A great tennis match & Aussie fielding

I witnessed one of the finest tennis matches in a long time. Most would say it was Federer Vs Nadal Final at 2007 French open. Well in that case, they didn’t see the semi-final between Nadal and Djokovic. (Apurv does a nice commentary on the same)

The score-line does not suggest how tough and well-fought the match was but then statistics do lie. The Serbian is perhaps the most improved player in a year and was seeded 6th in the tournament. He simply gave Nadal a run for money and every shot was matched and there were long powerful rallies. I have never seen Nadal under so much pressure and on him winning this match, I knew he is the only winner.

Federer was struggling right through and I would say was lucky to make it to the finals (I know most people would call me insane for saying this) . Federer has set tall standards and he was playing no where near his tall standards and hence

Federer has developed such a reputation that most players loose their natural game when playing against him. Davydenko played so well in quarters to defeat Canas (he has defeated Federer twice this year and people were expecting a clash between Canas and Fed in Semis) and was never himself in semis against Fed. And this is what Nadal does the best against Fed, he plays his natural self.

Here is another interesting piece on Aussies cricket. Mike Young, the Australia fielding consultant has an interesting story in Cricinfo:

When I was appointed fielding consultant in 2000, Australia were the reigning world champions, and everyone was asking me, “How are you going to make these guys better?” I didn’t know much about cricket then, but I’ll tell you what: I was quite shocked at what I saw.

I don’t know about him, but I was definitely shocked as he goes on:

No one had any idea about fielding balance. They were diving around with flawed techniques, and wasting energy that they should have been conserving. There was so much diving and sliding going on, with people saying, “It’s a great fielding side”, and so on, but I’m thinking, “If you have to dive so much, it either means you aren’t quick enough to reach the ball, or you’re standing in the wrong position.”

And then one of his ideas:

Also, I saw fielders in the ring take five to 10 steps towards the batsman, which meant they were not at all balanced when the ball was played. Both feet weren’t together and steady; one foot was always in front of the other. It’s the worst way to be ready for a ball. So we worked on that. Now I see across the world, everybody is into the split step, and they’re more balanced when they face the ball. I’m very proud of that – we started it.

Read about what he suggests to Buchanan. But this omne takes the cake:

Overall, we’ve come a long way from 2000 but there’s still plenty that can be done.

I am not sure what to expect in future?But then this is true of all great sides. People associated with them always believe they still have a long way to go.  

One Response to “A great tennis match & Aussie fielding”

  1. James Bower Says:

    Great blog, reading it through RSS feed as well

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