Tennis anyone ?

I rarely watch any game, including cricket. People generally expect that if you are an Indian, you must be hooked on to cricket. Any other behavioral tendencies such as walking away from a TV showing the latest cricket match or not knowing the latest cricket statistics, are considered a sin.

I do occasionally (but rarely) view a 5-minute snippet of cricket or tennis, recommended by my son. Or, my family pulls me in for a tennis match going on in the TV, and urges me to stay put and watch.

Yesterday was one such occasion. I joined my family for a live viewing of the Wimbledon Women’s Finals between Serena Williams and Garbine Muguruza. The crowd at Wimbledon was rooting for Garbine but was not partial when Serena did some wonderful footwork. It was a great match when the No. 20 player in the world challenged the No.1 player.

Garbine is an excellent player. She played some wonderful tennis yesterday, and initially even Serena would have been surprised when she lost two games to nil in the first set. Apparently, Serena’s experience played to her advantage, and her ability to serve in almost a blinding fashion would have unnerved even the best player in the world. Garbine, however, fought back valiantly in the second set. It was clear that she would not go down meekly when she converted the score of 5:1 in favour of Serena to 5:4.

However, Serena staved off the challenge, and got an easy win in two sets. Her mental and physical strength were on full play though she made several double faults and unforced errors. But her superiority was based on her unmatched ability to climb back all the way up, not giving an inch to the opponent all the time. She is a well-rehearsed fighter, with mighty serves and an intense focus to win.

It was a very good match, and I enjoyed it. Garbine wept once she lost the match, but recovered and gave a nice speech. Serena recognized Garbine’s well played game in her closing remarks, and said she expects to see Garbine with the Wimbledon crown very soon.

At many times, I felt that it was a game between almost equal players, and that is how a Finals match should be.


Vijay Srinivasan

12th July 2015


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