Why did you become a fan of…..

Friends, colleagues, dear ones often ask why/when did you start following/admiring/become a fan of a certain sportsmen , it’s tough to answer but its also nice to remember the past sometimes

In case of Sachin, it’s tough to write it in a few lines, I would probably need to write a whole book about him 🙂 , but here is a brief about Federer though..

I think I have been following tennis for around ten years I guess starting with guys like Sampras, Agassi, Chang, Rafter Goran and others, but more than others I have always admired these 5 guys for their sheer quality of play

And then I guess I saw Federer for the first time at Wimbledon in 2005 and he looked very very impressive, his movements were so fluid and attractive that it looked like a beautiful ballet dancer on court doing some amazing moves that made you stand up in awe with your mouth wide open… but my obsession (if i can use that word) for Federer came during the AO 2006.

He played superbly in the final after losing the first set, but what happened later at the presentation ceremony was what struck a chord with me; he started crying after receiving the trophy, Now that was something that I had never seen before, here was a guy who dismantled the opponent in final and instead of smiling from ear to ear..he was crying… like a child..I mean it was so human, it reminded me of the days in school when i used to shed a tear or two in private after winning a quiz competition or winning an inter class cricket match… it was so touching …. and that was the moment I fell for him…and from then on the admiration and the obsession has just been growing  🙂

Do share about yours 🙂

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“Oh God Its Killing Me……. Again”

Sample this for a few minutes… French Open ’07 final where he missed tons of break points…. Wimbledon ’08 final when he had his chances in the first 2 sets… Australian Open ’09 final where he didn’t finish Rafa off… US Open ’09 final where he let off Del Potro in the second set … Wimbledon  ’10 QF when he wasn’t supposed to lose to Berdych… US Open ’10 SF  he lost from two match points up against Joker…. Wimbledon ’11 QF he lost to Tsonga after going up two sets to love…. French Open ’11 final he had his chances against Nadal in the first set….. and as if those were not enough now this loss to Joko in the semis.

I know the match is over a long time back, Joker even went on to win the final, all top three played the Davis Cup matches as well, I also know that there have been hundreds and thousands of post-mortems done on that semifinal match and in particular that shot on 40-15 that Joko played, but I’am still dazed and amazed at how Fed lost that semifinal, I mean common what were the odds for him to lose from the same position(match points up) against the same player(Joker) at exactly the same stage(SF USO) again?

I know most of us Fed fans consider AO ’09 as one that hurt the most, but this is one was bad too, it hurts even more when you think that he was match points up on his serve, the serve which was working so well for him initially, so why did he lose? as Fed himself said, its awkward to explain the loss that shouldn’t have been a loss, I feel it could be a concentration thing or may be he just choked, I know he does not involve in any gamesmanship as such but after Joko hit that shot, Fed was still up a match point at 40-30 and he was serving to the ad side so why didn’t he take his time, think a bit more and serve? I mean in FO SF this year against the same guy he served an ace down the T on match point and this time he went for the body serve, why did he go for the body serve when he could have finished off with an ace again? If either Joko or Rafa were in the same position I can bet my salary that both would have taken at least two-five mins to get that serve in… ….they would have taken the towel to wipe all the sweat over their bodies as if they just came out of shower ….they would have bounced the ball a 100 times before letting it go…

He was just one serve away from a spot in a final but in 15 mins time he was shaking Joko’s hand at the net losing 4 straight games and i think in the next half an hour’s time he was doing his press conf… that’s just insane… any human being worth his salt would surely need some time off after such a loss before talking to anyone, and when you watch his presser you could clearly make out that he was hurt and I thought Fed would  breakdown again just like he did in AO ’09, but somehow he kept his cool and managed to get through the presser, I believe he even gave a nice gesture and said thank you to one of  the press guys before leaving

Anyway time to forget this and move on.. and as i said last time its tough to imagine Fed winning his 17th from now on So here are two of my heros Sachin/Fed , at the fag end of their careers and struggling a bit and so I will just watch all their matches without any expectations and take every success as a sweet bonus.

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About Federer’s decline and his best matches

After Federer capitulated against Berdych in Cincinnati last week, I get a sense that the end is neigh with the rise of Nadal and Novak Djokovic along with flashy and erratic players like Murray, Roddick,Tsonga,Del Potro and others even staunch fans of Fed will agree that the coming years will not be easy and next slam title still seems a distant dream, he hasn’t won a slam for almost year and half now . A few years ago its was almost taken for granted that Fed will make a presence in the semis of every slam, but the same cannot be said now I wont be surprised if he loses in the fourth round in a slam like Rafa did in a few years ago in French when no one expected. So now for the million dollar question what has changed in Fed over these years? Honestly its a tough one to guess, personally I feel his reflexes have slowed down a bit and I also think he may not be at his peak fitness wise, but he is still participating in so many tourneys and has never shown any signs of breaking down, so he may be not be at top fitness level but its not bad either, but surely he has become far more erratic now, even his serve has been off-colour, if you probably pulled out stats of the last few tourneys you will see that his first serve percentage is hovering somewhere around 50-60 that’s pathetic considering Fed’s class of serving

Anyway the main purpose of this post was to put up some of my fav Fed matches, and guess what all of them have come post 2007, well past Federer’s prime..

2008 Wimbledon Final lost to Nadal 4-6, 4-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(8), 7-9

Much has been said about this game and many people including legends consider this as the GOAT match, well I doubt if anybody disagrees on that, this was a match which had all the thrills, frills and drama that a tennis fan can expect, the quality of tennis on display over the course of about four and a half hours was a treat to any fan. In the end the nemesis beat the master. What I liked most about this match was the fight that Fed showed, yes of-course this was Fed’s ‘home’ and he was coming in as the 5 times champ, but most people forget that this was the year where Fed’s struggles were exposed , I dont know how many remember that just a few weeks back the same Nadal beat Fed in Paris in a fairly lop sided match, a match whose scoreline was a shame to even read and add to that the same Nadal took Fed to 5 sets last year, the first time since beating Sampras way back in 2001. There was no doubt that Nadal was up and running in Fed’s mind – Nadal was here to prove that he was no longer a clay-court player and when Fed lost a 4-2 lead in the 2nd set and eventually the set 6-4 , we feared the worst, but that’s where champs come to the core – never give up, never give in, fight till you die –  And that was epitomized in that 4th set tie breaker, I mean only a player of Fed’s class, caliber and belief can play that backhand shot down the line at match point, yes he lost the final set and indeed the match, yes there was a sinking feeling at the end, but after a few days we realized that there is no shame is losing such a match.

     2009 Madrid Final beat Nadal 6-4, 6-4

This for me was one of the turning points in Fed’s career,     after losing all those matches to Nadal in 2008 many thought Fed was finished and it would be tough for him to make a comeback and sure he did struggle in 2008 when no one expected him to and one which was new to Fed himself as well because this was the first time people were questioning his performance and ability to stay at the top, and then this match happened, he came back with vengeance and played an almost flawless game, it was a season where Nadal and Djokovic were winning all clay season till then so to beat Nadal at that time and that too at his ‘home’ Madrid was sweet.


2009 Wimbledon Final beat Roddick 5-7, 7-6(6), 7-6(5), 3-6, 16-14 

Yet another Wimbledon final for Roger and again this time as well he struggled like last year against Nadal just that this time the opponent was different it was the inform American Andy Roddick at the other side of the net, one of those matches where Fed was just unable to break Roddick’s serve, but he hung in there never gave up and most importantly when needed he served right, his serve was so good that at the end of the match he out-aced probably the biggest server at those times and unlike last year where his struggle ended in a defeat this struggle had a sweet end with Fed winning the final set 16-14, and creating history by winning the most number of Grand Slam titles

   2009 French Open Final beat Soderling 6-1, 7-6(1), 6-4 

Yes he won a French Open. Yes there was no Nadal at the other end of the net, but so what? he did what even the great Pistol Pete could’nt do. One might argue the finals was really a no show and Fed dominated thoroughly and it was no where near his best, yes i tend to agree here but then it was not just about this match it was this whole tournament and one which ended in a special and perfect way for Fed, even though he cruised in the finals, he did have his tough times, he did a ‘Houdini’ against Tommy Haas in the 4th round and then overcame a powerful Del Potro and finally beat the man who beat Nadal on clay for the first time ever, Roger himself admitted that this was probably his greatest victory, not only was it the fact that it was his first French open which people wanted him to win, but there was also this pressure of joining Sampras on 14 slams after missing it in a bitter match at the Australian Open.

2011 French Open Semi Final beat Djokovic 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5)

This for me was by far his best match on clay ever, to beat a guy like Novak who was in red hot form like that in just 4 sets speaks volumes about how much Fed has improved his game on clay and if not for Nadal he might have won 4-5 slams more 🙂 . In this match he needed to play almost a perfect match to beat him and he did, his shot making and serving was spot on. No one gave him a chance to beat Djokovic before this match and probably that helped Fed because for the first he was an underdog going into a gram slam match which didn’t involve Nadal and this win had provided the critics and all the fans a ray of hope that there is still something left in the genius …. and when he wins like that people’s expectation sore sky high and for the first time many thought Fed will do the ultimatum or the final glory if you may call so — beating Nadal in a French Open final — sadly that it didn’t happen, he gave a good fight but in the end it just wasn’t enough.

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Is it a Switch? Is it a Router?…no its a BOX!!!!

Is this a switch or a router?

A basic question any network engineer will ask and i can safely say that its hard to accept the answer you generally get, and its equally hard to answer it as well, and the funny thing is how often we get this question gets asked over a period of time and we are still perplexed at the end of it.

The general answer is if you have a device configured with IP address then its a Router as it deals with L3 else its a Switch as it deals only with L2, but whats the use of configuring just the IP address when you don’t have any routing protocol? And have we seen any device without an IPv4/IPv6 address attached to it? So in the end you get confused if you got to call it a Router or Switch, thats why i guess most of the techies just stick to the term ‘Box’ most of the time, easy you see 🙂

 

In reality, terminology is never perfect, and it doesn’t need to be. Avoid getting hung up on ambiguous labels and learn to classify devices by the roles they fill.

Recently came across a post on PacketLife which talks about this topic and i have to say they nailed it in terms of explanation and in future if any one asks me about this I will just point them to this article, but still its a Box… 🙂

 

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My 15 for the 2011 World Cup

The selectors announced the probables for the WC some days back and also announced the team for the onedayers in SouthAfrica
And it isn’t surprising that most of the guys picked as probables are not picked for south africa as this is the last tournament before the WC
I’m always perplexed as to why a probable team must be selected?Why cant they straight away pick a 15 and announce it, yes the selectors will have a pool of players in their mind but why announce it to public and ICC?
Anyway the final shortlist of 15 players will be announced early Jan I think or they might announce it even before the ODI’s start in SA

I think most of the spots are filled but for a couple of them which i think might well be the key factor in a fairly long tournament like this
Here is my 15 for the WC

MS Dhoni (c/wk)
Gautam Gambhir (vc)
Virender Sehwag
Sachin Tendulkar
Yuvraj Singh
Suresh Raina
Yusuf Pathan
Harbhajan Singh
Zaheer Khan
Praveen Kumar
Asish Nehra
Virat Kohli
R Ashwin
Sreeshanth
D Karthik

I believe the first 13 pick themselves, and will be really surprised if any one of those are not picked, the rest 2 spots are up of grabs and it will be interesting to see who the selectors will go for, my pick is Sreeshanth and Dinesh Karthik.

Sreeshanth will be an ideal backup bowler, but i wont be surprised if Munaf or Ishant is picked, but i will go for Sreeshanth simply because the other two doesn’t seem to be completely fit, and also we have hardly seen them play any ODIs
Many might be surprised by Karthik but i feel he is the correct backup batsman/wicketkeeper, i doubt if the selectors will pick him, but if i were one them then i would have surely tried Karthik in the series against SA, he not only gives you the backup option for wicketkeeper but can also be used around as a floater, can be used in case an opener gets injured or be drafted in the middle order to attack the spinners as well and his record in the subcontinent is not bad either, so i feel he will be ideal.

The selectors might as well pick another batsman and completely drop the idea of a backup wicketkeeper, but touchwood if MS breaks a finger before the game then the standby keeper, whoever it is might be will be caught off-guard so in a high profile series like this we should not take any chance at all

Will be interesting to see which way the selectors go, but this WC will be super exciting, not only is it happening in India but we are probably the stern favorites this time around and we if play to out potential we should go all the way winning the trophy.

All the best to team India and also a very happy and prosperous New Year to everyone.

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Dissapointed with Gibbs’ comments…

The timing of his statement is disturbing, with packed schedule of pak series and then India series and then WC to concentrate on.. why did he release his book just before the WC and try to break the team’s harmony? i think he was damn sure he wont be in the squad and has most probably played his last game for SA, so i guess he wanted a bit of a revenge on some of the current south african guys
Smith powerful? i always thought it was Arthur who was powerful..giving harris and ntini games after games even if they weren’t good….and then whats all these talk of arthur bowing to “clique” of senior players like smith,kallis,bouch and AB? i think gibbsy was hurt that he was’nt part of that ‘clique’… when you have such senior guys as a coach its imperritive that you take their advice…and ya when you are tainted for something as big as match fixing and one of the most inconsistent guys then its pretty obvious that you wont be the fav or most sorted  guy around the dressing room….gibbs if u really really thought the team is in a ‘beautiful space’ ahead of WC, then u ought to hav kept that book in the shelf for a few more years…
An article on SportsKeeda has a few excerpts from the book
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25 Years and 3 idiots…

Friday i completed 25 yrs on this planet…feels so old already and whn u see some of the engg students now u feel really old.. i kept humming “Give me some sunshine, give me some rain, give me another chance i wanna grow up once again!!!!” from 3 idiots all day 🙂  Though i have never taken any resolutions on new year or on my b’day i decided to keep a few resolutions this time around on my b’day… not really resolutions lets say goals..some short term goals.. both personally and professionally.. lets see how it goes..

Watched 3 Idiots (3I)…nice movie..good time pass… I haven’t read the book by Chetan Bhagat so I had absolutely no clue abt the plot or characters but it was pretty much predictable as the movie progressed, all the talk abt the movie exposing the education system is a bit exaggerating I feel, yes it does talk abt a few points, but there is so many problems with the current system that it is impossible for anyone to cover everything in a 3-1/2 hr movie… But 3I on a whole is a funny movie it will tickle your funny bone for sure.
Chatur was ulti..he was the actual hero in the movie I feel, most of the scenes involving him were laugh riot especially the speech scene.
The emotional scenes were too much, most of it was unnecessary I feel, apart for the one where Farhan(Madhavan) meets his father. The delivery scene was also pathetic, I mean delivery using a vacuum cleaner… sick…
Kareena looked cute, but I hate those red specs…and the most irritating part of the movie was the name of Kareena’s would-be… ‘Suhas’….grr…I have never seen any movie character which has my name…there are so many names ajay,vijay,sanjay,majay,kanjay..etc.. Instead of those why did they take my sweet name and put it in a negative character?? I guess we should start copyrighting our names too… 🙂

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