Day of great upsets at US Open 2009…

Well! Well! Well!

Did you ever imagine that almost all the top seeds will get ousted in 3rd round only? Well, if not then your guess or rather imagination turned false just yesterday. Almost all the top seeded players excepting some have been kicked out of the US Open 2009. There were more upsets this day but three of them arrested my attention. The detail of those upsets (upsets for top seeds) and a breakthrough for the players who just turned pro is given below.

 

The first of such match which attracted my attention was between Melanie Oudin and Maria Sharapova. Melanie really deserved the win she earned with great fight. For such a girl (yes, she is girl born in 1991) who turned pro in 2008 upsetting Maria Sharapova who ruled Women Tennis for so long is really an achievement. When Oudin won the match finally some tears gathered in my eyes too. I too felt good for her and expected if such a new kid on the floor can upset Sharapova and that too in such deep in the tournament in round 3 why can’t Sania who has been on this stage for some years now beat someone and enter in quarters or semis? The stats of the match between Sharapova and Oudin are as follows:

Melanie Oudin

        Maria Sharapova

Rank: 70 Rank: 29
Melanie Oudin Maria Sharapova
3 6
6 4
7 5

 

 

Second match which was attention seeking was between two American’s, Andy Roddick and John Isner. John Isner was a bit offensive sometimes in expressing his anger or expression and on the other side of the court Roddick was calm as he has always been. But John Isner deserved the victory after such a hard work and a five setter. Maintaining the anxiety of a 5 setter and then of tie breaker was too much for a person who turner pro in 2007. But he played well and used his height (6 ft 9 inches) to much extent in serving the great serves. The stats of the match are as follows:

 

John Isner

Andy Roddick

Rank: 55 Rank: 5
John Isner Andy Roddick
7 (7) 6 (3)
6 3
3 6
5 7
7 (7) 6 (5)

 

 

And the third eye-catcher of the day was Dinara Safina getting ousted by Petra Kvitova. The number 1 seed Dinara Safina was beaten by 72nd seed Petra Kvitova. It was quite easy win for Kvitova as compared to the win if Safina would have been energetic. Safina seemed struggling to reach the ball and bit lethargic too. She seemed stiff as compared to her early days of US Open 2009 and she had to pay the price. The Czech Republic girl (Yea, same, she is a girl even if she doesn’t seem to be, born in 1990) who turned pro in 2006 seemed more energetic that Safina though not so intellectual in her play. Kvitova should give some credit to Safina for winning the match against her. Even then the match was eye catching because it was number 1 seed getting ousted and result matters. What’s ultimate thing is Kvitova ousted number 1 Safina. The stats are as follows:

 

Petra Kvitova

Dinara Safina

Rank: 72 Rank: 1
Petra Kvitova Dinara Safina
6 4
2 6
7 (7) 6 (5)

 

 

 

I have specifically written these games in an order in which they appealed to me. The best and enthralling game was of John Isner and Melanie Oudin. I felt bad for Safina because she didn’t seem to be in her best shape. But dear oh dear, the day was rocking at US Open 2009.

 

Prasad B. Kulkarni

Aurangabad.

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Sania Mirza – A burst bubble in Indian Tennis…

Sania Mirza!

A teen tennis sensation in India!Sania Mirza

A star in Indian Tennis!

These were some of the statements that wowed every Indian Tennis lover. Rather it would not be an exaggeration if I say a lot of people started watching tennis just because of Sania Mirza, at least in India. Sania made her international debut in 2005. The debut was an ideal start for any debutant. Lasting till fourth round in US Open was something amazing from a debutant.

 

But that’s it. Since then Sania has not been able to match her debut US Open charm for lasting till 4th round. There has been no consistent performance from her since then. She came in every title tournament and lasted till maximum of 2nd round unlike other players of similar age and gender who debuted later than Sania.

 

Isn’t it a shame not to match the debut performance? Generally people flounder in their debut performances but over the upcoming matches make themselves tough and try to overshadow the previous best performance. Why is this not with Sania Mirza? Look at Maria Sharapova, she is as young as Sania with almost same birth years. But she flourished very well and maintained her position in top 35 since last so many years. Maria was number 1 seeded for so many days or rather months. That’s commitment and class. Consider other players like

1) Melanie Oudin

2) Yaroslava Shvedova

3) Vania King

4) Sara Errani

5) Aleksandra Wozniak

6) Kirsten Flipkens.

These girls have managed to upset top seeded players like

1) Elena Dementieva (04)

2) Jelena Jankovic (05)

3) Samantha Stosur (15)

4) Amelie Mauresmo (17)

5) Patty Schnyder (19)

6) Anabela Madina Garriques (20)

in US Open 2009 in 1st and 2nd round. Even though their consistency has not been proved but still we can clearly make out from their current playing standards that they will show certain consistency.

 

Consider Roger Federer. Look how committed he is to the game and how he gives more than 100% to every game he plays. Though he has no one to prove to but he plays like he wants to prove him again and again. Forget about Roger Federer, Sania Mirza will have to take birth again to match his abilities and class. But lets match Sania with Saina Nehwal. Just a shift of “I” in the names and see the big difference.

 

Since Saina has made debut in Badminton world she has rocked everything. Continuously rising in her ranking and performance quality, she seems to be the real sensation. Look how committed Saina is to the game and her practice. As compared to Saina, Sania seems to have lost the charm. Though Saina is pretty new and Sania is almost 4 years old in International scene, Saina looks more convincing than Sania.

 

But then what is the reason for such a fall for Sania?

The answer can be mixture of various facts and things like

1) Entrance in Commercial ad world

2) Excessive fame and hype

3) Miserable physical fitness with almost every year bringing one or other ailing conditions

With commercial ads coming her way pretty easily and paying her much higher than what a match could may have taken its toll. When one gets fame through TV medium (s)he gets carried away. There are various examples that players fall more into such traps than anybody else. Roger Federer also shoots for some ads but those are limited. Rolex and that’s it.

 

Sania has been a victim of excessive fame and hype. Since she has started to play everybody has been diehard fan of her. Becoming fan is not a bad thing, but you are not supposed to make player’s life miserable. And a player is also not supposed to fill his/her head with air and consider himself/herself the best one. And that’s what happened with Sania. Its my deep heart wish that Sania recovers from her ailing body, her bad patch and plays some real good tennis taking her ranking to good height.

 

Also Sania has been victim of her unfit body. Every now and then she falls for some illness and body pain. She should really concentrate on fitness and improvising her game. It is high time that Sania concentrates more on game than anything else and makes it a point through her performance and winning percentage.

 

Amidst all this, Sania is getting married now to Sohrab Mirza. I hope that the marriage don’t make this bad patch more persistent and miserable. The expression we see in the picture above have become rare. The only expression we see these days on her face while in the game is of disappointment. Sania has become a “burst bubble in Indian Tennis World” and she should try and eradicate the image now she has on people’s minds.

All the best Sania and congrats on your engagement.

 

Prasad B. Kulkarni

Aurangabad.