Saturday, June 15, 2024

Spectacular tennis from sizzling Paris

Photo writeup: Djokovic and Ruud, the finalists at the French Open

Musings by Shekhar Nambiar

The French Open finals are upon us. At this stage, there have been no major upsets, rather it’s been predictable.

The women’s final match is the next big one.  The men’s finals get played on Sunday.

IgaSwiatek and Karolina Mukhova play it out at the women’s finals on Saturday.

Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz after the match

Djokovic in finals

The man who’ll face Serbian Djokovic, who beat World No. 1 and 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, is going to be Casper Ruud. The Norwegian trounced the lanky German Alexander Zverev in three straight sets.

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Notwithstanding the cramps that Carlos suffered, the victory for the 36-year-old Djokovic was convincing, and it is all about the latter’s experience and tactics. The Friday match played out in record-breaking Parisian heat saw the champ play superior tennis. Without a doubt, Djokovic, despite losing the second set, was the better player. Neither the sweltering heat nor the booing Carlos supporters could stop Djokovic from victory.

Serbian Djokovic beats cramping Carlos Alcaraz to reach French Open final

The umpire repeatedly made entreaties, sometimes forcefully, to the over-enthusiastic Carlos’ supporters. Their behaviour turned for the worst as the player developed cramps that seemed to bother him till the end. This led him to be slower to respond although he still played clever tennis shots. His physical condition had nothing to do with Djokovic. Some questions do need to be raised such as why didn’t he think to adequately hydrate his body. Why was he making so many unnecessary movements across the court, tiring himself in the process, ask expert commentators.

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At the end of it all, Djokovic’s good words for Carlos, including the fact that he had so many years ahead of him, must have comforted the irate Carlos fans. The resounding cheers from the crowd speaks volumes for the Slovak’s popularity, respect, and admiration for him wherever he plays.

Train collisions in Odisha

Train collisions 

Amid all the excitement of tennis, there was a pall of gloom as India woke up on a morning to news of perhaps the country’s worst-ever rail accident in Odisha, three trains – one of them a stationary goods train – ramming into each another.

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The scene of the accident was naturally one of mayhem. Death and destruction strewn all over. Rescue operations, by all accounts, were swift and carried out efficiently. But then that’s a small consolation for the next of kin of the victims.

IgaSwiatek and Karolina Mukhova

Victory to the tenacious

Back to tennis. A word about the knowledgeable Roland Garros crowds. Barring a handful of the shouting brigade, the rest were disciplined and cheered both players as they scored volleys and points. As the inscription in bold letters proclaims on the stands at the Centre Court ‘Victory belongs to the most tenacious’. May the best man win the Sunday match and the best woman take the Saturday finals.

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Shekhar Nambiar
Shekhar Nambiar
Shekhar is a communications professional who has spent a good deal of time in international organizations and in the development sector. As he puts it, it's been an "exciting journey" for him, beginning his working life as a journalist, with some of the best editors and professionals, before venturing into public affairs and then forays in the private sector. He believes "every day brings new challenges, achievements and success, and the key is to play a small part in whatever it is that you're doing". He tries to keep pace with new tech, and learn a new word a day, of course, "Gen Z lingo!"


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