Anirban Majumder

Rafael Nadal Gains on Novak Djokovic in ATP Rankings With French Open Looming

on April 30 2012 12:17 PM
Rafael Nadal Gains on Novak Djokovic in ATP Rankings With French Open Looming

Rafael Nadal made history once again by capturing his seventh Barcelona Open title with a marathon 7-6 (7-1) 7-5 victory over David Ferrer.

Nadal is now the only man to win two different events at least seven times each.

Last week, he claimed an unprecedented eighth-straight title in his spiritual home of Monte Carlo when he defeated top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

This is Nadal's 34th victory in a row at Barcelona after being defeated by Alex Corretja in 2003, and improved his finals record on clay to 34-4. This is also Nadal's fifth straight title at Real Club de Tenis.

The clay-court specialist has a 14-4 record against Ferrer after winning the 48th trophy of his career.

Up next for Nadal is the Madrid Masters, which is his least favorite clay tournament, as he only has a 24-7 record.

Nadal holds the all-time best winning percentage on clay 241-18 (93%), and will be gearing up to make more history at the French Open. Nadal has been almost unstoppable at Roland Garros with a 45-1 record, and he can surpass Bjorn Borg's total of seven titles if he comes out on top this year.

London 2012: India's Tennis Prospects for the Olympics [Review]

on April 22 2012 11:49 PM
London 2012: India's Tennis Prospects for the Olympics [Review]

They are the prime medal prospects for India in London. But forget about the medal, now their chance to have a place in the summer Olympics is in complete disarray.

With the June 11 deadline for naming the doubles pairings for the Olympics fast approaching, it is not sure whether Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza will be able to take the London flight this July.

For Sania, it is sheer bad luck, but for the rest of the two, it is lack of consistency, battle of ego and internal politics.

Paes and Bhupathi began their clay season last week at Monte Carlo Masters.

Unseeded Serb-Swiss combination of Viktor Troicki and Stanislas Wawrinka stunned the sixth seeded Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna in the second round on Wednesday.

It took just 56 minutes for the hot favourite Indian pair to go down in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Rated at number six in the ATP World Doubles Rankings, the Indian duo utterly failed to put up a fight.

Paes, pairing with Radek Stepanek won their first match 6-3, 6-3 against Juan Sebastian Cabal and Eduardo Schwank.

But the fifth seed pair lost to top seed Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 6-2, 6-0.

Nadal Thrashes Djokovic to Remain the King of Monaco

on April 22 2012 3:10 PM
Nadal Thrashes Djokovic to Remain the King of Monaco

It was expected that the king of clay may prevail again, but the one-sided story of just 1.19 hours is not anticipated at all.

Rafael Nadal won the Monte Carlo Masters for an eighth consecutive year with a comprehensive 6-3 6-1 victory over Novak Djokovic.

The 25-year-old is now unbeaten at Monaco in 42 matches. Nadal, who becomes the first player to win 20 Masters, did not drop a set this week in Monte Carlo.

After loosing his previous seven finals against the world No 1, Nadal was in control from the start. It is also Nadal's first title since his French Open triumph last year, making him the clear favorite to conquer Roland Garros again.

Djokovic won the first game of the match to love, but slowly lost control at the cliffside club on the shores of the Mediterranean.

From the moment Nadal broke him in the third game of the match, the result seemed one sided.

In contrast, Djokovic, who has lost his grandfather last Thursday, struggled to find a rhythm, making 25 unforced errors to just 11 winners.

La Liga: Debt Crisis Looms For Spanish Clubs as Economy Struggles

on April 19 2012 8:11 AM
La Liga: Debt Crisis Looms For Spanish Clubs as Economy Struggles

Spain appears to have a leg up on the competition when it comes to the beautiful game.

The reigning World Cup champions also have a league that boasts perhaps the two best clubs in the world: Real Madrid and Barcelona. Meanwhile, some of the lower-tier clubs continue to produce solid results in European competition.

But La Liga, and the Spanish economy, are struggling.

According to recent government assessments, clubs in the top two divisions owe 752 million euro ($988 million) in unpaid taxes. Six of the top division teams have payments due by June 30 and are in bankruptcy protection.

Spain's economy is now heading into another recession and is facing the danger of following Greece, Portugal and Ireland into seeking a bailout.

Real Madrid have a 589 million euro ($773 million) debt, while the debt figures for Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are at 578 million euros ($756 million) and 514 million euros ($675 million), respectively.

Valencia had to sell stars like David Villa, David Silva and Juan Mata to drop its debt to 382 million euro ($500 million). 

TENNIS NEWS: Federer Closing in on Nadal [ATP Rankings]

on April 17 2012 7:34 AM
TENNIS NEWS: Federer Closing in on Nadal [ATP Rankings]

Though there are not many changes to the current ATP rankings, Roger Federer is closing in on Rafael Nadal at the No. 2 spot.

Federer, a 16-time Grand Slam champion, is just 335 points away from Nadal, who holds second place with 9215 points in ranking, as of Monday.

Nadal is definitely in an advantageous position at the No. 2 spot, while fighting for his eight-straight Monte Carlo Masters title this week at Monaco.

Federer has withdrawn from the Monte Carlo tournament, as the Swiss star has taken a break from the game. He will return to action at the Mutua Madrid Masters next month at the Park Manzanara in Spain.

Nadal needs to win the championship this week to secure his No. 2 spot in the ATP rankings. The journey will not be easy for the Spaniard, as he is bothered by knee ailments.

Nadal, who has not won a tournament for 10 months and has lost to Novak Djokovic in seven successive finals said, "It's OK now, I need time to see how it is at the top level, to run without thinking about the knee, when I put all my pressure on the knee. It's the start of the clay-court season for me, and hopefully it will work well.