Showing posts with label Rafael Nadal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rafael Nadal. Show all posts


What a week it has been for sports fans…

First up: Rafael Nadal who progressed to the third round in Wimbledon 2014 defeated Lukas Rosol after being nearly down by two sets and today again he won the match after being first set down!

Second up: The underdogs (Team USA) who no one (except Jurgen Klinsmann and his 23 players probably) gave even the slightest of the chance to win a match, leave apart advanced through the next round in the group of death in World Cup ’2014.

Third Up: – Roger Federer who will be turning 33 next month, played a sublime match to advance to the next round in Wimbledon’2014.

If you are a sports fan like me, you have to be pumped up after seeing what we saw this week in the world of sports.

In all the 3 matches, the one common theme that came out was how every result depended on the willpower and belief of the players.

If you watched the match between Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol, you have got to wonder how can a player time again and again, come up from being a set down and still win the match. Nadal was not only a set down, he also faced a set point in the second set. But as it always happens, it is Nadal we are talking about here – the man whose nerves are made of steel. He faced the point, won it and then went on to win the set. Very common, right? But when his opponent faces a set point, he succumbs and loses the match.

What is it about Nadal that makes him so tough to beat? The answer lies in the statement that he made after the match: I was just trying to fight. I was waiting for my moment, trying to find my moment.”

For a moment let’s understand his statement very carefully:

“I was just trying to fight” – To me it shows how Rafael Nadal plays point by point and does not get overwhelmed by the situation. To him, it is very clear, he has to fight every single point that he plays. He doesn’t believe in giving gifts to his opponents by making an unforced error and makes sure that the opponent wins by their own brilliance.

Lesson 1: Fight for every point in life or match. No matter what situation you are, give your best without worrying about the consequences. 

“I was waiting for my moment, trying to find my moment.” -  Lukas Rosol was playing brilliantly until the end of the second set and he would have continued to play like this if Nadal would not have persevered on in the second set in spite of being a break down. Like Nadal said, he was waiting for the moment when he would have an advantage and to me that is a clear sign of a winner. As soon he got his first set point at 7-6 in second set tiebreaker, he pounced upon it and closed the set with the next point itself. We all know this isn’t the first time Nadal has done this, we can all ask Roger Federer about it... 

Lesson 2: There are going to be situations in matches or life when things will not go in your favor, hang on there and wait for your moments.  Believe it or not, after a certain point you will get a small window of opportunity and if you are alert, you will seize it and leave behind the chances of failure comfortably. 

About the USA match, I will just write one small paragraph (if you want to read in detail, you can click on this link : USA advances in the group of death beating all the odds- A very important lesson to be learnt from Jurgen Klinsmann and the US team! http://bit.ly/1m16hss). I am sure pretty much no one even imagined that USA will advance ahead of Portugal and Ghana in this group of death. Jurgen Klinsmann said after the match:

“Nobody gave them a chance but we took the chance”. The critics had completely ruled them out of having any chances at all of advancing and yet they progressed.

Lesson 3: No matter what the people say about your chances of success, they have no clue at all about the reality. The reality is only and only defined by YOU. If you think you can, you will. Shut the critics out from your life and focus on your goals, preparation and how you can move forward. 

As far as Roger Federer is concerned, I will be back in my next article after his third round match on Saturday to express, how as a sports fan, what can we learn from this champion? Remember in spite of his age, he continues to fight on against players younger than him by 5-10 years.

So in the end I will end with this statement:

“It doesn’t matter what others think about your chances of success as long as you believe in yourself. Give your 100 percent in every moment, fight it out and even if the going gets tough, hang in there to wait for your moment. When the moment comes, make sure you are ready to pounce upon it with full force.”
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can contact me at [email protected]

If not inspiring, then what?



What a week it has been for sports fans…

First up: Rafael Nadal who progressed to the third round in Wimbledon 2014 defeated Lukas Rosol after being nearly down by two sets and today again he won the match after being first set down!

Second up: The underdogs (Team USA) who no one (except Jurgen Klinsmann and his 23 players probably) gave even the slightest of the chance to win a match, leave apart advanced through the next round in the group of death in World Cup ’2014.

Third Up: – Roger Federer who will be turning 33 next month, played a sublime match to advance to the next round in Wimbledon’2014.

If you are a sports fan like me, you have to be pumped up after seeing what we saw this week in the world of sports.

In all the 3 matches, the one common theme that came out was how every result depended on the willpower and belief of the players.

If you watched the match between Rafael Nadal and Lukas Rosol, you have got to wonder how can a player time again and again, come up from being a set down and still win the match. Nadal was not only a set down, he also faced a set point in the second set. But as it always happens, it is Nadal we are talking about here – the man whose nerves are made of steel. He faced the point, won it and then went on to win the set. Very common, right? But when his opponent faces a set point, he succumbs and loses the match.

What is it about Nadal that makes him so tough to beat? The answer lies in the statement that he made after the match: I was just trying to fight. I was waiting for my moment, trying to find my moment.”

For a moment let’s understand his statement very carefully:

“I was just trying to fight” – To me it shows how Rafael Nadal plays point by point and does not get overwhelmed by the situation. To him, it is very clear, he has to fight every single point that he plays. He doesn’t believe in giving gifts to his opponents by making an unforced error and makes sure that the opponent wins by their own brilliance.

Lesson 1: Fight for every point in life or match. No matter what situation you are, give your best without worrying about the consequences. 

“I was waiting for my moment, trying to find my moment.” -  Lukas Rosol was playing brilliantly until the end of the second set and he would have continued to play like this if Nadal would not have persevered on in the second set in spite of being a break down. Like Nadal said, he was waiting for the moment when he would have an advantage and to me that is a clear sign of a winner. As soon he got his first set point at 7-6 in second set tiebreaker, he pounced upon it and closed the set with the next point itself. We all know this isn’t the first time Nadal has done this, we can all ask Roger Federer about it... 

Lesson 2: There are going to be situations in matches or life when things will not go in your favor, hang on there and wait for your moments.  Believe it or not, after a certain point you will get a small window of opportunity and if you are alert, you will seize it and leave behind the chances of failure comfortably. 

About the USA match, I will just write one small paragraph (if you want to read in detail, you can click on this link : USA advances in the group of death beating all the odds- A very important lesson to be learnt from Jurgen Klinsmann and the US team! http://bit.ly/1m16hss). I am sure pretty much no one even imagined that USA will advance ahead of Portugal and Ghana in this group of death. Jurgen Klinsmann said after the match:

“Nobody gave them a chance but we took the chance”. The critics had completely ruled them out of having any chances at all of advancing and yet they progressed.

Lesson 3: No matter what the people say about your chances of success, they have no clue at all about the reality. The reality is only and only defined by YOU. If you think you can, you will. Shut the critics out from your life and focus on your goals, preparation and how you can move forward. 

As far as Roger Federer is concerned, I will be back in my next article after his third round match on Saturday to express, how as a sports fan, what can we learn from this champion? Remember in spite of his age, he continues to fight on against players younger than him by 5-10 years.

So in the end I will end with this statement:

“It doesn’t matter what others think about your chances of success as long as you believe in yourself. Give your 100 percent in every moment, fight it out and even if the going gets tough, hang in there to wait for your moment. When the moment comes, make sure you are ready to pounce upon it with full force.”
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can contact me at [email protected]
 
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
 
 



~ 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)