The Swiss master marks a perfect ending to the 2017 Grass court season with a resounding victory over Croatian Marin Cilic in a 101-minute display of his extraordinary class and supreme elegance, in a tournament which shall widely be regarded as the finest of his career.

“He is playing better than ever,” observes Boris Becker in an interview, minutes after the match. There is no talk of vintage Federer this time. No reminiscences of the his ‘strongest in the sport’ forehands, sharp backhands and almost supernatural footwork and agility of the 2005s, no anecdotes of the time when he was at the top of the rankings for a record period of 302 weeks, or when he won at the All England Club consecutively for five year. He wafted across the hallowed Centre Court across the fortnight, almost like poetry swaying from one end to another, like the summer breeze reigning all over the court and hitting the ball to places unprecedented to the opponent with pinpoint precision. This is the rise of an all new Federer, with the same grace and allurement but the best ever techniques, fluidity, temperament, techniques and, above all, the hunger to win.  As the three generation of Federers bore witness to the culmination of one of the finest runs in the tennis history, Roger further consolidated his claim as the greatest sportsman of all time, not only on the lawn tennis court as he became the first person after Bjorn Born to have won the Wimbledon without having dropped a set across the tournament.

The final was just an extension of the flawless game he had played across the tournament. Marin Cilic looked a man with a purpose, but with his game imposingly compromised under the shadow of the talismanic presence on the other side of the court. The long serves and forehands were nowhere to be seen, with just one ace in the entire match. He only succumbed to his foot blister, and metaphorically to the Swiss master’s greatness, as Federer gradually crushed the Croatian under his relentlessness, with commanding backhands, demoralising with his regular detours around the net and breaking Cilic’s serve with an ironical brutality. He hit as many as 23 winners to demolish the Croatian resistance 6-3, 6-1, 6-4. His eyes were always on the trophy, right since his first unseeded opponent and right through Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych, as he assailed their resistances, Cilic only a continuation of the routine proceedings.

This is no resurrection. This is just development. This is just how the almost superhuman of beings redefine the perceptions of perfection, and the world becomes a bit luckier to bear witness to their miracles. As for now, we can not help but fathom what magic is he going to conjure next. What after his 20th Grand Slam at US Open this year? What after he has played beyond 40?



Feature Image Credits: Sports Illustrated


Nikhil Kumar

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I ran my first race at the tender age of five. I was in upper kindergarten (UKG) and my school was celebrating its Annual Sports Day. It was a ‘Banana Race’: one had to eat a banana at the initial line and then run 50m to the finish line.  Technically, I never even ran the race because the tubby little me, cared only for the free banana. So after eating the banana, satisfied and content, I just stood at the initial line.

That was ‘then’. Fourteen years later, fast forward to the present year, ‘now’. I participated in the Vizag Marathon and came first in the ‘Open Women’s Category’. I won a certificate, a gold medal and a cheque of Rs.10,000. Who could have ever thought that the ‘Banana Girl’ would grow up to become a ‘Champion Marathoner’?


The journey wasn’t easy, of course. And the transformation took it’s time. But I honestly feel that ‘running’ is a sport that can be embraced by anybody and everybody.  It comes naturally to human beings- it does not need to be taught, because it is innate and self- evident. Unlike golf, tennis and swimming, it does not require a special environment (course, court and pool, respectively). It also does not need expensive equipment- just shoes, comfortable clothing and a steely will.

If you’ve ever felt like breaking the pattern of your sedentary lifestyle, doing something healthy and becoming active, then I urge you to take up running. You can start small- maybe walk, then take it up a level and jog and then go on to full-fledged running.  But, you must find that determination and START!

Once you start, you can follow these steps and soon, you’ll be running long distances like a pro. You can then challenge yourself and participate in marathons. And who knows, maybe even win them!

‘Running’, like all other sports, requires commitment.  Once you start training yourself, you need to muster up all your perseverance and keep at it. You’re not going to turn into a runner in a day, week or month. Accept that and don’t give up. Monitor your progress and stick to your regime. You’ll get your results over time. But when you do, you’ll look back and realise it was all worth the wait and persistent effort.

You can fasten your journey by embracing healthy eating habits. The deadly cocktail of diet and fitness guarantee long-term benefits.  When you eat nutritious food, your internal health improves.  This gives a boost to your stamina and energy levels, enhancing your performance. So, chuck the fries and soda. Grab an apple and watch your overall fitness levels skyrocket to unimaginable heights!

When you feel you’ve achieved your goal of running 500m without panting, crank it up a notch and try doing the same for 1 km. And then 2,3 and 4kms. Don’t follow stagnated  goals. It is very important to keep moving forward. So you need to review your goals, increase speed, increase distance and then ensure that you’re meeting these goals within the given time frame. Remember, the key is to keep moving!

Your journey of transformation asks for your ‘patience’. Keep yourself going by changing your environment every now and then. If you’ve been running on your college tracks for over 6 months, try going to a park and practicing there. Or try a treadmill at the gym. Update your running playlist. Run with a friend. Jazz up the scene and make running fun! If you succeed in doing so, you’ll never have to come up with excuses to bunk training. 

Over-training can derail all your sincere efforts.  Over-training can lead to muscle break-down, aches and serious fatigue. So if you over-train for a week and then need a week to recuperate from the damage, you’ve done yourself a huge disservice. It’s advisable to train only 5-6 days a week and keep at least 1 day of rest, when you let your body replenish prepare itself for next week’s training. Don’t let ambition blind you to the fact that you’re working with a human body, not a machine.

Now is the perfect time to add ‘running’ to your Resolution List. So get ready to get fit in 2016! Here’s to a ‘Healthy’ 2016! Hip, hip, HURRAY!

Image Credits: Kriti Sharma

Kriti Sharma
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