Tennis Bytes: Of Grand Slam Rivalry, Aces for Charity and Indian Hopes
The man from Mallorca certainly hopes so.
“I would love to play against Roger Federer this year a few more times because when we play each other it’s in the final, so that’s already a very good result for both of us to be in the final of important tournaments,” said Nadal.
Federer seconded the motion: “We only played twice last year in Madrid and the [Barclays] ATP World Tour Finals in London, which was a great end for both of us.There’ll be huge hype going into the new season with him going for his fourth Grand Slam in a row and me trying to defend the Australian Open title. So right off the bat we’ll have some excitement.”
The recent invitational Abu Dhabi tourney finished with Nadal edging out Federer in two sets 7-6, 7-6.
Here’s a toast to the New Year and more exciting tennis and finals between the supremoes of the sport.
Sania Mirza failed to qualify for the ASB classic in Auckland, New Zealand but barely. She lost 1-6, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (5) to Germany’s Sabine Lisicki in the final qualifying round. Mirza is striving to get back into the top echelon of women’s players after her ranking hit rock-bottom; she is currently 141, down from a career-high 27.
Samantha Stosur will be serving aces for charity this week. She has promised $100 for every ace she unleashes at the Brisbane International to victims of the floods in Queensland, her home state.
The all-court player’s family was affected by similar floods in 1987.
“We lost everything: photos, furniture, all our possessions apart from what we were wearing. It could have been a lot worse, as my younger brother’s cot was completely submerged in water but he was in my parents’ bed that night.
"I also remember my other brother Daniel diving for my mum’s wedding ring which she lost in the water – he found it.
"I guess this is why I felt it is important for me to try and give something back. I am Queenslander and I want to help even in a small way. When you are in this kind of situation every little bit helps and I hope my small contribution does just that," explained the Australian No. 1.
The Chennai Open kicks off with an unprecedented number of Indian entries.
Somdev Devvarman, Rohan Bopanna and Yuki Bhambri will represent Indian hopes in the men’s singles.
The men’s doubles features the Indian Express—Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi, the Peace Locomotive—Rohan Bopanna and Pakistani Aisam-ul-haq Qureshi, the Guangzhou Asian Games gold medallists—Somdev Devvarman and Sanam Singh; and unseeded pair, Vishnu Vardhan and Divij Sharan.
World No. 6 Tomas Berdych is the top seed in the men’s event.
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