Apr 2, 2012

Match, Set, Hug [92/365]

In a subcontinent that is obsessed with Cricket, there isn't room enough for too many other sports.
The tattered ruins of our hockey reputation is proof that we are a one sport nation.

I remember the first time I heard about Leander Paes. I'd just immigrated to India and he had just won India's her first Olympic bronze medal after a drought of 40 years. His performance on the court was the stuff of legends. Accolades followed. His 17 year partnership with Bhupathi is the stuff you'd hear only in underdog movies and tales that your grandparents would recount with pride. Termed the 'Indian Express', they were India's answer to fedex, twice the power.
When Indian fawned and celebrated her second ICC World Cup last year, Lee's won another Grand Slam against his former partner Hesh, as Mahesh Bhupathi is fondly called, at the Miami Open.
Lee's latest win two days ago at the Australian Open with his 77th Men's Doubles partner, Radek Stepanek, was exciting.
Winning the set at 7-6, 6-2, it was a well fought match and thoroughly entertaining.
But besides his strategy, I love the energy that he brings to the game.

Very few tennis players have played with the kind of passion with such consistency as Lee does.

Celebrating wins and triumphs within a game is a wonderful way to reaffirm team spirit, bonhomie and to keep the energy up. Cricket is no stranger to all the wonderful public displays of emotion.
Tennis is one of those games that needs a lot of sustained energy. With the Indian Express, it was the exhilarating 'chest bumps'. With Radek, it is the 'passionate hugs' and the 'head grips' that almost looks like they are touching each other's noses. I think it is a great thing that Lee does this no matter who he is playing with. Energizing and electrifying. Exactly what such moments are supposed to be.

Sreeshanth, take note.
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