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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Australian Open ~ good gestures by Roger Federer and Serena Williams

Every day as we enter our Office building, Security would want us to show the Identity Card ! ~ what would be your response on being stopped and how do rich and famous people [read Cine actors and politicians] behave at Public places, especially, if they are asked to establish their identity – this man was remarkable !

At Melbourne, it was  – master class Dhoni finished another match, with Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav batting well and earlier Yuzvendra Chahal bamboozling with 6 for 42 at Melbourne .. .. then the Capt Virat Kohli and his actress wife Anushka Sharma enjoyed some more special and memorable moments in Australia signing off  in the most stylish way possible. Kohli and Anushka went to watch the first Grand Slam of 2019 - Australia Open - that is being played at the Melbourne Park. Not just that, they met the legendary Roger Federer, who is aiming to win this third consecutive Australian title. Roger Federer is a six-time Australian Open champion, the owner of 20 major singles titles, a man who has spent more weeks ranked number one than any other and one of the most recognisable athletes on the planet ?

The Australian Open is now on .. .. For the first time in his career, Alexander Zverev is through to the fourth round of the Australian Open. The No.4 seed got there via a largely trouble-free 6-3 6-3 6-2 victory over local wildcard Alex Bolt. The South Australian lefty had enjoyed a breakout tournament, advancing further at a Grand Slam than he ever had before. Suddenly, he was appearing at Rod Laver Arena under lights – also a career-first – on Saturday night. In spurts, the 155th-ranked Bolt troubled Zverev, with his big first serve, power off the ground and net-rushing instincts keeping the match competitive. But the gulf between the two on this occasion came in the consistency department. And Zverev had this attribute in spades over his opponent.

Like Federer, there is another one at top – Serena Williams has been in devastating form and she made short work of 18-year-old Dayana Yastremska, winning 6-2, 6-1. The title favourite has dropped just nine games on her way to the fourth round and spent only three hours and six minutes on court in total. Yastremska grew up idolising Williams, and the American gave her young opponent a hug at the net, telling her: “You did amazing, don’t cry.” Williams added later: “As she was walking towards the net, I could tell she was quite upset. I kind of liked that. It shows she wasn’t just there to play a good match, she was there to win. She wanted to win. That really broke my heart. I think she’s a good talent. It’s good to see that attitude.”

Williams also talked to Yastremska in the locker room after the match about a time violation the Ukrainian teenager received in the second set that the American felt was unfair. “I didn’t think she deserved the time violation,” said Williams. “I thought that the umpire has to wait until the crowd stops clapping before announcing the score. I felt just to keep the match going he was announcing it really fast, which is fine, which is normal, but maybe she wasn’t used to that.

The 23-time grand slam champion on Saturday cruised through to the fourth round with a steamrolling 6-2 6-1 blitz of teenager Dayana Yastremska, but wasn’t 100 per cent sure about some of the decisions made in the match. The 37-year-old legend’s uncertainty was only revealed when her opponent opened up in her post-match press conference about an exchange they shared while returning to the locker room following their third round match. The Ukrainian said Williams was on her side when it came to a controversial time wasting code violation warning issued to Yastremska. She suggested umpire James Keothavong was overly pedantic when enforcing the 25 seconds players are allowed in between points. Yastremska claimed Williams said Keothavong was also too quick in announcing the scores after each point was played — triggering the serve clock early in her opinion. Meanwhile, Williams has earned widespread praise for her consoling of Yastremska immediately after their clash. The youngster looked like she was ready to cry as she approached Williams at the net after the match, and will have been heartened to receive some comforting words from a woman nearly 20 years her senior.

More amazing was the incident that occurred to Roger Federer – and the way he reacted to that !!  Rules are rules, after all. So what if Federer is a six-time champion at Melbourne Park ... the owner of 20 Grand Slam titles in all ... a man who's spent more weeks ranked No. 1 than any other ... and one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet? A video showing Federer stopped by a security guard in .. Federer stopped by a security guard in a hallway outside a locker room at the Grand Slam tournament made the rounds on Twitter on Saturday, drawing a mix of amazement and amusement.

In the clip, the guard is seen indicating to Federer that he was missing his Australian Open accreditation pass. Players, coaches, officials, members of the media and others are given lanyards with badges that have a name, a photo, tournament role and a bar code that can be scanned at security checkpoints.  Fed idn't argue. He stood patiently, waiting until he was joined by members of his entourage. That's when he was allowed to proceed and go through the door. Saturday was a practice day for Federer at Melbourne Park. He is scheduled to face Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round on Sunday.

The Swiss ace is one of the greatest tennis players of all time, having amassed a staggering 20 Grand Slam titles, but that did not stop security keeping him out of the players area with no pass to show. Federer is on form right now as he bids to defend the Australian Open title he won 12 months ago and looks unstoppable on field. Unruffled, Federer, waited until he was joined by coach Ivan Ljubicic before he could continue with his afternoon as he continues his preparations for his last-16 match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. Meantime, Women's ace Maria Sharapova strolled through the corridor with confidence, not noticing the security officer asking for proof of ID. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
19th Jan 2019.

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