Tag Archives: Leander

Australian Open 2011 – Djokovic triumphs and Lee-Hesh fall at the final hurdle

Brilliant Djokovic with the tropy after he demolished Andy Murray in the Australian open finals

In my review of 2010 tennis, I had mentioned how Djokovic could challenge the hold of Federer and Nadal on grand slams. Djokovic though did not waste any time in proving me right. Djokovic thrashed Murray, the other player who had a great 2010 to win the first slam of the year. Murray stood no chance against a red hot Djokovic who was flying high after his three set demolition of Roger Federer in the semis. It was a great win as Roger was tipped to win the title after the shock exit of Nadal by David Ferrer in the quarters.

Murray will be disappointed as he has once again lost the opportunity to become the first player from UK to win a grand slam since Fed Perry about 70 years ago. Both these players were the ones to watch out for after their good performances in 2010 along with Robin Soderling. Now with Djokovic winning the Australian open, it sets up the rest of the year beautifully. I am sure that Federer and Nadal will want to bounce back soon and regain their supremacy. But at the moment all the accolades should go to Djokovic who played brilliantly to win his second Australian open title.

In the doubles, Leander and Mahesh joined hands together after a long time at the grand slams. Their brilliant reunion at Chennai open almost turned into a fairy tale when they reached the finals at the Australian open. They played brilliant tennis and reminded one and all that they still have a lot to offer to their fans. The final though was an anti-climax as the Bryan brothers were too good for the Indian pair. But nothing can be taken away from the brilliant run they have been having since their reunion. All in all a good beginning to the year and it sets up some great contests in the upcoming grand slams. Will anyone be able to challenge Nadal for the number 1 ranking? We will have to wait and see.

Leander and Mahesh – The shining lights of Indian tennis

Leander and Mahesh a partnership which captured the imagination of Indian tennis lovers

Leander and Mahesh a partnership which captured the imagination of Indian tennis lovers

For more than a decade, Leander and Mahesh have carried the Indian hopes on their shoulder and have delivered time and again. How long can they go on? When will we see the next generation kick in? We have seen that the Indian young players have never been up to the challenge yet. Players like Bopanna, Prakash Amritraj, Harsh Mankad and quite a lot of young tennis players came on the scene and have disappeared.

Yeah they do play in the doubles scene in the Grand Slams once in a while but have never done anything of note. Sania Mirza too, India’s major hope for a top 10 player has been so inconsistent and injury prone. The dream of her reaching the top 10 seems far and distant. Tennis is a very expensive game and it’s not easy in India to take it up as a career.

It was about 8 years back when I saw an interview of Leander in Harsha Online in the ESPN where he spoke about the hardships he and Mahesh had to go through to come to this level. Eight years after they are the ones still carrying Indian dreams in the Grand slams. Recently the Indian tennis scene received an incredible boost with Yuki Bhambri who won the Australian open juniors and Somdev Devvarman who reached the business end of the Chennai open.

We will have to wait and see if these two take over the mantle from these two legends but the chances are bright. I had huge hopes for Prakash Amritraj as he was coached in the US and his father was the last Indian player to consistently challenge the top players during his time, but he has been disappointing.

India needs a top tennis player, need an idol to follow after Leander and Mahesh decide to call it a day. I just hope that these youngsters step up to the plate and deliver. Indian tennis scene has never looked so promising and I hope that these youngsters convert their good starts into something meaningful.

Till that happens the hope of an Indian tennis lover will continue to rest on Leander and Mahesh. It’s been an amazing 12-13 years since Mahesh became the first Indian to win a grand slam. They have more than 20 Grand Slam titles in doubles between them and it would have been fantastic if they had continued to play together. I salute the two legends of Indian tennis and their contribution towards the sport in India has been magnificent. Hope we find another Leander and Mahesh soon to carry on the mantle once they hang up their boots.

Sushil winning bronze makes this best olympics for India

1 Gold, 1 Bronze and another medal on the way makes this the best ever olympics for India. Vijender won his quartefinals bout to assure himself of at least a bronze medal in the middleweight class. This makes it three for India in the 29th edition of the Olympics and is a wonderful feeling for every Indian like myself. India won a gold in Hockey in 1980 and had to wait for 28 years to win another one and this time it is even better as we managed to win two more medals on top of that.

When the Indian Hockey team failed to qualify for the olympics, it seemed like a medal hope was lost. Even though the hockey team never performed great in the previous 6 editions before this after 1980, we always thought that they are our best hope to win a olympic medal. What we have seen in the previous years is that there is someone who always stood up to be counted. Even though not many people thought that Leander would win a medal in tennis singles or Malleswari would win a medal in weightlifting, they did the same against the odds.

This olympics has been a great one for India and I hope that this inspires more athletes for the next edition in 2012. India has always found unlikely heroes in olympics to make the country proud and this time we have three. Kudos to Sushil, Abhinav and Vijender. These three have made all the Indians proud. I hope that Vijender goes on to win gold in Boxing to make this olympics even more special for India.

Sushil winning bronze makes this the best olympics for India

Sushil Wins Bronze

Sushil Wins Bronze

1 Gold, 1 Bronze and another medal on the way makes this the best ever olympics for India. Vijender won his quartefinals bout to assure himself of at least a bronze medal in the middleweight class. This makes it three for India in the 29th edition of the Olympics and is a wonderful feeling for every Indian like myself. India won a gold in Hockey in 1980 and had to wait for 28 years to win another one and this time it is even better as we managed to win two more medals on top of that.

When the Indian Hockey team failed to qualify for the olympics, it seemed like a medal hope was lost. Even though the hockey team never performed great in the previous 6 editions before this after 1980, we always thought that they are our best hope to win a olympic medal. What we have seen in the previous years is that there is someone who always stood up to be counted. Even though not many people thought that Leander would win a medal in tennis singles or Malleswari would win a medal in weightlifting, they did the same against the odds.

This olympics has been a great one for India and I hope that this inspires more athletes for the next edition in 2012. India has always found unlikely heroes in olympics to make the country proud and this time we have three. Kudos to Sushil, Abhinav and Vijender. These three have made all the Indians proud. I hope that Vijender goes on to win gold in Boxing to make this olympics even more special for India.

In Search of a medal

Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal last week in the Beijing olympics made every Indian proud. But if we consider that this was our first such medal in 28 years makes us kind of sad. The rest of the Indian contingent have not fared that great in the games this year and it seems like we will end up with just one medal this year too. When we see that China who have a population of almost similar proportions to India leading the medals tally makes us wonder where we are going wrong.

I would have thought before the games began that India’s best chance for a Olympic medal this year would be the doubles combination of Leander and Mahesh. Them crashing out in the quarterfinals and Sania crashing out too have dashed India’s hope of a second medal. We had few others giving us some hope like Saina in badminton and Akhil in boxing but both of them crashed out before entering the medal rounds. The basic issue in Indian sports is lack of sponsership and encouragement for the athletes.

The fact that the Indian hockey team did not even qualify for the games points us to a much larger issue. It seems like the sports in India other than cricket is facing a slow death if the respective boards are not careful about it. Indian athletes have always struggled and the reason for the same is that they cannot take that as a profession as people from other countries can. They dont have proper sponsership and training facilities required for them to excel and compete at world level.

If the boards and various committees in India dont take action soon then India would become a one sport nation which it kind of already is. Getting a gold medal in Olympics is great but not knowing where the next medal would come from is not that encouraging for Indian sports. India needs heroes for the people to follow in other sports. The olympic games come and go but we dont stop wondering as to where the next medal is going to come from. The nation of 1 billion people and just one medal. Micheal Phelps of USA has taken 8 medals all by himself. As I write this article there are couple more chances for India in Boxing in the coming days to get the second medal for the country. As the nation searches for its second medal, I just hope that something is done to revive the other sports in India.

In Search of a medal

Mahesh and Leander Crashed out of Olympics

Mahesh and Leander Crashed out of Olympics

Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal last week in the Beijing olympics made every Indian proud. But if we consider that this was our first such medal in 28 years makes us kind of sad. The rest of the Indian contingent have not fared that great in the games this year and it seems like we will end up with just one medal this year too. When we see that China who have a population of almost similar proportions to India leading the medals tally makes us wonder where we are going wrong.

I would have thought before the games began that India’s best chance for a Olympic medal this year would be the doubles combination of Leander and Mahesh. Them crashing out in the quarterfinals and Sania crashing out too have dashed India’s hope of a second medal. We had few others giving us some hope like Saina in badminton and Akhil in boxing but both of them crashed out before entering the medal rounds. The basic issue in Indian sports is lack of sponsership and encouragement for the athletes.

The fact that the Indian hockey team did not even qualify for the games points us to a much larger issue. It seems like the sports in India other than cricket is facing a slow death if the respective boards are not careful about it. Indian athletes have always struggled and the reason for the same is that they cannot take that as a profession as people from other countries can. They dont have proper sponsership and training facilities required for them to excel and compete at world level.

If the boards and various committees in India dont take action soon then India would become a one sport nation which it kind of already is. Getting a gold medal in Olympics is great but not knowing where the next medal would come from is not that encouraging for Indian sports. India needs heroes for the people to follow in other sports. The olympic games come and go but we dont stop wondering as to where the next medal is going to come from. The nation of 1 billion people and just one medal. Micheal Phelps of USA has taken 8 medals all by himself. As I write this article there are couple more chances for India in Boxing in the coming days to get the second medal for the country. As the nation searches for its second medal, I just hope that something is done to revive the other sports in India.