Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have often heard this phrase: "This was a match worthy of the finals" by many commentators who always fall short of words to describe any moment on the sports field. Its very rare when a match worthy of a finals does actually take place in the finals of a big tournament. There are, in fact, only two occasions that come to my mind - 2007 World Twenty20 Championship Finals and 2008 Wimbledon Finals. You can forgive me for having excluded many other good matches from the list... but then I have high expectations from the finals of any big tournament.

But now, I can add another one to that list. The 2010 US Open Men's Doubles final match contested by the top seed American pair of twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan against the unlikely pair of and Indian Rohan Bopanna with a Pakistani Aisam ul Haq Qureshi... the 16th seeded pair in the draw.

Bopanna and Qureshi have been playing together for quite a while now... and for the past few months, they have the results to show the effectiveness of their chemistry. Their finals match against the best Men's Doubles team of our era (and arguably, all time) was a match to savour. The Indo-Pak Express, as they have come to be known, threw everything they had in them at the Bryans... and the champion pair had to dig really very deep to be able to beat them. The scoreline is the end [7-6 (5), 7-6 (4)] only suggests how competitive the match was... but I am glad that for once in my life, I let go the opportunity to watch Sachin Tendulkar bat against the Highveld Lions in making a masterful 69. I am glad that for once when I voluntarily switched channels to watch some other live sporting event when Sachin was batting, it was totally worth it.

This match had it all... big serves on big points, some amazing rallies, players digging deep into their reserves to eek out a point for their team, booming forehands and smashing backhands (particularly from Bopanna), tremendous net play by all four and above all, there was that adrenaline pump... which excited everyone who had come to witness the match on the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York. To see diplomats to the UN from India and Pakistan sitting together and cheering for the same team, to see the flags of the two countries together at the end during the presentation and to see the wonderful chemistry between these two men as they played high class tennis against a high class team were delights that are unmatched.

At the end, it was even more warming to hear the words of Aisam ul Haq Qureshi, as he put across a very well-said message to the world on behalf of Pakistan. His country is in strife... the extremist forces trying to invade, the corruption and the flood crisis are making lives of people there extremely difficult. In such a situation, the country needed a few men who could portray them in good light to the world. I thought that they had found a few such men in Salman Butt and Mohammed Aamer and the new, young and energetic Pakistan team that had won Tests against Australia and England in alien conditions. But then, the cricket crisis hit them and the credibility of the people of the country plunged even lower on the eyes of the rest of the world.

So Aisam ul Haq Qureshi comes across as a wonderful ambassador for his country... spreading a message of peace. The standing ovation that he received at the end was to see a reason why I love sport so much. So little needs to be said at the end to spread so big a message.

It was a pleasure to have seen that match live. At the end, as the players met around the net and during the ceremony, it was easily visible that after throwing everything they had at each other... they had come out of it with just one thing - tremendous respect for one another!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you should change your blog name from "Cric-sis" to "Sprts-Analysis" as you never stop commenting on the any of the other other sports that are happing round the corner.