Somdev's Tripura, a Full-Strength Australian Open and Serbian Tennis Politics
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Somdev Devvarman continues to delight his many fans. His expressed desire to coach budding, upcoming players from his home state has the Tripura government agog.
"As he belongs to Tripura, he would be very happy if he gets the scope to teach budding and young players from the northeastern states, where there is no dearth of talented and skilled players," Somdev’s father Pravanjan Kishore Devvarman said.
Somdev will be given a hero’s welcome when he returns home on December 26. He is currently in Texas training with Andy Roddick.
Mahesh Bhupathi is amused. The strong showing by the Indian tennis squad at the Asian Games came as no surprise to him. India won two gold medals in the men’s singles (Somdev) and doubles (Somdev and Sanam Singh) events, a silver in the mixed doubles (Sania Mirza and Vishnu Vardhan) and a bronze in women’s singles (Sania) and men’s team event.
"It has been a big year for Indian tennis. Somdev has had a great run dominating the Commonwealth Games and then the Asian Games. He has been in and out of top-100 and it’s time that he cements his place in the top 100. Next year is going to be a defining year for him," Bhupathi said.
The Australian Open 2011 will see an almost full-strength turn-up amongst men and women players. Serena Williams and Hungary’s 37th ranked Agnes Szavay, both out with injury, are the notable MIAs.
The US have cause for celebration in the Davis Cup. Andy Roddick, their foremost singles player, has committed to play the tournament through 2011. Roddick has the best American record in Davis Cup play, after John McEnroe.
Barely a week into the superb Serbian triumph and the cracks have started to show. Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, directed a salvo at the country’s tennis body.
"The present TSS leadership, headed by Slobodan Zivojinovic, has nothing to do with Serbia’s Davis Cup victory; we are the world tennis champions thanks to the players and their families only. I have no ambition to take over from Zivojinovic but the TSS needs a thorough reconstruction."
Zivojinovic has expressed his intention to run for the post of TSS president once more this year.
Old rivals Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters will pair up for the 2012 London Olympics representing Belgium. Henin is the 2004 Olympic singles champion.
UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi visited north Pakistan’s flood-ravaged valleys last week.
“Being there among the people who went through the drama of the floods and seeing the sadness in their eyes, and the weakness. The only reason that they continue to live there is because of hope. Hope that comes from these types of projects. Had this happened to me, I seriously doubt that I could have survived a year in these types of conditions.
The first priority is to give them shelter against the winter cold, which drops well below zero at night. And then we have to help them get back to their livelihood of planting and harvesting. It is not just their homes that were lost to the floods, but their fields and crops.”
He thanked the Bryan brothers for making a contribution to The Ul-Haq Foundation.
The news that Rafael Nadal will model for Armani underwear and jeans has fans wondering: “Will that get him to cease that habit of digging out his trouser seat from his bottom? Will his new undies solve that?”
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