Monday, April 28, 2008

Rafa roars by Roger to win Monte Carlo

By Richard Evans

All the good and all the bad that have been part and parcel of Roger Federer’s performances this year were on view in the Monte Carlo sunshine — and it was the bad that condemned him to a ninth career loss to Rafael Nadal; the third in consecutive years in this very final.

Federer broke Nadal on four occasions and still lost 7-5, 7-5 after leading 4-0 in the second set. Everything seemed under control, at least as far as the set was concerned, at 4-1, 30 all when suddenly two forehands flew off his racket and way over the baseline. Then at 4-3, a forehand hit the tape and went wide to give Nadal break point and a wayward backhand handed the Spaniard the second break back to love.

Federer didn’t really have an explanation for that collapse. It will be something for Jose Higueras to ponder on the flight home to Palm Springs before the coach returns for a second spell with Roger at Roland Garros.

To this observer it all looked like opportunities lost. Federer had broken in the first game of the match, only to lose his own serve immediately and then the swap was repeated at 3-3. It is fundamental against as great a clay court player as Nadal to nail down the opportunities you carve out for yourself and this Federer obviously failed to do.

But he was not too downhearted.

"Maybe I am growing up," he said with just the faintest flicker of a smile. "I don’t take losses that bad any more. You know, I try everything I can. And when it’s not enough, it’s unfortunate. But, like I said it was good for me to play him here. I felt much more confident. Last year I felt like I was completely out of the match. So today was better. Maybe that’s why I am not that disappointed."

Federer thought his attacking game didn’t really work but is hard to see how he would have prospered had he merely sat back and tried to slug it out with the game’s greatest slugger. He had to get in and frequently it paid off — bringing cheers from the Swiss supporters, all dressed up in the red T shirts with the white cross as perfect volleys skidded away, leaving puffs of dust from the red clay. Much of the match was certainly entertaining with both men bringing off remarkable winners but as soon as Nadal got back to 4-4 in the second set, one knew the die was cast.

The whole thing was over in one hour 43 minutes, short for a clay court duel and, asked about the ATP’s decision to restrict all finals to best of three, Federer was ambivalent once again. He admitted the advantage of the rule, which is meant to ensure the top players do not grind themselves into the ground but he, like the crowd, wanted more time on court. Unlikely as it would have been on this occasion, every champion thinks he would have a chance of coming back and when Federer was asked if he thought he could have lasted five sets, his answer was cutting. "I could have played seven sets if I had to, no problem. It’s a pity, best of three set finals. They’re over so quickly. I don’t think fitness mattered at all today because what, we had six, seven hours on court throughout the week? Normally we do twenty. So this is peanuts."

Of course, Nadal didn’t quite look at it that way as he left the Centre Court, laden with yet more glassware. Snapping a title drought that stretched back to his victory in Stuttgart last July, Nadal claimed his fourth consecutive Monte Carlo championship — an Open Era record — raised his career record in Monte Carlo to 23-1 and took a 9-6 advantage in his head-to-head series with Federer, the man who ended his record 81-match clay-court winning streak in the Hamburg final last May.

For him, there had been a lot more time on court despite the fact that he did not drop a set during an impressive run of victories against some pretty impressive clay court performers — Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer and Nikolay Davydenko. For Nadal, with Tommy Robredo alongside him, had fought his way into the doubles final. The young man, it seems, cannot get enough of his clay court tennis.
He has certainly left an indelible mark on this 108 year-old tournament and will be back for more. Anthony Wilding won it five times before World War I, four of them consecutively. Five on the trot seems very do-able for Nadal who, despite those dodgy knees, remains a powerhouse on clay.

Source :

Friday, April 25, 2008

Federer Faces Tough Road To Title

Roger Federer defeated arch rival David Nalbandian 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 Friday to reach the Masters Series Monte-Carlo semifinals, but his tough path to the title likely runs through Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.

Estoril champion Federer extended his clay-court winning streak to eight matches and avenged back-to-back ATP Masters Series losses to Nalbandian in Madrid and Paris at the end of last year with his best performance of the tournament to date. After a tense, energy-sapping first set, Federer's superior fitness proved decisive as the match wore on, particularly in the third set as the match broke through the two-hour mark.

But the ATP World No. 1 initially did not have things go all his way. In the first set at 5-5, Nalbandian produced a sublime chip/charge and drop volley combination off a Federer second serve to move to 0/40, and soon thereafter converted his third break chance of the game to take the first break of the match. The Argentine closed out the set on his first set point after surprising Federer with a serve and volley play.

After not facing a beak point in the first set, Nalbandian was broken in the opening game of the second set and twice more as a rejuvenated Federer raced away with the second set. In the third set Federer broke Nalbandian for 4-2 when the Argentine, perhaps emboldened by his attacking play on set point in the first set, made a strange decision to serve and volley on his second serve at 30/40, only to net a routine backhand volley. Federer held for 5-2 and broke again to close out the match. He faces the winner of World No. 3 Novak Djokovic and American Sam Querrey.

Federer, who has finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal the past two years in Monte-Carlo, improved to a 9-8 career record against Nalbandian.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

BenQ's V2400W claims to be world's thinnest, stealthiest 24-inch LCD monitor

The oft-irrational quest for thin already overwhelming television R&D budgets just hit our beloved LCD monitors. Meet the BenQ V2400W billed as the "world's slimmest 24-inch LCD monitor." BenQ claims that the LCD's 2.44-inch max depth is 21% thinner than any of its chubbier competition. Unfortunately, while BenQ happily drones on and on about the monitor's B-2 stealth bomber inspired design, it remains tight-lipped on the specifications. We know it offers a 4,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 2-ms response, touch control panel and selection of ports including HDMI, DVI and VGA inputs. However, the V2400W's brightness, panel resolution or backlighting tech, color reproduction capabilities, HDCP support for that DVI jack, and something so trivial as price all remain closely held secrets. Nevertheless, it'll be available at the end of this month in Asia then heading to North America and Europe in April. You know, if you can find it.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day 2008

This statistics and facts gives us every reason to be conscious on what is happening around us. Make a statement, spread the message and HELP the environment. Less war and more efforts to protect EARTH. Happy Earth Day 2008!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Earth Day - A Call for Climate

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mini Cooper

I sooooo love this car.. My Dream Car...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sharapova Claims First Clay-Court Title

By Tennis Week

Continuing a season of firsts, Maria Sharapova was the last woman standing in Amelia Island.

Sharapova won her first Australian Open title in January, made her first Fed Cup appearance for Russia in February and today captured the first clay-court championship of her career with a 7-6(7), 6-3 victory over a determined Dominika Cibulkova in the Bausch & Lomb Championships final.

"I took it one step at a time," said Sharapova who edged 15th-seeded Anabel Medina Garrigues, 7-6(3), 5-7, 7-6(1) in the third round before outlasting 10th-seeded Alona Bondarenko, 6-7(9), 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. "I had a few tough ones earlier in the week, but my body held up throughout the tournament. It's the first clay-court title I've won so it feels pretty cool."

The 34th-ranked Cibulkova stopped second-seeded Anna Chakvetadze in the third round before conquering former World No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo in the final. Playing her first career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour final, the 18-year-old Slovak used her fast feet, compact strokes and ability to take the ball early to fight back from a 1-3 deficit today.

Sharapova smacked a forehand return winner down the line to earn break point and followed with a backhand swing volley winner to break for 5-4.

Serving for the first set, Sharapova found herself on the defensive against the teenager, who smacked her a forehand swing volley while moving into the court, forcing a stretched-out Sharapova to hit a left-handed forehand reply. Cibulkova was waiting and cracked a backhand winner down the line to break back for 5-5.

In the tiebreaker, Sharapova slid a slice ace out wide to earn her first set point at 6-5, but Cibulkova surprised Sharapova with a stinging serve to save the set point.

Sprinting forward in pursuit of the dipping drop shot, Sharapova slid across the Har-Tru court and nudged a forehand that trickled over the tape. Anticipating the get, Cibulkova moved forward and was waiting but with a wide expanse of open court in front of her, she tapped a forehand wide to hand Sharapova a second set point.

She dumped a double fault into the net but two points later Sharapova seized the set when Cibulkova lined a tight forehand return into the net.

Sharapova plans to play the Family Circle Cup in Charleston next week followed by at least one European clay-court tournament — possibly Rome — before taking a shot at the only Grand Slam title missing from her impressive resume: Roland Garros. Sharapova is bidding to join Serena Williams as the only active player to capture all four majors in a career.


Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Davydenko Wins First Sony Ericson Open Title

We have a winner: the 2008 Sony Ericsson Open men’s singles champion is Nikolay Davydenko, who defeated second-ranked Rafael Nadal Sunday to hoist his first Sony Ericsson Open trophy.

In one of the strongest performances of the Russian’s tennis career, Davydenko dominated the Spaniard in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) with strong serving, solid baseline play and balanced court movement.

Even as the fourth-ranked player in the world, Davydenko was considered an underdog even in his semifinal matchup Friday against sixth-ranked Andy Roddick, who had beat the Russian five times in five meetings.

Entering the Sony Ericsson Open final, the two top-five ranked players had only played against one another twice, with Nadal winning both matchups. With Roger Federer’s quarterfinal loss to Andy Roddick and a strong South Florida fanbase, Nadal was heavily favored to win his first title in Miami.

After Nadal created a 3-2 lead in the first set, Davydenko took off, dominating the rest of the match and allowing Nadal only three more games. With the early break in the first game of the second set, Davydenko established the tone for his 6-2 second set victory.

With his finals win, Davydenko became the first Russian to win a Sony Ericsson Open men’s singles championship in its 24-year history.


Monday, April 7, 2008

I'm On Vacation :p