Showing posts with label Wimbledon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wimbledon. 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
 
 



As Roger Federer hit the shot long, there was a stunned silence on the court and fans all around the world could not believe what they had just witnessed. Roger Federer was out of Wimbledon in the second round today in four sets.

Witnessing the match was painful for every fan and even for non-tennis fans who were speechless. Can this be an end of an era was the question asked by many analysts and reporters immediately after the loss?

Let's look back in the history of tennis and if anyone remembers, Pete Sampras exited Wimbledon in second round in 2002. Many people speculated the end of his career too but what did he do? He came back with a vengeance and won US Open.

We always have to remember that for champions like Roger Federer, Pete Sampras - predictions are normally proven wrong as they don't belong to the category of normal human beings. The power of mind is so strong in their case that it can propel them to achieve the impossible. Indeed, it is the same power of mind that made them the champions and separated them from the rest in the first place.

Beyond the very extreme of failure and disappointment, champions find extraordinary amount of will and determination they never dreamed to own, sources of strength never explored before as they never faced the obstructions. Strength never comes from physical capacity but an indomitable will. For people who are the bravest, they fall down seven time and get up eight times. That is why they succeed. In case of Roger Federer, I truly believe that he has the will and strength to achieve what he wants. Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors , Andre Agassi did it, so can he.

A journalist asked Federer after the match: What do you do after such a tough loss?

Roger Federer: You follow the 24 hour rule, go back, train harder and comeback stronger.  ( For people, who don't know 24 hour rule, it means you celebrate your victories for 24 hours and go back to training. Same way, you mourn your disappointments for 24 hours and go back to training even harder.)

What an amazing answer by Federer and shows how much of a positive attitude he has towards anything in life. He believes that he can play for many more years and indeed this is not an end of an era. Age is just a number which we have in our own minds.  If age is indeed a huge parameter, then how can a 61 year old run an ultramarthon (Cliff Young)?


I also don't doubt Roger Federer either as like Ernest Hemingway said that the world breaks everyone , and afterward, some are stronger at the broken places. So Roger Federer might have been snapped out of his 36 QF streak, but I believe that he has the ability to bounce back from this loss even stronger than before. After all  there is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in and in case of Federer, this might be the crack which will allow him to reflect, train harder and inspire him again to achieve even higher in tennis.

PS: In the end, I also want to add what my friend had to say as a reply, "I still feel lucky to get to watch Roger Federer play. As a tennis fan, he is a delight to watch. In the end, watch him for his flair, elegance, shot making, unbelievable reflexes and not records:):)."

In my humble opinion, he can still win a couple more but to me, the pure joy that he brings to the table when he is playing is simply unsurpassed.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at [email protected]

Roger Federer loss in Wimbledon: Is this an end of an Era?




As Roger Federer hit the shot long, there was a stunned silence on the court and fans all around the world could not believe what they had just witnessed. Roger Federer was out of Wimbledon in the second round today in four sets.

Witnessing the match was painful for every fan and even for non-tennis fans who were speechless. Can this be an end of an era was the question asked by many analysts and reporters immediately after the loss?

Let's look back in the history of tennis and if anyone remembers, Pete Sampras exited Wimbledon in second round in 2002. Many people speculated the end of his career too but what did he do? He came back with a vengeance and won US Open.

We always have to remember that for champions like Roger Federer, Pete Sampras - predictions are normally proven wrong as they don't belong to the category of normal human beings. The power of mind is so strong in their case that it can propel them to achieve the impossible. Indeed, it is the same power of mind that made them the champions and separated them from the rest in the first place.

Beyond the very extreme of failure and disappointment, champions find extraordinary amount of will and determination they never dreamed to own, sources of strength never explored before as they never faced the obstructions. Strength never comes from physical capacity but an indomitable will. For people who are the bravest, they fall down seven time and get up eight times. That is why they succeed. In case of Roger Federer, I truly believe that he has the will and strength to achieve what he wants. Pete Sampras, Jimmy Connors , Andre Agassi did it, so can he.

A journalist asked Federer after the match: What do you do after such a tough loss?

Roger Federer: You follow the 24 hour rule, go back, train harder and comeback stronger.  ( For people, who don't know 24 hour rule, it means you celebrate your victories for 24 hours and go back to training. Same way, you mourn your disappointments for 24 hours and go back to training even harder.)

What an amazing answer by Federer and shows how much of a positive attitude he has towards anything in life. He believes that he can play for many more years and indeed this is not an end of an era. Age is just a number which we have in our own minds.  If age is indeed a huge parameter, then how can a 61 year old run an ultramarthon (Cliff Young)?


I also don't doubt Roger Federer either as like Ernest Hemingway said that the world breaks everyone , and afterward, some are stronger at the broken places. So Roger Federer might have been snapped out of his 36 QF streak, but I believe that he has the ability to bounce back from this loss even stronger than before. After all  there is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in and in case of Federer, this might be the crack which will allow him to reflect, train harder and inspire him again to achieve even higher in tennis.

PS: In the end, I also want to add what my friend had to say as a reply, "I still feel lucky to get to watch Roger Federer play. As a tennis fan, he is a delight to watch. In the end, watch him for his flair, elegance, shot making, unbelievable reflexes and not records:):)."

In my humble opinion, he can still win a couple more but to me, the pure joy that he brings to the table when he is playing is simply unsurpassed.

If you have any questions, please e-mail me at [email protected]

Are you afraid of competition in life?

Have you always been fearful of competent people coming up and sweeping you away from your position?

What if he is better than you? Can you even survive in today's world when the environment is so tough to live in?

If you come up with a yes in your minds, then welcome to my world. Believe it or not, we all are born with this feeling and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

These are real feelings that we all have inherent in our minds since our childhoods. Even when I have grown up, I still have those feelings. But then how do we get over them - a million dollar question maybe?

People who succeed will often agree the reason that they have moved up the ladder is because they knew how to better manage these feeling and instead of feeling threatened, they have actually gone and appreciated the important role of these individuals in their lives.

And there is no better example than sports in today's world to witness the impact of such thinking in the success of these individuals. And one such individual is Novak Djokovic. Having had one of the best seasons last year in tennis history, he started off the defense of his Wimbledon title today on Court No.1 in an impressive manner. He defeated Florian Mayer in straight sets ( 6-4, 6-1, 6-4) to move to second round of Wimbledon .

When I look at Djokovic, I look at an individual who has evolved as a player, champion and overall as a human being.

"Question to Nole:  What do you think Rafa has brought out of you?

Answer: I think both Roger and Rafa made me a better player.  They made me understand what to do tactically, mentally, against them when I’m playing in the later stages of a Grand Slam. "

And I personally think that answers my above fears completely. Next time you see someone better than you, then be happy about him as his presence will make you work harder to improve even more and who knows even take you to the World No. 1 in your world just like Novak Djokovic.


If you have any questions- You can mail me at [email protected]http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA or http://on.fb.me/pouTOy 

Novak Djokovic and Effect of Competition


Are you afraid of competition in life?

Have you always been fearful of competent people coming up and sweeping you away from your position?

What if he is better than you? Can you even survive in today's world when the environment is so tough to live in?

If you come up with a yes in your minds, then welcome to my world. Believe it or not, we all are born with this feeling and there is nothing to be ashamed of.

These are real feelings that we all have inherent in our minds since our childhoods. Even when I have grown up, I still have those feelings. But then how do we get over them - a million dollar question maybe?

People who succeed will often agree the reason that they have moved up the ladder is because they knew how to better manage these feeling and instead of feeling threatened, they have actually gone and appreciated the important role of these individuals in their lives.

And there is no better example than sports in today's world to witness the impact of such thinking in the success of these individuals. And one such individual is Novak Djokovic. Having had one of the best seasons last year in tennis history, he started off the defense of his Wimbledon title today on Court No.1 in an impressive manner. He defeated Florian Mayer in straight sets ( 6-4, 6-1, 6-4) to move to second round of Wimbledon .

When I look at Djokovic, I look at an individual who has evolved as a player, champion and overall as a human being.

"Question to Nole:  What do you think Rafa has brought out of you?

Answer: I think both Roger and Rafa made me a better player.  They made me understand what to do tactically, mentally, against them when I’m playing in the later stages of a Grand Slam. "

And I personally think that answers my above fears completely. Next time you see someone better than you, then be happy about him as his presence will make you work harder to improve even more and who knows even take you to the World No. 1 in your world just like Novak Djokovic.


If you have any questions- You can mail me at [email protected]http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA or http://on.fb.me/pouTOy 


As I was just about to say goodbye to a hectic day, I saw a mail in my mailbox from a tennis fan who has been watching tennis since 1971. After reading the mail, I realized: One thing that binds millions of tennis fans all over the world is the way tennis has inspired and affected their lives in a positive manner.

I really thank God to have shown me the path of writing down my thoughts on tennis and how it can inspire us. In this small journey, I have received a lot of mails from tennis enthusiasts who share the same thoughts and it has been a privilege and honor to be in touch with each and everyone of them. So today I would like to introduce one of those pen pals (Samir M) with whom I have had such a discussion, his thoughts on his favorite matches, how tennis continues to inspire him and why he is a huge fan of Roger Federer:

Samir M : “I have been watching slams since 1971 and rate Pete Sampras and Roger Federer as the greatest ever sportsmen across all sports.  Roger's conduct on and off the court says a lot about the person. Following tennis has been a passion, interest and a great stress buster. I can recall two matches as my favorite and inspiring.

1980 Wimbledon finals between Borg and Mcenroe was a classic. Those days tennis relied more on skill, serve and volley with sheer power taking a back seat. Points were short and players rushing at the net following the serve was the norm. Mcenroe was the next world no. one while Borg was in the hot seat having won the Wimbledon from 1976 to 1980. Borg essentially a clay courter had adapted brilliantly to grass and was hitting from the baseline while Mcenroe was considered to be one of the greatest serve and volley player of all time.  There were long rallys and approaches to the net with Borg winning the fifth set at 8-6.  This match was remembered because of Mcenroe's artistry shown via control over angled and stop volleys; his second serve with lot of spin was as effective as the first and Borg's sheer athleticism demonstrated through excellent court coverage and relentless hitting from the baseline.  

Second match, which I still watch was the 2008 Wimbledon finals between Federer and Nadal. It had a reflection on Federer the person as well as the admired tennis player he is. Barely a month ago, he was virtually destroyed by Nadal in the French open final with the score reading 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. With that frame of mind, he reached Wimbledon and regrouped himself to reach the final again. Nadal riding high on confidence won the first two sets. Never in the history of Wimbledon final since the open era, a player down by two sets won the match and Federer almost made it by winning the next two. Decider was a cliff hanger with Nadal winning at 9-7. As Federer rightly said after winning his latest (Dubai open - 2012) that there is no substitute for confidence. These two months of watching Federer demonstrated that a super human like Federer can go low on confidence but he is so well equipped to forget his losses and come back on track in the minimum possible time. A lesson for the youngsters and others who get so greatly impacted by small failures in life." 

After reading these nicely written thoughts by Samir, I wondered how much tennis has changed over the course of time and how I wish sometimes if we can switch back to those old times of serve, volley and skills of player the deciding factor rather than power! And then coming to Federer, I think Samir’s last 3 lines sum up this great champion's dedication and LOVE for tennis so beautifully that I will like to end my article with the following quote:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

(PS: Thanks Samir for sharing your wonderful thoughts on tennis.)




If you have any questions- You can mail me at [email protected]http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA or http://on.fb.me/pouTOy 


From McEnroe-Borg to Roger Federer : A Fan’s Inspiring Two Cents!


As I was just about to say goodbye to a hectic day, I saw a mail in my mailbox from a tennis fan who has been watching tennis since 1971. After reading the mail, I realized: One thing that binds millions of tennis fans all over the world is the way tennis has inspired and affected their lives in a positive manner.

I really thank God to have shown me the path of writing down my thoughts on tennis and how it can inspire us. In this small journey, I have received a lot of mails from tennis enthusiasts who share the same thoughts and it has been a privilege and honor to be in touch with each and everyone of them. So today I would like to introduce one of those pen pals (Samir M) with whom I have had such a discussion, his thoughts on his favorite matches, how tennis continues to inspire him and why he is a huge fan of Roger Federer:

Samir M : “I have been watching slams since 1971 and rate Pete Sampras and Roger Federer as the greatest ever sportsmen across all sports.  Roger's conduct on and off the court says a lot about the person. Following tennis has been a passion, interest and a great stress buster. I can recall two matches as my favorite and inspiring.

1980 Wimbledon finals between Borg and Mcenroe was a classic. Those days tennis relied more on skill, serve and volley with sheer power taking a back seat. Points were short and players rushing at the net following the serve was the norm. Mcenroe was the next world no. one while Borg was in the hot seat having won the Wimbledon from 1976 to 1980. Borg essentially a clay courter had adapted brilliantly to grass and was hitting from the baseline while Mcenroe was considered to be one of the greatest serve and volley player of all time.  There were long rallys and approaches to the net with Borg winning the fifth set at 8-6.  This match was remembered because of Mcenroe's artistry shown via control over angled and stop volleys; his second serve with lot of spin was as effective as the first and Borg's sheer athleticism demonstrated through excellent court coverage and relentless hitting from the baseline.  

Second match, which I still watch was the 2008 Wimbledon finals between Federer and Nadal. It had a reflection on Federer the person as well as the admired tennis player he is. Barely a month ago, he was virtually destroyed by Nadal in the French open final with the score reading 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. With that frame of mind, he reached Wimbledon and regrouped himself to reach the final again. Nadal riding high on confidence won the first two sets. Never in the history of Wimbledon final since the open era, a player down by two sets won the match and Federer almost made it by winning the next two. Decider was a cliff hanger with Nadal winning at 9-7. As Federer rightly said after winning his latest (Dubai open - 2012) that there is no substitute for confidence. These two months of watching Federer demonstrated that a super human like Federer can go low on confidence but he is so well equipped to forget his losses and come back on track in the minimum possible time. A lesson for the youngsters and others who get so greatly impacted by small failures in life." 

After reading these nicely written thoughts by Samir, I wondered how much tennis has changed over the course of time and how I wish sometimes if we can switch back to those old times of serve, volley and skills of player the deciding factor rather than power! And then coming to Federer, I think Samir’s last 3 lines sum up this great champion's dedication and LOVE for tennis so beautifully that I will like to end my article with the following quote:

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

(PS: Thanks Samir for sharing your wonderful thoughts on tennis.)




If you have any questions- You can mail me at [email protected]http://twitter.com/#!/ApekshaHA or http://on.fb.me/pouTOy