Thursday, September 11, 2008

Lucky 13 for Fed-Ex

Federer beat Murray for a 5th consecutive US Open and 13th career major.

This man is not finished. Nor has he supposedly 'risen from the ashes'. He is just where he was all these days. Right where he is supposed to be - admists legends. I was just dying to see him like this. He made me spend the entire night awake even when I had to take an early morning train next day. Due to that hangover I was exhausted throughout the journey and the entire day. But the effort was worth it, no?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Strong-Arm Lance

Lance Armstrong has decided to return back to professional cycling. This may not be a big thing for cricket crazy public but if someone knows even a little about professional cycling or Lance Armstrong, he is going to get a surprise for sure. For the rest, let me tell you about them. Cycling is one of the most difficult of endurance sports and the Tour de France is considered widely as the pinnacle of it. The Tour de France or more famously 'The Tour' is a cycling competetion that takes place in France in the months of July and covers up to 3500-4000 kms of road through mountainous territory, flat highways and all sorts of difficult terrain. The tour goes on for 23 days in which the rider is expected to cycle for 21 days on a trot for about 150-180 kms a day. The schedule and the season make sure that no one is spared the rigorousness of riding the icy Alps through hailstorms, heavy rain and what not. You might have got an idea what the Tour de France supposed to be - The Holy Grail of professional cycling. 
Lance Armstrong is widely regarded as a legend in the cycling world. Any person who wins the Tour de France 7 times on the trot is surely nothing short of a legend but when the person has recovered from the terminal stage of cancer, I do not know if there is any word that can describe him. Yes. Armstrong had been diagonised with terminal stage cancer at the prime age of 24. The news that 'you have cancer' is enough to break down even the strongest of minds but not this one. Armstrong fought cancer and defeated it just like he defeated some of the world's best riders 7 years on the trot. I suggest everyone to read his autobiography 'Its not about the bike'. It is truly inspirational stuff. There are moments when you mutter to yourself that 'is this fiction?' or 'this is a real good script for a movie' or even 'this guy has cooked up a great story' when you are reading the book. After all it is impossible to believe how can a terminal cancer patient recover so nicely in the first place let alone sit on a bicycle? Even if he manages to sit on one, how can he ever go professional and compete in 'The Tour'? But you pinch yourself for the fact is that this man has done that all. He recovered, rode a bicycle, returned to pro-cycling, took part in The Tour and went on to win it for 7 years on the trot. Hard to believe but true.
So when this 37 year old says that he wants to return to professional cycling after a gap of 4 years and wants to take part in 'The greatest cycle race on the earth', I have no doubts that he will do so and even in fact go on to win it. For this man nothong seems impossible!!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Grand Slam fever

The year's last Grand Slam began a few days ago and I caught the tennis fever immediately. The US Open is a difficult tournament as there is a long hard court series before it and all the players are well into their groove and on top of their game, and there is nothing more exciting than watching these players slam forehands across the court. The late night matches (in India it is early morning :-D) are so fun to watch. You wake up in the morning, check the internet for latest up-coming matches, wash yourself and are off to the TV room to catch some gripping tennis. The rest of the day is spent in discussing about the next day's play.
Apart from Roger Federer whom I adore so much there are few other players whose game I enjoy very much. They are Nadal, Blake and Nalbandian. Although the latter 2 have been removed from the race to the elusive title, the presence of Nadal still gives me goosebumps as I expect another Fed-Rafa final. Also players like Del Potro, Gulbis and Cillic have risen on the horizon and it would be in a year or little more that they will officially herald their arrival on the secne. These are the signs on exciting times to come for tennis fans as the game will get even more interesting. Federer is just refusing to lessen his tempo. He and Rafa are hot on each other's heals. Guys like Djokovic and Murray are running close behind. Blake, Nalbandian, Ferrer are world class players in their own right and they always add some world class spice to the draw. With all this stuff happening the entry of these newbies, Potro, Gulbis and Cillic will just make the game................ ~!@#$%^&*()_
Forget it!!!!!! I am at loss of words to describe my excitement as a Tennis fan ;-D

PS : Just check the Nishikori vs Del Potro match tomorrow. It is going to be fun