Sunday, June 9, 2013

Catch me if you can!

I should have tried my hands on some jackpots last week. My prediction in the last blog for the last four of the French Open came exactly right, thanks to my stars being in their best positions! Though I missed out on making a fortune, I decided not to miss the final and took my rightful place in front of the TV very early. On a Sunday evening, that is a very dangerous proposition considering how volatile my better half can be when she wants!

Today morning Cricinfo had the preview of the Champions trophy clash between Sri Lanka and New Zealand themed as Ferrer vs Murray of cricket. Ferrer was NewZealand. They didn't call him an underachiever but he, most appropriately, was termed as someone who has the ability to just remain in the top bracket while never being able to truly challenge the top four when it comes to trophies. In essence, they called him a honest trier. We all know that ilk, we respect them, we admire them for always giving their 100% but they lack something that true winners have. That extra ounce of talent, that inimitable aura, that ability to bounce back when everything seems lost. If Ferrer is to change that image tonight, he has to bring his A game to Roland Garros and hope that Rafael Nadal had a late night drinking binge and then shows up with a twisted ankle. That is just to show what Rafa is capable of on clay than to show that how hopeless Ferrer is when it comes to hoping!

First Set:  Ferrer showed up in bright green Tee while Rafa flaunted his Tarzan like biceps in a white shirt. Nobody quite knew how Ferrer managed to break Rafa's serve in the first Set. Rafa was practically bulldozing from the baseline. There were numerous occasions when all he had to do was wait for the right time to open up and unleash his trademark forehand. Everything is going according to script. Nadal 6-3 Ferrer.

Second Set: As soon as the first few drops of rain fell, I could see pink and green umbrellas coming up. Paris, fashion capital? Really? But unlike last year, the drizzle soon subdued and didn't last long enough to trouble Rafa's game. In the blink of an eye, he raced to a 3-0 lead. Though Ferrer improved his game over the course of the set, the damage had already been done. The good thing was Ferrer managed to break Rafa in this set too and the bad thing was that Ferrer had already given his opponent a 2 game break head-start. And, on clay, against Rafael Nadal, that is a cardinal sin. By the end of the second set, it is clear that Rafa did not have a late night drinking session and his ankles are doing just fine. Nadal 6-3, 6-2 Ferrer.

Third Set: if you need any proof that Ferrer is a quick learner, you just have this watch this set in which he played some forehands which even Rafa would have been proud to execute. With the Championship on the line he upped his game and gave Rafa a few problems. He managed to get even with Rafa until the 8th game in which his double fault gave Rafa the break and he safely served out the match & the championship in the next game. On watching Ferrer being wrong footed on his forehand, Rafa fell on his back covering his face, clearly overcome with emotion. He became the first man on the planet ever to win the same Grandslam a record 8 times. It is fair to say that he likes this red dirt more than the African elephants. Nadal 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 Ferrer.

Epilogue: Just after Ferrer lost to Nadal in straight sets, New Zealand somehow managed to drag themselves to the brink of defeat, chasing 139 against Sri Lanka but won by 1 wicket at the end. So it is not all that bad for honest triers around the World today.