Sunday, September 13, 2009

Long time no see!!

Hey everyone. Its been a long time since I wrote, sorry for that. Anyway I thought from now on I will make a conscious effort to write very regularly. It is something I always want to do actually. I am right now in Germany and will live here on-and- off next 6 months along with playing many International events during this time. I will travel to India also for the new year obviously. My brother is coming to Bangalore this year end ( He lives in US) and I hope to have a wonderful time then.

Its much colder than same time last year. Already people are grumbling that they had only one month of good summer and are covering themselves up in anicipation of colder evenings. But days are still longer though. It gets dark only at 8 and that feels a little different coming from a place where sunlight and darkness are fighting with each other for that extra half an hour throughout the year.

Yesterday Pallavi told me about the Serena-Clijsters match where the last couple of points lost by Serena was very unfortunate. I immediately remembered my last match in Taiwan that I played 3 weeks ago where I lost due to some biased Umpiring. And the story goes like this:

I was up against a Chinese Taipei player first round and it should have been smooth sailing for me or thats what I had thought!

I enter the court and I could not help but notice the Chair Umpire and the service Umpire were both from Taiwan, same nationality as the player. Normally this happen as the tournament committee uses local umpire.

Must be part of cutting costs I thought. Din't think much of it though.

I am doing quite well in the match with a healthy lead of 6-1 or something. At this point the chair umpire gives me a Reciever fault where the server made a high serve!! I was like, What!!

A reciever fault is given if the reciever of the serve moves before the server has excecuted his shot. Normally in badminton I have seen reciever fault given in situation where the service has been a low serve, seldom when it is high. I think the last time a player got reciever fault for high serve was before the war!!!

I was so surprised with this decision, I laughed the matter off and went on with the game. Dint raise even a question at all.

Again at 10-6 I get a receiver fault. This time i ask the umpire and he says I am moving before the service. Again I get the same fault 14-11. here I am a bit angry and call for the chief referee. He tells me "Ok Arvind I will watch from outside the court and make sure the call are not dubious" .

But I think by then I had irked the umpire a little bit because I started to yell at him things like he is unfair and he should be eating groundsnuts at cubbon park instead of being on the chair.

The match goes on to be 16 all or something like that and here the service umpire decides to come into the action. She gives me a service fault and I am livid at everyone now.Losing my temper I then lost the first game 21-16 or 17 I think.

second game I am comfortably perched at 13-9. Here again I get a reciever fault and then after one point, a service fault. At this juncture I was feeling completely victimised and was finding hard to focus. But I had no other choice but to fight on couragiously. Which I can proudly say I did. It was again 18-17 in my favour and here I lost 21-18. And believe it or not last 3 points of the match the line umpire gave all decision in favour of my opponent even though I had got them all right and rightfully I should won those 3 points. Our coach Atik Jauhari also felt sorry for me. I had lost a match which I should have won hands down.

This incident shows how much stress we players are in during a match. Sometimes the crowd can trouble you by jeering and laughing at you. Sometimes the umpires can turn hostile. Whatever happen from outside source a player will triumph only when he can take his mind off these incidents at that very moment and get along with the match by refocusing and getting back the lost concentration. I have never been under such stress by an umpire in my whole career and this has been a learning experience for me, even though it was a very costly one.

I have not watched the Serena-Clijsters match, but I am definitely with Serena on this one. In the heat of the moment she must have said some harsh, but surely not meant it. Hard luck girl!!

Signing off...bounce, bounce.


Anorak said...

Its nice to find you again! This incident showcases the amount of pressure that a sportstar have to take on the court but even besides these, one has to deal with so much more off the court which threatens to distract an athlete. I guess, here comes the challenge. One who can overcome this, emerges as the shinning star.... perhaps these are the little things which makes the difference at the end of the day ...nice post ... Keep walking!!!

Shree Kumar said...

Coming here after a long time. Nice post, Arvind!

PS: Time to update your world ranking on the right of this page !