Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Point, set and game

Read an article, a week or so back, in the Times of India on Martina Navratilova's breast cancer and Leander Paes' 9 PM call (Copy of the TOI article on http://citizensbi.blogspot.com/2010/04/im-martinas-9-pm-call.html) and its Tamizh translation that was posted on IdlyVadai (a popular satirical blogger). She was one of my favourites when I used to watch tennis on good old Doordarshan. I just liked her for no rhyme or reason.

Here is an one liner each about some of the tennis greats on what I recollect on them. You may not have heard a lot of these names or even be born during the era when these folks were at their peak. :) Ramesh Krishnan and Vijay Amritraj are there here as they were India's warriors in the Davis Cup matches time and again. I am not including the recent crop of players into the list.

Andre Agassi - Colorful shirts and knee length shorts, the tonsured head and cool game
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario - The girlish wide smile, duels with Steffi
Björn Borg - The bandana, Wimbledon games with John McEnroe
Boris Becker - Cat on a court, stalking corners in a flash, his hair
Chris Evert - All I recollect is that she kept losing to Martina
Gabriela Sabatini - Double fisted backhands, pretty face
Hana Mandlikova - The head-band, graceful backhands
Ivan Lendl - Tall, lanky, the never ending French Open rallies
Jennifer Capriati - She came young, she won a few and slowly disappeared
Jim Courier - His cap, wizard in clay and hard courts, persistence
Jimmy Connors - Southpaw whose nemesis was John McEnroe before retirement
John McEnroe - The scowling southpaw, his serve and volleys, the tantrums
Martina Navratilova - The southpaw, her glasses, calm confidence
Mats Wilander - Epic, epic clay court battles, curly red hair
Michael Chang - Another sly cat on the court, boyish charm
Monica Seles - The grunts, the powerful hits
Pat Cash - Bandana, Australia, his Wimbledon win over Ivan Lendl
Pete Sampras - Never say die attitude, and his loser posture when the going went really tough
Petr Korda - Hairs standing on end as if he kept his hand on a van de Graff generator
Ramesh Krishnan - Davis Cup, He played as if the ball could get hurt and his deft placements
Richard Krajicek - Probably the fastest serves and aces I have ever seen
Stefan Edberg - Grace, grace and nothing but grace personified gentleman
Steffi Graf - Serves, energy and the awesome forehand
Vijay Amritraj - Davis Cup, Could leverage a partisan crowd to cheer him to victory

There are a few whom I may have left out, but that is okay. This is a random recollection.

And yours???


zeno said...

I dont think you need a reason to like female tennis Players :P :D

gils said...

thalaivar zeno sonnathai naan aaa mothikaren :D

RamMmm said...

@zeno, @gils-Teenagers will be teenagers. ;-) Aamaa Aamaa, esp. if the players are Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova, Elena Dementieva, Daniela Hantuchova, Sania Mirza and their ilk. :-D

A journey called Life said...

waiting for what Ramesh has to say on this post..

zeno said...

I presumed that you would have been a teenager while watching martina play ;)
I thought the dialogue was boys will be boys and uncles will be uncles. [If it will give any solace to you my next door kids call me uncle!]

Swaram said...

Navratilova is my Mom's favourite. She talks abt her all the time even nw when I keep praising the others :P

My luv for tennis started with Seles and Sampras. And nw, its Nadal all the way :P I luv watching Henin play too :)

Swaram said...

I will always remember Henin for her backhand and Williams sisters for their dressing sense .. game ofcourse, but hv always felt they give too much importance for their dressing on court too :P

Ramesh said...

Aha ; Thanks AJCL - at last a post I can comment on with some authority and score one over zeno, gils & CO :):) here's my take on all those you commented on

Andre Agassi - Won Wimbledon with the long hair; that was a sight
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario - A little too plump :) brother was good too; especially when they played together in the Hopman Cup
Björn Borg - Ice Ice Cool
Boris Becker - Boom Boom
Chris Evert - So So pretty; when she was going around with Connors, they were the darlings of tennis.
Gabriela Sabatini - Not all that pretty I thought. To poor a serve
Hana Mandlikova - Crying on the Duchess of Kent's shoulders ... she captured everybody's heart there.
Ivan Lendl - So close and yet so far in Wimbledon
Jennifer Capriati - Drugs is a no no
Jim Courier - Boring
Jimmy Connors - Whenhe burst on the scene and beat Rosewall and Newcombe, tennis was changed forever into the power game that it is now
John McEnroe - Brat, but what divine tennis
Martina Navratilova - The first power hitter when tennis was played by ladies in long skirts
Mats Wilander - Borg's successor
Michael Chang - Served underhand, cramped so much he couldn't sit and yet beat Lendl in Paris in the fifth set
Monica Seles - Ugh !
Pat Cash - The last Aussie hurrah
Pete Sampras - Terrible trousers. He playesd tennis weraing kachchas !
Petr Korda - Petr who ?
Ramesh Krishnan - Aha - I once received his degree certificate by mistake, as our namjes are ver similar
Richard Krajicek - Too Dutch
Stefan Edberg - Every lady's dream son in law
Steffi Graf - Mix of charm and aloofness; Farulein Graf is one of a kind
Vijay Amritraj - There never was a finer gentleman. Did India so so proud.

Great roundup of tennis stars RamMmm. I bow to theee ....

ambulisamma said...

No @ tennis,so cant do much here.

RamMmm said...

@AJCL-And there are the comments from Ramesh and how apt they are!!!

@zeno-Which Martina? Martina Hingis? Then I am flattered to be so young. ;) If Navratilova, it was even pre-teen, and on newspaper when I used to read about the Grand Slams and Davis Cups.

@ambulisamma-You should at least watch a few games, the finals of the Grand Slams, at least. :)

RamMmm said...

@Swaram-Navratilova was great. She was a tad masculine, but played amazing tennis. I watch the current crop at random. Of course, Federer and Nadal are there. Of the males in the top 10, Federer, Nadal and Roddick are the ones I have seen play. Others names are Greek and Latin to me. (#2-Novak Djokovic, who is that?) Of the females, in the top 10, I have seen only the Williams sisters play. :(

RamMmm said...

@Ramesh-Loved your updates on the list. :-) Thanks sire. Pete Sampras-ROTFL

chennaigirl said...

My earlier stint - Pete sampras,Becker - the other category - Steffi and Seles.
We as a huge family would watch and it would be fun all along having the battles among ourselves taking sides. (i always go with the loser - psychology ist)

A journey called Life said...

@Ramesh- the confidence shows through and through.. just like it does on your topics on finance and business..bollywood, kollywood not far behind, thanks to Zeno and Gils..

RamMmm said...

@chennaigirl-Yes, the 'support the underdog' view. Very difficult if both the players are faves. e.g. for me, it was Edberg vs. Becker. :-)

Sandhya Sriram said...

A very refreshing recollection.

I am taken back to my school days when me and my friend vasu had this big craze for Boris Becker and Jim Courier respectively.

we got to such an extent that we used to hunt for 2nd hand sportstar and stick them on our respective room walls, write names on our wodden scales and so on and so forth...

we never used to miss a match. he went on to learn tennis and still plays. i even stopped watching and now dont remember anything of it...

life takes us into different directions and how! i always wonder... nice refreshing post

RamMmm said...

True. You are crazy about it sometime and one fine day, it is all off. Interestingly, I was watching some sports channel yesterday and there was a replay of Australian Open semi-final of 1988 when Chris Evert and Martina played.

Karthik Lollu said...

Thalavi Hingis ivargalai miss panniyathai vanmaiyaaga kandikkiren :D :D

RamMmm said...

Lollu Karthik- :-) Hingis ellaam new generationpa. Adhaan podalai. Her first name Martina was given to her because her parents wanted her to become like Martina Senior (Navratilova) :-)