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Australian Open: Brilliant Li Na Ends Up Second-Best

Published: January 30, 2011

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It wasn’t a masked ball at the Rod Laver Arena on Saturday, yet the final moments led to some spontaneous unmasking. Kim Clijsters of Belgium told the fans in the stadium that they could finally call her Aussie Kim, while Li Na was very cross with her own supporters, claiming they were trying to coach her in Chinese what to do mid-point. Li Na has been the story of the tournament, and to her... 

Wimbledon 2010: Rafael Nadal Explodes on Centre Court

Published: July 5, 2010

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Rafael Nadal once again picked the final day of a big championship to turn in a regal performance. He was clinical in his 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 demolition of Czech Tomas Berdych. Berdych had a great Wimbledon. He came to the final having accounted for the world no. 2 and 3. When asked if the pressure of playing in his first Grand Slam final had affected him, Berdych insisted, “Definitely not.”... 

Roger Federer: A Lost Magician

Published: July 1, 2010

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Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was this magician from Switzerland who came down to London and used his racket as a wand every summer from the first Monday to the last Sunday of the Wimbledon fortnight. Roger Federer was immune from whatever surprises the tennis world generated and made it a habit to be present on those two days from his first title in 2003 to 2009. In seven... 

Wimbledon 2010: Stinging Roger Federer and Limping Rafael Nadal Advance

Published: June 27, 2010

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  “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Roger Federer could have easily used the Mark Twain quote at the press conference after his straight sets victory over Arnaud Clement in the third round at the All England Club. Federer has been the subject of endless debate this summer after having gone through two challenging outings in the opening rounds at Wimbledon and... 

Wimbledon 2010: Rough Ride Ahead for Roger Federer

Published: June 25, 2010

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If the first few days at the All England Club are an indicator to go by, then the men’s draw is more open than it has ever been since Roger Federer beat Mark Philippoussis in the 2003 Wimbledon final. Rafael Nadal, the 2008 champion, looks more likely to be one of the finalists at the end of the second week, but the climb for Federer would be steep after the dogfights he’s had in the first... 

Rafael Nadal: The Return Of The King

Published: June 7, 2010

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Rafael Nadal had probably spent one long year thinking about this. Since the age of 19, when he first lifted the French Open title, he had been unbeaten on Paris clay and last year in the fourth round he suffered his first loss to the big serving Swede, Robin Soderling. As he tucked his face inside a towel and sobbed for a while, one could get a feeling of what this victory meant for him. This win... 

2010 French Open Women’s Final: No Dessert for Samantha Stosur

Published: June 6, 2010

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Samantha Stosur forgot to save her best for the last. On the all important Saturday it was Italy’s Francesca Schiavone who stole the thunder and left very little for the Australian to work with. Stosur has been the star of Roland Garros this year with her taut and imposing physique and, more importantly, her steely nerves that served her so well in matches against higher-ranked and more-experienced... 

French Open: Rafael Nadal Has Bigger Accounts to Settle

Published: June 1, 2010

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Just as Roger Federer has feet of clay when it comes to playing Rafael Nadal on the red clay of Paris, similarly Nadal has some serious questions to answer on surfaces other than clay. I am only considering the Grand Slams for seeing relative performance as they, to me, signify the bigger and more important battles. Allow me to take the same reference point that I took in my previous piece, the past... 

Roger Federer Still has Accounts to Settle

Published: May 29, 2010

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On his 19th birthday, Rafael Nadal made a blistering entry to the tennis world by beating world-ranked No. 1 Roger Federer in the 2005 French Open semifinal. He then went on to win the title two days later on his maiden attempt. The next year in Paris Clay, Nadal became the first man to beat Roger Federer in a Grand Slam final. The Man from Majorca made it three years in a row when he defeated Federer... 

In Admiration Of Roger Federer

Published: March 8, 2010

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There is this funny anecdote that effectively drives a serious point home. A man well over 100 years was asked the secret of his long life. The old man thought for a while, and then replied that “I think it’s because I’ve had many many birthdays.” Longevity is perhaps the toughest to maintain at the top level of any sport and is therefore the yardstick for measuring greatness.... 

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