A Late Spring In Tennis
Sports Plus|March 2017
The four contemporary tennis legends, shrugging off the challenges from the younger lot and standing tall to the myriad challenges posed by the passage of time...
Niji Ng

What is common between the 2008 Wimbledon and the 2017 Australian Open finals?

Well, no idea? No problem. It is hard to remember even the recent sporting facts when we get so much information through traditional and social media. The two tournaments have an an amusing commonality. Both have the same finalists. The same players appeared in both the Men’s and Women’s sections despite the nine years that separated the tournaments.

EVERGREEN HEROES AND HEROINES

Sibling rivalry was on in the Women’s section in both the tournaments as Serene Williams took on Venus Williams. And the rivalry of big brothers illuminated the Men’s section as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal charged in for gladiatorial battles.

The Williams sisters first met each other in a final way back in 2001 – at the Flushing Meadows for the US Open crown. Venus won that final. Federer and Nadal first came head to head in a grand slam final in 2006 – at the Rolland Garros for the French Open title. Nadal reigned supreme in that match. After more than a decade of their first meeting at the grand stage, here they were at the Australian Open finals: the four contemporary tennis legends, shrugging off the challenges from the younger lot and standing ta to the myriad challenges posed by the passage of time.

All these players have their elite places in the pantheon of tennis greats. Among the four, only Venus can be accused of underachieving. All the others have won everything that is there to win. So, another grand slam crown in the form of Australian Open is not a big deal. But it is not just a triumph in a tennis tournament. It is a counter-revolution of the athletes against Father Time.

Each player has played their part in this. Let us follow their journeys that culminated in the final of this year’s Australian Open.

VENUS WILLIAMS

Venus Williams, born in 1980, was the first to make debut in tennis among the four players. She turned pro in 1994 at the unusually tender age of 14. She had almost all the skills she has now. As her physical strength increased, she started to win more matches. She reached the final of the US Open in 1997. She lost to Martina Hingis. Hingis was in top form at that time and Venus struggled to match her. However, she scaled greater heights from there.

The year 2000 was her breakthrough year. Even though she was just 20 years old at the time, she had already a seasoned pro with almost six years of experience. She won the Wimbledon and US Open that year. She repeated the feat next year too. By that time Serena had also established herself as a top rival. Venus found it hard to get past her sister in big matches. She reached several grand slam finals in the next few years. Still a title would not come. By 2004, Serena had established herself as the top player of the era. Venus’s form nosedived. She excelled only in the grass courts of the Wimbledon and other tournaments.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM SPORTS PLUSView All

Why Djokovic Is Struggling?

A lot has been written about the split-up between Djokovic and his most successful coach Boris Becker. The duo split towards the end of the last season. There was not bitter blood between them...

7 mins read
Sports Plus
April 2017

Why Tennis World Should Be Wary About Welcoming Back Maria Sharapova?

She has no ranking points and will start from the scratch but high profile tournaments offering her wild-card is not right as it is setting the wrong trend. We know that she will complete her ban in April but that doesn’t mean a welcome gesture is needed...

6 mins read
Sports Plus
April 2017

Spanish Clubs Ruling The Roost Domestically And In Europe

The club world cup has indeed landed in the hands of Spanish clubs making it not only the domination in Europe but also of the world football at club level. In fact the Spanish teams have had the most quarter finalists in the Champions League with 15...

6 mins read
Sports Plus
April 2017

Roger Federer Continues To Defy Age And Logic

Two months after winning the Australian Open, he defeated compatriot Stan Wawrinka 6-4 7-5 to become the oldest champion in the tournament’s history, overtaking Jimmy Connors who was 31 when he won in 1984...

4 mins read
Sports Plus
April 2017

Is Cristiano Ronaldo Planning To Get Married Soon?

Ronaldo and His Girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez Are Said to Be Willing to Get Married in 2018. He Is Dating the Model Since December...

3 mins read
Sports Plus
March 2017

Eden Hazard An Underrated Talent Despite His Achievements

Hazard has provided us with some of the more memorable moments this season and has scored in what could be the contender for the goal of the season against Arsenal...

6 mins read
Sports Plus
March 2017

A Late Spring In Tennis

The four contemporary tennis legends, shrugging off the challenges from the younger lot and standing tall to the myriad challenges posed by the passage of time...

7 mins read
Sports Plus
March 2017

A Unified I-league And Isl Merger Will Be Great...

 At present, the AIFF is looking to come up with a roadmap in regards to the merger decision. Exactly when that happens is still unclear but the idea does seem pretty lucrative and one which shall help Indian football grow exponentially...

6 mins read
Sports Plus
March 2017

9 Tennis Players Who Were Coached by Their Mothers

Istomin defeated defending champion Novak Djokovic in the second round of the Australian Open. He is coached by his mother Klaudiya Istomina who introduced her son to the game...

6 mins read
Sports Plus
February 2017

Living Large the Legacy of Bernie Ecclestone

After 40 years at the top of the sport, Ecclestone’s reign has ended with the takeover of Formula 1 by US company Liberty Media. Despite rumours that he would stay, Ecclestone has been replaced...

5 mins read
Sports Plus
February 2017
RELATED STORIES

Three-step Process

Using a refined method gives artist Catherine Hearding the framework for her paintings

7 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

Simple Circles

John Lovett provides tips on how to use circles in perspective

4 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

The Spirit of Volunteerism at the Portrait Society of America

My home state of Tennessee is known as the “volunteer” state, which means volunteerism is in our DNA.

3 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

OF LOVE and LONGING

Portraits by Alex Venezia

5 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

Making Goals

Each composition Sue Miller paints has specific technical goals to enhance the overall vision

6 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

Colorful Effects

Evie Zimmer uses her background in representational art to paint detailed abstractions that combine color and shapes

6 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

Savannah

Of all the things that inspire me, I am mostly drawn to painting people— portraits, figures, figures in a landscape, etc.

4 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

Master Showcase

THE ART OF THE PORTRAIT

4 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

A PAINTER'S JOURNEY PART 7 The Painter as Teacher

In the final article of this seven-part series, John Hulsey concludes his visual journey through his outdoor and studio painting processes.

8 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021

Internal Strength

Anna Wypych’s paintings are united by positive feelings and encouragement

7 mins read
International Artist
December - January 2021