Showing posts with label Australian Open. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australian Open. Show all posts
 
Just 3 years back, nothing could go wrong with Novak Djokovic whose historic 70-6 record in 2011 was considered as amongst the best ever in tennis history. Not only this, his comeback wins from match points down had given him a nickname of Rasputin of tennis – the player who refuses to die. 

The world was just perfect for Novak Djokovic. Nothing could go wrong it seems and then suddenly a wave of transformation hit him. All of a sudden, from the Rasputin of tennis, he has now become one of the most vulnerable tennis players when it comes to crunch situations.

More often than not, there seems to be a hollow look in his eyes during the matches when he is in the latter stages of the matches. You could see a line of doubt in his eyes and as a fan you know that he is going to falter sooner than later. The fiery wide eyes which used to be a common sight earlier on in 2011, has been replaced with a slightly dejected look, not to mention even his receiving stance has changed.

It is not surprising that even in the matches in which he has the lead, he seems to be falling apart. Even by his own standards, he admitted about his mental lapses and hired Boris Becker specifically to address this issue this year.
What is more interesting is that this trend only seems to be there in Grand Slams big stages? During the other tournaments, he is pretty much the invincible Djokovic of 2011.
 
I really suspect and this might be a speculation but this all started during last year French Open - when at 4-3 and deuce in the fifth he had a simple volley on top of the net, but was so eager that he could not stop himself running into the cord before the ball had bounced twice, therefore losing the point.

Had he won the point, the outcome could have been totally different and as it happened, Rafael Nadal went on to win probably the most important match of Djokovic’s career as the victory denied Djokovic the golden opportunity of achieving his Career Grand Slam.

And since that crucial point in French Open semifinal in 2012, if we look at Djokovic Grand slam record, it has never been the same. He has gone on to lose matches in grand slams in which he has had lead on his opponents during so many sets. He has not been able to make a strong comeback against Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray since then in grand slams. Not only that he has failed to take any one of them to a five set match whereas just two years back, it was a normal phenomenon. He has lost in the last 3 grand slams finals in which he has played (which in my opinion is complete injustice to the talent that he has) 

So one has to wonder what is wrong with him really?

To me it seems the French Open net cord point still seems to subconsciously affect him in crunch situations…He has yet not been able to shrug it off completely as one would think.


That net cord is the difference why Djokovic does not have a career grand slam in his list of accomplishments – something that has been achieved by only a handful of players in tennis history so far.

It has now resulted into Djokovic giving up leads in sets, not only that he plays cautiously during the crunch moments and feels the pressure to such an extent that he committed a double fault at match point during French Open finals this year. Yes, the fan shouted in between the serve motion but then athletes are trained to handle such distractions. Do you think the 2011 Djokovic wouldn’t have handled it? 

 So what can he really do to overcome this recurrence of events in his life? Any thoughts..

 I will be back with my views tomorrow with PART II where in I will write down my thoughts on how Djokovic can overcome this….

In 2012 just before Australian Open, I wrote on how Nadal can overcome his mental barrier against Djokovic consecutive 6 losses and we all know what happened after that… here is the link: http://healthnsports4u.blogspot.com/2011/08/not-tennis-anymore-its-officially_23.html

Who knows this time it may be Djokovic’s time for a turnaround ;)

Stay tuned!(For updates, you can follow my Facebook Page or Twitter Account) 
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can contact me at apekshaha@gmail.com
 
 

The Journey from Mental Toughness to Mental Lapses - What is wrong with Novak Djokovic? ( Part I)

 
Just 3 years back, nothing could go wrong with Novak Djokovic whose historic 70-6 record in 2011 was considered as amongst the best ever in tennis history. Not only this, his comeback wins from match points down had given him a nickname of Rasputin of tennis – the player who refuses to die. 

The world was just perfect for Novak Djokovic. Nothing could go wrong it seems and then suddenly a wave of transformation hit him. All of a sudden, from the Rasputin of tennis, he has now become one of the most vulnerable tennis players when it comes to crunch situations.

More often than not, there seems to be a hollow look in his eyes during the matches when he is in the latter stages of the matches. You could see a line of doubt in his eyes and as a fan you know that he is going to falter sooner than later. The fiery wide eyes which used to be a common sight earlier on in 2011, has been replaced with a slightly dejected look, not to mention even his receiving stance has changed.

It is not surprising that even in the matches in which he has the lead, he seems to be falling apart. Even by his own standards, he admitted about his mental lapses and hired Boris Becker specifically to address this issue this year.
What is more interesting is that this trend only seems to be there in Grand Slams big stages? During the other tournaments, he is pretty much the invincible Djokovic of 2011.
 
I really suspect and this might be a speculation but this all started during last year French Open - when at 4-3 and deuce in the fifth he had a simple volley on top of the net, but was so eager that he could not stop himself running into the cord before the ball had bounced twice, therefore losing the point.

Had he won the point, the outcome could have been totally different and as it happened, Rafael Nadal went on to win probably the most important match of Djokovic’s career as the victory denied Djokovic the golden opportunity of achieving his Career Grand Slam.

And since that crucial point in French Open semifinal in 2012, if we look at Djokovic Grand slam record, it has never been the same. He has gone on to lose matches in grand slams in which he has had lead on his opponents during so many sets. He has not been able to make a strong comeback against Rafael Nadal or Andy Murray since then in grand slams. Not only that he has failed to take any one of them to a five set match whereas just two years back, it was a normal phenomenon. He has lost in the last 3 grand slams finals in which he has played (which in my opinion is complete injustice to the talent that he has) 

So one has to wonder what is wrong with him really?

To me it seems the French Open net cord point still seems to subconsciously affect him in crunch situations…He has yet not been able to shrug it off completely as one would think.


That net cord is the difference why Djokovic does not have a career grand slam in his list of accomplishments – something that has been achieved by only a handful of players in tennis history so far.

It has now resulted into Djokovic giving up leads in sets, not only that he plays cautiously during the crunch moments and feels the pressure to such an extent that he committed a double fault at match point during French Open finals this year. Yes, the fan shouted in between the serve motion but then athletes are trained to handle such distractions. Do you think the 2011 Djokovic wouldn’t have handled it? 

 So what can he really do to overcome this recurrence of events in his life? Any thoughts..

 I will be back with my views tomorrow with PART II where in I will write down my thoughts on how Djokovic can overcome this….

In 2012 just before Australian Open, I wrote on how Nadal can overcome his mental barrier against Djokovic consecutive 6 losses and we all know what happened after that… here is the link: http://healthnsports4u.blogspot.com/2011/08/not-tennis-anymore-its-officially_23.html

Who knows this time it may be Djokovic’s time for a turnaround ;)

Stay tuned!(For updates, you can follow my Facebook Page or Twitter Account) 
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can contact me at apekshaha@gmail.com
 
 
There are times in life when you feel so frustrated or desperate that all one can think of is just sitting down in dejection and giving up everything that you have worked for.

You are feeling down, dejected and depressed with the situations in your life and the events that have unfolded so far. Instead of the roses on your chosen path, all you can come across are the thorns, at every step of your life.

What can you do but to give up in despair thinking that this is what destiny has put in hold for you?

If you are right now at this point of your life, then this is the article for you to read. If not, you can easily ignore this and use your time somewhere else as time is the most precious thing in the world.

If you have continued reading the article then It is at this moment, you have to tell yourself that “ No, I won’t give up, no matter what happens and what I have to face.  I cannot give up on me inspite of the tough situations that I am facing.”

You know why? Because champions emerge only after facing the toughest road blocks in their lives.

After getting frustrated with her constant losses and criticism, Li Na, who recently won her first Australian Open in her third attempt, had thought of retiring just before last year’s Wimbledon. In her own words,

When we arriving in Wimbledon I say to Carlos, ‘Eh, Carlos, look, I want to retire’,” Li said. ”And normally I would think that Carlos for sure would say, ‘No, don’t do that, like we try’, but Carlos was like, ‘OK, let’s go home. Go. Yeah’. And I was like, ‘What?’

”In Chinese way, we didn’t like to speak out, so everything just holds [inside] for the self, so he say, ‘You should try to speak out to let us know what happens’. I was like, ‘OK, maybe we try, the last tournament, to see how it’s going in Wimbledon. If going well, I will continue. If not, maybe just over’. So he was like, ‘OK, let’s try it. One more chance’.”
Not to mention, if we look at Monica Seles, who was stabbed in her back while playing a match in 1993, struggled to recover mentally for almost two years before making her comeback to tennis. She was able to reach the finals of a GS and win Australian Open in 1996. The person who attacked her had told her that she was not pretty and that women should not be as thin as a bone. In her autobiography “Getting a Grip”, she gave a detailed account of the after effects of the attack: 
"Darkness had descended into my head. No matter how many ways I analyzed my situation, I couldn't find a bright side. Food became the only way to silence my demons. I'd walk into the kitchen, grab a bag of crisps and a bowl of chocolate ice cream, then head to the couch and eat in front of the television. I still don't know why my anguish found solace in food. Maybe I was subconsciously reacting to Parche's angry comment that 'women shouldn't be as thin as a bone.' If I padded myself with extra weight, I'd be protected from being hurt again."

But she still fought those demons and made a comeback on the tennis circuit. Although she was not as successful as she was before, but she did win a Grand Slam and reached the finals of another one. Also she will always know that she tried and did not give up when she easily could have hung up her boots.
These are just two of the many examples that can be touched upon to prove that true winners have emerged out from situations where they could have easily given up and pursued the easier option. Our minds always wants the easier way out and clings on the negatives of a situation rather than showing us hope. Frankly speaking, it is not the mind who is the guilty party. Everywhere around us if you see in our society, only negatives are reflected upon. Take any newspaper, media channel, sitcom everywhere you look around, it is filled with despair and sadness. In these moments, it is very important for all of us to remind our minds that great works have always been accomplished when they have faced the worst situations and in those times, had the guts to shout out their mind and tell themselves: Let’s try our best one more time and give ourselves one more chance.”


If only Li Na would have given up before Wimbledon, then she wouldn't have been the Australian Open champion once again. Always remember that there is somewhere a Li Na hidden in you before you decide to give up on your goals.

Roger Federer and The Much Hyped Age Factor

If you have any questions, you can contact me via twitter or facebook or my e-mail: [email protected]

Li Na - "Let’s try it. One more chance’

There are times in life when you feel so frustrated or desperate that all one can think of is just sitting down in dejection and giving up everything that you have worked for.

You are feeling down, dejected and depressed with the situations in your life and the events that have unfolded so far. Instead of the roses on your chosen path, all you can come across are the thorns, at every step of your life.

What can you do but to give up in despair thinking that this is what destiny has put in hold for you?

If you are right now at this point of your life, then this is the article for you to read. If not, you can easily ignore this and use your time somewhere else as time is the most precious thing in the world.

If you have continued reading the article then It is at this moment, you have to tell yourself that “ No, I won’t give up, no matter what happens and what I have to face.  I cannot give up on me inspite of the tough situations that I am facing.”

You know why? Because champions emerge only after facing the toughest road blocks in their lives.

After getting frustrated with her constant losses and criticism, Li Na, who recently won her first Australian Open in her third attempt, had thought of retiring just before last year’s Wimbledon. In her own words,

When we arriving in Wimbledon I say to Carlos, ‘Eh, Carlos, look, I want to retire’,” Li said. ”And normally I would think that Carlos for sure would say, ‘No, don’t do that, like we try’, but Carlos was like, ‘OK, let’s go home. Go. Yeah’. And I was like, ‘What?’

”In Chinese way, we didn’t like to speak out, so everything just holds [inside] for the self, so he say, ‘You should try to speak out to let us know what happens’. I was like, ‘OK, maybe we try, the last tournament, to see how it’s going in Wimbledon. If going well, I will continue. If not, maybe just over’. So he was like, ‘OK, let’s try it. One more chance’.”
Not to mention, if we look at Monica Seles, who was stabbed in her back while playing a match in 1993, struggled to recover mentally for almost two years before making her comeback to tennis. She was able to reach the finals of a GS and win Australian Open in 1996. The person who attacked her had told her that she was not pretty and that women should not be as thin as a bone. In her autobiography “Getting a Grip”, she gave a detailed account of the after effects of the attack: 
"Darkness had descended into my head. No matter how many ways I analyzed my situation, I couldn't find a bright side. Food became the only way to silence my demons. I'd walk into the kitchen, grab a bag of crisps and a bowl of chocolate ice cream, then head to the couch and eat in front of the television. I still don't know why my anguish found solace in food. Maybe I was subconsciously reacting to Parche's angry comment that 'women shouldn't be as thin as a bone.' If I padded myself with extra weight, I'd be protected from being hurt again."

But she still fought those demons and made a comeback on the tennis circuit. Although she was not as successful as she was before, but she did win a Grand Slam and reached the finals of another one. Also she will always know that she tried and did not give up when she easily could have hung up her boots.
These are just two of the many examples that can be touched upon to prove that true winners have emerged out from situations where they could have easily given up and pursued the easier option. Our minds always wants the easier way out and clings on the negatives of a situation rather than showing us hope. Frankly speaking, it is not the mind who is the guilty party. Everywhere around us if you see in our society, only negatives are reflected upon. Take any newspaper, media channel, sitcom everywhere you look around, it is filled with despair and sadness. In these moments, it is very important for all of us to remind our minds that great works have always been accomplished when they have faced the worst situations and in those times, had the guts to shout out their mind and tell themselves: Let’s try our best one more time and give ourselves one more chance.”


If only Li Na would have given up before Wimbledon, then she wouldn't have been the Australian Open champion once again. Always remember that there is somewhere a Li Na hidden in you before you decide to give up on your goals.

Roger Federer and The Much Hyped Age Factor

If you have any questions, you can contact me via twitter or facebook or my e-mail: [email protected]




~ Nobody had defeated a World no. 1 and 2 since Sergi Brugera since 1993.

~ Nobody had ever defeated Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam before.

~ Rarely, anyone has stepped up to win their first GS at the age of 28 in the presence of such  stellar opponents..

So what if you have just lost an epic match in just over five hours just 12 months back?

So what nobody predicted you to ever win a GS in the shadows of one of the greatest players in the history of tennis.

So what, you were ranked World No.8 and the Big 4 in tennis has won 34 out of the last 35 tournaments.

So what nobody in their dreams every predicted that you have the talent and ability to win a GS.

But then have you ever heard:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

If you haven't, then you should seriously look at a man named Stan Wawrinka who has a tattoo on his hand which says Fail Better.

Stan Wawrinka is the player who has defied everyone today to win his first grandslam at the age of 28, defeating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the first time in the same Grand Slam.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who stepped out of the shadows of his fellow Swiss player Roger Federer, winner of 17 GS to finally define his own glory moment by winning Australian Open for the first time.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who just 12 months back had cried his heart out after losing an epic battle against Novak Djokovic in a match which Stan should have won.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who had lost to Rafael Nadal 12 straight times before finally emerging as winner in the 13th time.

In the entire Australian Open, if there is any player who deserved to win today was Stan Wawarinka. He is the iron man who will now move on to World No. 3 ranking for the first time in his life and what a well-deserved ranking it is for him.

To have defeated the best two players,  and not to mention players who in the history are already booked down amongst the greatest, is a feat which is worthy of unlimited praises.

Take a bow to a player who has suffered so much of pain, losses and lived in the shadow of his peers. He has achieved what anyone before the start of the tournament had thought impossible.

But then they say that
"Disappointment should always be taken as a stimulant, and never viewed as a discouragement."

 It is something to look upon to and learn from it to become the best in your field. And the opponent that Stan played against today, Rafael Nadal is the best example of the above quote. Inspite of an injury after first set and three games, he continued to play the match when he could have easily hung up his racquet. Not to mention, Nadal is the same player who was defeated 7 straight times by Novak Djokovic in 2011/2012 before he turned the tables around to win the next six matches out of nine they have played together till now.

But today it is not about Rafa, it is about a player who played his heart out to defy everyone and conquered the Mount Everest in his life.

How many of us would have actually gone and done what Stan has done today? We can look in life and see that there are handful of examples only of mental caliber of Stan Wawarinka who has shown such steely resolve in the times of adversity. If something we have to take out of today's match, it will be just one lesson:

Failures should never make you fall down because success comes from experience and experiences come from bad experiences. So whatever the difficulties that you are facing in life, get up and tell yourself in STAN THE MAN style:



Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Roger Federer and The Much Hyped Age Factor



If you have any questions, you can contact me via twitter or facebook or my e-mail: [email protected]




Try Again,Fail again. Fail better. Stan Wawrinka -The New Iron Man of Tennis




~ Nobody had defeated a World no. 1 and 2 since Sergi Brugera since 1993.

~ Nobody had ever defeated Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam before.

~ Rarely, anyone has stepped up to win their first GS at the age of 28 in the presence of such  stellar opponents..

So what if you have just lost an epic match in just over five hours just 12 months back?

So what nobody predicted you to ever win a GS in the shadows of one of the greatest players in the history of tennis.

So what, you were ranked World No.8 and the Big 4 in tennis has won 34 out of the last 35 tournaments.

So what nobody in their dreams every predicted that you have the talent and ability to win a GS.

But then have you ever heard:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

If you haven't, then you should seriously look at a man named Stan Wawrinka who has a tattoo on his hand which says Fail Better.

Stan Wawrinka is the player who has defied everyone today to win his first grandslam at the age of 28, defeating Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the first time in the same Grand Slam.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who stepped out of the shadows of his fellow Swiss player Roger Federer, winner of 17 GS to finally define his own glory moment by winning Australian Open for the first time.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who just 12 months back had cried his heart out after losing an epic battle against Novak Djokovic in a match which Stan should have won.

Stan Wawrinka is the man who had lost to Rafael Nadal 12 straight times before finally emerging as winner in the 13th time.

In the entire Australian Open, if there is any player who deserved to win today was Stan Wawarinka. He is the iron man who will now move on to World No. 3 ranking for the first time in his life and what a well-deserved ranking it is for him.

To have defeated the best two players,  and not to mention players who in the history are already booked down amongst the greatest, is a feat which is worthy of unlimited praises.

Take a bow to a player who has suffered so much of pain, losses and lived in the shadow of his peers. He has achieved what anyone before the start of the tournament had thought impossible.

But then they say that
"Disappointment should always be taken as a stimulant, and never viewed as a discouragement."

 It is something to look upon to and learn from it to become the best in your field. And the opponent that Stan played against today, Rafael Nadal is the best example of the above quote. Inspite of an injury after first set and three games, he continued to play the match when he could have easily hung up his racquet. Not to mention, Nadal is the same player who was defeated 7 straight times by Novak Djokovic in 2011/2012 before he turned the tables around to win the next six matches out of nine they have played together till now.

But today it is not about Rafa, it is about a player who played his heart out to defy everyone and conquered the Mount Everest in his life.

How many of us would have actually gone and done what Stan has done today? We can look in life and see that there are handful of examples only of mental caliber of Stan Wawarinka who has shown such steely resolve in the times of adversity. If something we have to take out of today's match, it will be just one lesson:

Failures should never make you fall down because success comes from experience and experiences come from bad experiences. So whatever the difficulties that you are facing in life, get up and tell yourself in STAN THE MAN style:



Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Roger Federer and The Much Hyped Age Factor



If you have any questions, you can contact me via twitter or facebook or my e-mail: [email protected]




Rafael Nadal took a contentious time out today for back injury at Australian Open Finals against Stan Wawarinka, only to be booed by the crowd as soon as he entered the arena. Was it a time delaying tactic or a genuine time out?

There has been a lot of talk going on about Rafael Nadal’s contentious time delaying tactics that are being employed by him during the matches to ruffle his opponents
.

Let’s look back at a few timeouts taken by Nadal during important matches:


1)   Finals at Monte-Carlo, 2008- Federer was leading 5-2 in the first set and Nadal calls for a timeout. When treatment was over, Nadal played brilliantly to defeat Federer. (This is of importance as Fed then lost French Open and then Wimbledon in the epic match to Nadal)

2)   Finals at Hamburg, 2008: A time break, which lasted for 6 minutes, was called by Nadal for thigh massage, just before Federer was going to serve for the set.  Obvious result: Federer lost his own serve and eventually the match.

3)   Wimbledon 2008: It is well known to the world about the time taken by Nadal/Djokovic between serves. In the epic final Nadal, on an average, took around 30 seconds (maximum went to around 50 seconds) between his serves against Federer who took on an average 20 seconds.(Rule was for 25 seconds)

4)   Wimbledon 2010: Against Philipp Petzschner, he called his trainer numerous times on the court. Nadal won, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3. Petzschner said he did not notice a difference in Nadal’s movements before and after the timeouts.

5)   Wimbledon 2011: Nadal calls for a timeout at 6-6 in the first set and goes on to win the match against Del Potro.


After the match today, it was told that he felt back problems during the warm up before the match. Was this statement a strategy to calm the outside world down or was it actually an injury; only Nadal can tell. But one thing is for sure, we cannot undermine the determination of this player. Nadal's sportsmanship can be a question but his records are unbelievable and will go down as one of the greatest in tennis history.

What  do you think? 

Follow ApekshaHA on Twitter for Latest Updates: http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA

If you have any questions, you can mail me at [email protected]

(Link to previous post - Try Again,Fail again. Fail better - Stan Wawarinka , The New Iron Man in Tennis)
Rafael Nadal's  Injury Timeouts-Strategy or Real?

Rafael Nadal's Injury Timeouts-Strategy or Real?

Rafael Nadal took a contentious time out today for back injury at Australian Open Finals against Stan Wawarinka, only to be booed by the crowd as soon as he entered the arena. Was it a time delaying tactic or a genuine time out?

There has been a lot of talk going on about Rafael Nadal’s contentious time delaying tactics that are being employed by him during the matches to ruffle his opponents
.

Let’s look back at a few timeouts taken by Nadal during important matches:


1)   Finals at Monte-Carlo, 2008- Federer was leading 5-2 in the first set and Nadal calls for a timeout. When treatment was over, Nadal played brilliantly to defeat Federer. (This is of importance as Fed then lost French Open and then Wimbledon in the epic match to Nadal)

2)   Finals at Hamburg, 2008: A time break, which lasted for 6 minutes, was called by Nadal for thigh massage, just before Federer was going to serve for the set.  Obvious result: Federer lost his own serve and eventually the match.

3)   Wimbledon 2008: It is well known to the world about the time taken by Nadal/Djokovic between serves. In the epic final Nadal, on an average, took around 30 seconds (maximum went to around 50 seconds) between his serves against Federer who took on an average 20 seconds.(Rule was for 25 seconds)

4)   Wimbledon 2010: Against Philipp Petzschner, he called his trainer numerous times on the court. Nadal won, 6-4, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-2, 6-3. Petzschner said he did not notice a difference in Nadal’s movements before and after the timeouts.

5)   Wimbledon 2011: Nadal calls for a timeout at 6-6 in the first set and goes on to win the match against Del Potro.


After the match today, it was told that he felt back problems during the warm up before the match. Was this statement a strategy to calm the outside world down or was it actually an injury; only Nadal can tell. But one thing is for sure, we cannot undermine the determination of this player. Nadal's sportsmanship can be a question but his records are unbelievable and will go down as one of the greatest in tennis history.

What  do you think? 

Follow ApekshaHA on Twitter for Latest Updates: http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA

If you have any questions, you can mail me at [email protected]

(Link to previous post - Try Again,Fail again. Fail better - Stan Wawarinka , The New Iron Man in Tennis)