Saturday, January 31, 2009

Women's Tennis: Return of the William Sisters

This week in the searing heat on the courts of Melbourne, we have witnessed the return of the William sisters to the top of world tennis. On Friday January 30, Venus and Serena Williams crushed the pair of Daniela Hantuchova and Ai Sugiyama. in straight sets 6-3, 6-3, to capture the women's doubles crown in this year's Australian Open Tennis Championship. Playing as the No.10 seeds in this tournament, the Williams sisters collected their third Australian Open - and eighth Grand Slam together - with a convincing win over the hard fighting Slovako-Japanese partnership who had knocked out the Tournament No.1 seeds (and World No.1) in the women's doubles, Cara Black and Liezel Huber in the quarter-finals . Mind you, Serena and Venus were also the women's doubles champions at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
On Saturday January 31st, Serena crushed Dinara Safina of Russia 6-0, 6-3 to regain the Women's singles title which she has now won in every odd numbered year since 2003. She had earlier, in the semi-finals, defeated Elena Dementieva, the 2008 Olympic singles champion. She joins Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles as four-time winners at Melbourne Park.
The first set of the final match against Dinara Safina lasted only 22 minutes, with Safina winning just eight points. And in just 58 minutes the match was over. During her speech after the end of the match, Dinara acknowledged Serena's absolute superiority in very clear terms. “She was just too good. I was just a ball boy on the court today.” Serena gave poor Dinara a lesson to remember in tennis. Serena was graceful in victory, hear her, "Dinara will have a great future - she is hitting so hard I just had to go for broke against her."
By this victory, Serena has regained the No. 1 position in the WTA rankings that will be announced on Monday February 2. She last enjoyed this position in 2002. Furthermore, according to the Guardian of London, she is now the highest prize money earner in women's sport with over £15m to her name. To add to the bargain, this victory marks her Grand Slam title No. 10 and Serena Williams has now clinched the seventh position in the all-time list of female Grand Slam singles champions (Billie-Jean King (12), Chris Evert (18), Martina Navratilova (18), Helen Wills Moody (19), Steffi Graf (22) and Margaret Court (24). Serena has joined that elite club of tennis queens. May her new reign last a long while!!

The latest football news and comment plus rugby, tennis, cricket and horse racing | Sport |

The latest football news and comment plus rugby, tennis, cricket and horse racing Sport

Friday, January 23, 2009

Middle East: An Integrated approach- more of the same old rhetoric?

It is refreshing to note that President Obama has within 2 days of being in power raised a formidable team to address the seemingly intractable Middle East problem. Does former Senator George Mitchell have the silver bullet?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Signed Sealed & Delivered

Last night it was wonderful to behold the world showing great joy at the inauguration of President Barack Huissen Obama - signed sealed and delivered!! Is he the black Jesus as one Dutch newspaper suggested in its headlines? For now, let us just enjoy the moment.
Click the blog title to have glimpses of the inaugural boogie etc.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Threshhold of Change

This is a significant day in US political history. The redemption of America's image in the world starts today. The world awaits the moment, that point where the transition becomes the beginning and Barack becomes President Obama.

Never in the history of world politics has so much goodwill been shown worldwide to the incoming president of one nation.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Europe's Deep Freeze & The Ukrainian Gasline

This week, Europe is experiencing unprecedented levels of low temperature (significantly below zero degrees Celsius). Purely by coincidence, the Russians are pressing their Ukrainian brothers to pay up their gas debts or get their supply cut off. The Ukrainian are insisting that they have paid up and making sure they will not lack gas no matter what the Russians say or do as long as the Russian gas pipelines pass through their territory. Many countries in Europe are beginning to receive less gas and are nearing a crisis situation. The Russians are accusing Ukraine of gas theft. Meanwhile some Europeans west of Ukraine partcularly Bulgaria and Slovakia are feeling the squeeze and freezing as the squabbling continues - no gas means limited heating in the homes.

I have looked around in these subzero temperatures and observed that the water birds have all disappeared to warmer environments because all the small water bodies which are their normal habitats are frozen - no place to swim anymore or even to search for food. Thank goodness, they can transport themselves by air at little or no cost. In their place, I see children skating (or walking and running about on 'water').
This week's temperatures are beginning to cast doubts on the gloomy predictions of Global Warming experts.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Back to the Grind

After a well-deserved two-week Christmas break, we are back to the grind.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Fireworks in Gaza

Last night fantastic fireworks heralded in the new year across the datelines as the 2009 crept in from the South Pacific. The sights in Sydney harbour, Hong Kong, Beijing and the London Eye were a pleasure to behold. However, in the Middle East, fireworks were banned for the New Year celebrations in view of the war situation in Gaza.
Here in the little town of Huissen on the surburb of Arnhem, there was a free-for-all in firework displays as youth who had been itching to let off, released all they had to the night sky. There was a cacophony of sounds and the sky was lit up in flares of all colours and configurations. There were loud bangs, hissing sounds, crackling and whistling sounds as of bullets and other military projectiles. I stopped to ponder that for us, these were sounds and lights of merriment and celebration to welcome a new year but over the Gaza strip this same night, the fireworks of the Israeli Defence Forces were the harbingers of death and destruction. I watched our local fireworks and experienced the blinding flares, the booming noises and the incessant activity in the sky above. Fortunately the threat of imminent death was the all-important missing factor. Last night, I empathised the plight of the helpless citizens of Gaza. My heart went out for the terrorised people of Gaza.