Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Federer lost to John Isner in 4 sets today to hand a 2-0 lead to USA in the Davis Cup tie. No doubt Isner played well but what was noteworthy to watch was the way Federer wilted under pressure. It has been long known that when it comes to playing pressure points, Federer has the tendency to become defensive and more often than not, he ends up losing the game or match against the top players.
Even today in the third set, inspite of having many break points, he lost the set. In the fourth set, after being unable to break Isner in the 5th game (3 break points opportunities), it was evident from his game that the desire to fight was missing. Result- Federer gave up and lost the set and match 2-6.Even his languid body language in itself pretty much told the entire story. Imagine the boost it must have given to Isner to see Federer so demotivated!
If anyone who has been following Federer's matches off late, he/she will agree that the motivation to fight back is somehow on the downhill. It's amazing when you compare it with Nadal/Nole who seems to give more than 100% on each and every point irrespective of the situation. Remember Nadal fought back against Isner in a similar situation last year at French Open in the first round after being down 2 sets to 1.
If one must have observed Federer even during his SF match against Nadal, after the 10 minutes mandatory break due to firecrackers, Federer came back as a rattled player and lost the second set easily without a fight. For Federer it's now more of a mental fight than physical as on the tour he is still one of the fittest players around. If he really has to win tough matches, he will have to dig deep and find the motivation to give his 100% on every point rather than giving up so easily.
It's pretty surprising to see arguably the greatest player in the history so low on mental toughness. When it comes to holding up their end and not giving up, Nadal and Djokovic really are one level up than Federer. Things are not looking good for this aging champion and if he has to really win his 17th GS, he will have to pull himself up and get to the level of Nadal/Djoker to give his all on each and every point rather than getting rattled by his inability to break on pressure points.
That's what champions are all about- To fight and fight till the end! Isn't it?
In the end I will just end with this quote: Nothing could be worse than the fear that one had given up too soon, and left one unexpended effort that might have saved the match!
Lost Hope? (Maria Sharapova)
Posted by Apeksha HA at 12:21 PM
Friday, February 3, 2012
5 days gone but still the hangover persists! For me and I am sure many of the fans out there, it was the best Australian Open of the decade. Never have I seen a Grand Slam with such heroic battles, brilliant comebacks and above all a test of stamina, determination and endurance of the top athletes.
As Roger Bannister rightly said: "The man who can drive himself further once the effort gets painful is the man who will win."
Wasn’t it what we witnessed as Australian Open culminated with the biggest battle in a GS?
So I thought let’s take a look back at the top 5 inspiring moments during the first GS of the year 2012:
5) Company Matters: Just one month back, Andy Murray was a player whose anger management issues, on the court were more popular than his achievements on the court. But with the arrival of Ivan Lendl in Murray’s camp, things seem to have worked for this immensely talented Scot as he showed us his fighting attitude for the first time during the SF against Djokovic. It was really difficult to imagine such a huge transformation in a matter of 2 week’s time. But that’s the lesson to be learnt: Surround yourself with positive minded people, whom you respect for their special qualities, you will be changed!
4) Irrelevance of Pressure: There are two types of people in this world- One who succumbs to pressure and the other who rise high in the same circumstances. Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic in my mind are the perfect example of the above respectively. Bernard Tomic’s victory over Verdasco in five sets after being two sets down was a lesson to the tennis world that pressure will be a factor only if you think it to be one.
“Everything negative - pressure, challenges - is all an opportunity for me to rise”- Kobe Bryant
3) Just one more step: If you are 4 match points down against a top 5 player, why would you even think of trying? But Kim Clijsters taught us that taking that one more step in the right direction instead of quitting can lead to victory in the end.
“They quit on the one yard line. They give up at the last minute of the game, one foot from a winning touchdown and that’s why they lose” – Ross Perot
2) Never Give Up: There can be nothing better than to see a tennis player fight his heart out for his goals. There is a possibility that you might not reach the destination but every effort that you make takes you an inch closer. And who better a example than Rafael Nadal. His quest to win the mental battle against defying his body and mind was one of the features of Australian Open
“Our achievements speak for themselves. What we have to keep track of are our failures, discouragements, and doubts. We tend to forget the past difficulties, the many false starts, and the painful groping. We see our past achievements as the end result of a clean forward thrust, and our present difficulties as signs of decline and decay.” – Eric Hoffer
1) Belief- The key to success: People who have accomplished great things in life have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. When the entire world talked about Fedal and how no one will be able to match them, Djokovic was silently getting prepared to prove everyone wrong. “I have to say that even though that he’s the best and everybody thinks that he’s unbeatable, I say he’s not unbeatable. He’s beatable, you know.”-Novak Djokovic after losing to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinal of Roland Garros in 2006.
And look where he is now- 7 times in a row he has defeated Nadal!
“Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
(Have a look at what motivated Nadal/Djokovic to produce the world class tennis in the epic final)
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Also: Lost Hope? (Maria Sharapova)
Evolution of Novak Djokovic- Australian Open (2007-2012)!
Posted by Apeksha HA at 12:39 AM