Advantage tennis - GulfToday

Advantage tennis

Nadalapologises

Nadal speaks with the ballkid. Reuters

There is so much happening in Australian tennis these days that the otherwise juicy political developments which had our attention is now being pushed down the priority viewership list. From Rafael Nadal to Coco Gauff the Australian Open is throwing up a rare slice of tennis to the world. And it is exhilarating (“15-year-old Coco Gauff stuns title-holder Osaka at Australian Open,” Jan.25, Gulf Today).

It was a great mark of sportsmanship to watch Nadal walk up to the ballgirl and kiss her on the cheek after one of his fearsome shots ricocheted off her.  The concern on the face of the Spanish world number one was palpable. The hard-hitter that he is, he feared that the girl may have been hurt in the incident. Giving her his headband as a momento was the cherry on the cake. A true gentleman besides being an outstanding player.

Women tennis and the youngsters are taking it by storm. After Japanese star Naomi Osaka’s heroics last season, it is now the turn of American teen sensation Coco Gauff. She has been blazing the Australian courts with her outstanding run so far.

The 15-year-old wunderkind who is on her Australian debut, defeated the third seed Osaka in straight sets to become the youngest woman in the professional era to defeat the tournament’s reigning champion.

Advantage tennis for the moment.

Ralph R — By email