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Saturday, January 29, 2005


Nearing the end of this most underrated and undermined of Grand Slams, very much the Cinderella,with renewed vigour to wrest atleast a modicum of the archaic elegies in favour of Wimbledon and its ilk. A passably decent attempt as the Aussies are a sport-loving people and love being out of workspots even more--more power to the beer-swigging laity.
Garnier joined in the frolic this year as a game Kia Motors soldiers on. The details of how this most effeminate of corporate entities tagged along are murky-easily the most perspirational ( as opposed to inspirational) Grand Slam.
More so as Babsi has decided to ride into the sunset and Sharapova's vocal prowess must scare away the most ardent suitor. Lots of sleeveless men but am sceptical of Garnier's relevance there.

A very good series of matches with the fact that the Top Four Men's Seeds making it to the Last Four getting much lesser credit than it deserves. A far cry indeed from the day when Lendl, Sanchez, Krajicek and even Cash got away with insensitive remarks about the fairer s with nigh a worry.
With the Russian Revolution making the WTA a caboodle, the ladies game wears a painfully open look. Still, some time since all the Top 7 ( OK, that's my idea of the Top 7 !) played in the same tournament fighting fit. Good for the game.

Sure that this will be Davenport's swansong. Backed her to win today. Am ashamed at my lack of emotion at this being almost certainly her last year. A very balanced tennis player, a game that had its flaws early on and how well she's overcome those. A diffident volley corrected by hours of doubles. Wore a podgy sullen look for much of her formative years, still retains that but smiles a wee bit more after matches. Weighed down quite literally but that 6'2'' frame is compact and wiry now. Mobility no more a question mark. What a monumental feat !( Ed-Yeah, you should know, you haven't managed to shed one kilo in the last four years !) Solid allround game that on its day has been bested by athleticism, court acumen, explosive power and cunning--not perhaps vested in any person at once.
Not a popular player--strange!
A role model of abstemious forbearance, no off-court distractions. Significant that she could win only three Slam singles and an Olympics Gold. Ever the bridesmaid and never quite the bride.
Has been married for the last two seasons and that could offer her solace and consolation as the curtains draw on an ever-so-slightly underachieving career.

To the other great hero of this Open, Corina Morariu . Has battled and beaten cancer, am sure that she will not mind the Finals loss ( partnering LD) to Kuznetsova and the monstrously hyped Molik much. Have seen the tennis world rallying around only once before-Rosenbaum I think in the mid-80's. After having looked at Death at close quarters, I would not have minded losing almost my matches ( Ed-That is because you would have lost all matches anyway !).
Attagirl !

My favourite doubles team has sadly not teamed up this time-Ruano Pascual with another veteran, Martinez-lost in the 2nd . Come on, Paula, you know I miss you.

I have yet to detect a patently human trait called consistency of any kind in Safin, and I feel that will prevent his winning the Open in his third final in four years. One has to admire the guttural gutter-like instincts of Hewitt who is endeavouring to prove that Cjlisters is behind him. May turn out to be the Davis Cup player of his generation yet.
Federer lost, Thank God for small mercies.
Feel now that he should give doubles a try. Sign up with a hulk and just have fun. Now that the next Slam is the French, there will be some sobriety on his going past Sampras, atleast till June. Matter of time, though.


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