar

Everyone who watches even a little bit of news surely would have heard this name. Ravish Kumar is a senior executive editor with NDTV India, the Hindi news channel of NDTV news Network and hosts Prime Time and Ravish ki report at 9 PM. He hails from Champaran Bihar, a north Indian state.
I am regular watcher of his shows. But let me confess that before moved to NDTV India, I was an avid watcher of New Hours with Arnab Goswami but it now has become one man show.
Now let me come to the point. While channels were busy talking about Sudhindra Kulkrni ink episode, Bihar election, Dadri Incident which dominated the headline for couple of days and as usual Kashmir Issue sitting in AC rooms, there was on reporter who was out in the streets reporting what affects everyone lives.
As the show starts Ravish Kumar, wearing a yellow shirt was seen riding a bicycle in a village with school girls who were coming back from schools. The way he asked questions to teenage girls shows he really cares about what is happening in his own states. He told them to speak up, learn English as opportunities are more for English speakers, voice your opinion and join the politics. He was amazed to see how a bicycle can change the fate for a girl. Bicycle means more girls are enrolling in schools as they don’t have to travel to far off places barefooted and also to help in household activities such as buying ration.
He also shown a girl riding a bicycle distributing newspaper and also a girl carrying her mother to home from bus stand.
He was encouraging everyone in that group and I am sure each one would have gained a lot of confidence to do well in their studies and in future endeavors as well.
It was really great to see this Ravish Ki Report amidst all the chaos in studios. Hope he carries on like this for many many years.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Anirban Lahiri has made the world to look at Indian Golf

When everybody is busy talking about India’s loss to SriLanka in the first Test and Saina Nehwal scaling new heights in badminton (despite losing the final to Carlolin Marin, he will be no. 1 when rankings are announced on Thursday), we forget to celebrate the players doing wonders though in sports which not everyone is familiar of. 

Anirban Lahiri created history at PGA championship by having finished tied 5th. This is the best finish by an Indian in any major surpassing Jeev Milkha Singh tied 9th in  PGA championsip in 2018 and Shiv Kapoor finishing 9th in the British Open 2013. He was tied third during the day. He is in line to play in the biennial president cup for International Team having rest of the world players except Europe against the defending champion USA which is scheduled in October in Incheon, South Korea.

Lahiri played superb two rounds with 7- under 127 and carried on the same momentum during weekends and finished 13- under 275 with 5- under 67 in final round, the best by an Indian in a major in a round. He shot only one bogey in front nine but last hole created problem for him as he bogeyed twice in as many round and made double bogey in first round. 

His long game is good, he needs to sharpen his putting skills. Playing with best players in the world in the best course will give him a lot of confidence to do well in future. 

He played in all four majors this year and made the cut each time except in the US Open. He surely has put India on a golf map and now we can hope that someday in future we see an Indian holding a claret jug or putting on a green jacket. Even Jason day who won this year’s championship had to wait for long time before. He was there almost all the most but wasn’t able to cross the line. 

Hope to see his patience, hard work, perseverance paying off in future.