Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, November 04, 2010


Star Stud: Tennis

By Professor Spork

While lagging behind on the football field till but recently, Spaniards had in no way been taking time off in tennis. It was about six years ago that one young Spanish tennis player took the world by storm, becoming the youngest to bag a singles victory in Spain's Davis Cup for the winning nation. Since then his career refused to falter. In 2005 he created a teen record of 11 titles, including his first Grand Slam. Even back then, 8 of those 11 were on clay, including 36 consecutive match wins, marking him as a likely heir to the title of King of Clay. He claimed the crown not long after.

If you don't know Rafael Nadal, go drown yourself. His legacy stretches beyond the borders of male and female, especially considering his Spanish looks (we've all seen their football team), and beyond generation boundaries. His friendly rivalry with one Roger Federer (again, if you don't know him, try the Buriganga) is the stuff of legends. He stepped out of his teenage years and won five titles over Federer on clay, finished unbeaten on the red soil, drew with Federer for the Roland Garros title, and finally struck out, against Federer, on the green. For the rest of the season, the two met in almost every final, Grand Slams counting, where this new kid fought and won against the more seasoned Federer in almost every field except the green. For three consecutive years he held the No. 2 rank, just below Federer, hovering closer to the top only to be shot down again and again by Wimbledon.

Nadal's serves never lived up to Federer's, but his defense and offense are both superb. He usually plays an offensive game, using speed and strength along with technique, as opposed to Federer's slower hits and lighter, classier footwork. As he grew stronger on the grass, Federer began to sweat. Or so we like to believe.

Finally, when he shot down five-time champion Federer in Wimbledon in the longest final at All England Club, the fans howled. Nadal left the stoic master of grass in tears, his own joy so innocently palpable that even furious Federer fans had to love him. Nadal was the first Spaniard to capture the Wimbledon title since 1966. As usual, though, injury refused to leave alone a man in the height of his career. In 2009, he played with a terrible knee injury at the US Open. Fans realised what a stupid decision that was much sooner than he did. Recovery took extra time and effort, and his shaky return forced him out of No. 1 down to 3 and dropping. He fluctuated throughout the season before an astounding comeback at the very end. Last year Nadal won his sixth career Grand Slam and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. He also, of course, injured a knee yet again.

Recovered for now, Nadal currently ranks No. 1 in singles and No. 76 in doubles.

A bit of trivia. He started off with a unique sense of style, yet now the commercial works have wringed that style out of him. There has been much speculation over his choice of clothing color, the fan-favorite being that the bright neon colors serve as a distraction for his opponents. Often he shows signs of OCD, with extreme care for his rackets, equipment, headbands, as well as for the bottles of drink he brings to the matches. He was even in Shakira's music video of Gypsy. Yes, many others rubbed their eyes and reread/watched it too. As of late, he's been doing a lot of work with children in a different field, that of education. He stands number 15 in an international poll on the top most influential men of 2010, 2nd if you're only considering athletes.

During the FIFA World Cup this year, when the groups were selected, Federer expressed hopes of a Swiss win over Spain. Nadal laughed it off, which was justifiably back then. Yeah, we know the results. It's best not to tempt Fate.

Legacy, genius, trueborn star. That's Rafael Nadal. And the best part is: he's not old and retired. Yet.

Last week, we gave you the topic Hair Loss In Women. Sadly a lot of people didn't read the part where we mentioned that it should be humorous. However, from the crop we got, we harvested this article. For next week, the topic is The Ancient Shores. A fiction title, and hopefully we'll get a little more experimentation this time around. Articles submitted must be within 600 words and submitted 12AM Saturday. Send your entries to ds.risingstars@gmail.com.

The Other side

It's not very uncommon to hear a woman dread hair-loss the same way as one dreads the end of the world. It scares the living daylight out of most of the women folk. But have any of those poor souls once considered that there might be a good side to hair-loss too? There are two sides of a coin, after all. Let's toss the coin of hair-loss and take a look at the much neglected other side of it.

The care of and looking after the thick long locks upon their heads take away most of the valuable time of women of all ages. They spend hours after hours tending their curls, reading up tips from newspapers, catching up the various beauty talk shows aired in innumerable channels discussing the best ways to nourish their hair. Thus, almost a quarter of their whole lives goes way wasted, when this time could be used in other much more important pursuits. But hair-loss can become their saviour in this case. No more hair means no more straining their brains- whatever little they might have, to come up with newer methods of nourishment.

But this is only about time. What about the most important product that time can produce? Yes, we're talking about monetary references here. Can you imagine the amount of money women spend in buying hair products every year? Or by going to the parlour for getting a new haircut every alternative month? I bet it's enough to sustain a hungry family for months. Hair-loss, on the other hand, can stop all these injustices going around here. What are you going to spend on if there's a large shiny pate peeping underneath that thin layer of hair so carefully arranged? Simple steps to stop unnecessary wastage of money, in turn, can lead to the eventual enhancement of the economy of our country.

The minds and hearts of women, both remain so busily engrossed with thoughts concerning their hair, they are often found lacking in concentration while employed in other fields of work. In fact, they are found to be severely depressed and also s uffering from major issues of self-esteem regarding nothing but a few tufts of hair which, by the way, comes in no viable use. Ask a teenage girl how many hours she spends thinking about and how many nightmares she has suffered regarding severe hair-loss. But what if the process of hair-loss becomes complete? What if she has no hair remaining to suffer the pang of grief whenever her eyes fall on the tangles of hair entwined within the comb? With no hair to lose, she has nothing to be anxious about. Mental peace thus can be ensured by virtually no cost, no hardship at all. What more could one want?

And to all the feminists out there, hair-loss can act as another measure by which they can equal themselves to the men folk. If a man can boast of a gleaming baldpate, well, why can't a woman? Hair-loss can cover up their regrets in not having a beard or other facial hair. Cheap and effective, and without any kind physical exertion like running on the streets flashing banners and screaming slogans involved, hair-loss is a great way to display the equality of genders.

In the end, it can be said that hair-loss in women, for the lack of a better word, is useful.

By Shamsil B. M. Kamal



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