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Monday, July 7, 2014

Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer; repeats his grass eating antic

Victory tastes sweet, they say ! ~ Wimbledon is played on a grass court – ‘grass is for cows’ haunted Ivan Lendl throughout his career. It was indeed a great match – if Federer had won, it would have been hailed as the crowning achievement of a glorious career. Losing hardly dented his aura or his legacy; for the other man - a sixth defeat in seven slam finals, to complete four in a row, was unthinkable – he was close to achieving the ‘choker’ tag.

Grasses have a very simple structure, and a very simple way of life. It looks refreshingly green and grow so easily on their own – or so it appears. At the base of the grass plant, roots grow down into the earth. Typically, grass roots are fibrous, or threadlike. They extend into the soil like fingers, collecting nutrients, soaking up water and securing the plant to the ground. Grasses, or more technically graminoids, are monocotyledonous, usually herbaceous plants with narrow leaves growing from the base. The true grasses include cereals, bamboo and the grasses of lawns (turf) and grassland. Uses for graminoids include food (as grain, sprouted grain, shoots or rhizomes), drink (beer, whisky, vodka), pasture forlivestock, thatch, paper, fuel, clothing, insulation, construction, sports turf, basket weaving and many others. Troubles in life come when we believe the myth that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.  We are taken over by envy, believing that other people have the good stuff and then feeling depressed, anxious, and persecuted by the belief that we have so little. 

Perhaps Novak Djokovic believes in every word of the above …. In 2011, at Wimbledon, the  new world No 1 plucked a handful of Centre Court’s hallowed blades to eat at the end of what he described as the best game of his career; the act was described as  a practice best left to sheep and cows, according to Sue Baic, spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association.  That time Tennis star Novak Djokovic's unusual grass-eating celebration proved a gift to headline writers a day after he was crowned Wimbledon champion, but raised eyebrows elsewhere. Djokovic sank to his knees and nibbled a piece of the Center Court lawn on Sunday after beating Rafael Nadal to win the men's singles title, later saying: "I felt like an animal. I wanted to see how it tastes."

This year 2014, history repeated itself …. He beat perhaps the greatest player of all time on his favorite surface in the Wimbledon – Djokovic beat Federer in a thrilling five-set final Sunday.  With this win, Djokovic has seven Grand Slam titles, an impressive haul but far short of Federer’s 17 and Nadal’s 14, which is tied for second all-time with Pete Sampras. His seventh major title puts him in front of the six won by his coach, Boris Becker, and Federer’s coach, Stefan Edberg.

At Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic-wept like a child before plucking and chewing some of the Centre Court grass-after clinching a titanic five setter 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-4 against the seven-time champion Roger Federer under a fading London sky. He said “I dedicate the trophy to my future wife Jelena Ristic and our soon-to-be baby , my family , my team and most of all my first team and most of all my first coach Jelena, who passed away last year.”

The first set itself went into a tie-breaker ~ Federer took it. Djokovic came back like a bruised boxer in the second set, bleeding, but refusing to bow.  Defeat hurts but Federer put on a brave face at first. He shrugged his shoulders, smiled and was phlegmatic during an interview on court with Sue Barker. He mentioned his small children, who were in his box with his wife, Mirka, and on the face of it, life was not so bad. Not everyone gets to win 17 grand slam titles, after all.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

7th July 2014.

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