With Salman Khan’s Tubelight releasing this weekend, it doesn’t actually matter what happens with the rest of the world. Sports will more or less take a backseat after cricket bombarded us for three straight months. It didn’t end on the perfect note for Indian fans, but as they say – cricket was the winner!
India went down to archrivals Pakistan last Sunday, prompting fans to fight over the 8-hour pub bills they ran up because “they didn’t get their money’s worth”. It was a long Sunday – in which Virat Kohli’s team was comprehensively outplayed by Sarfaraz Ahmed’s young Pakistan team. The match was as one-sided as most of their recent contests.
The KK Saga
With the loss, Anil Kumble resigned from the position of Head Coach of the Indian team. Not because we lost or because he didn’t do a good job; in fact this was the only blemish on his year-long stint. India had won pretty much everything till the final. Earlier, Kohli had “complained” about his ways to the BCCI, citing his disciplinary methods and lack of connection with the senior players. The real story might have happened behind closed doors, and nobody will know the full truth, but Kohli and his bunch of brats are the villains for now. It won’t go down as a good footnote in India’s troubled history with coaches – even worse if Virender Sehwag or Ravi Shastri could be in the running for the “invisible” position.
US Open Golf
A relatively unknown American golfer named Brooks Koepka – who shunned contact sports as a kid for golf because he was in a car accident – won the US Open (the second major of the year). He had the record lowest winning score of 16 at Erin Hills. It was his first major title. None of the favorites came close – with only England’s young talent Tommy Fleetwood finishing fourth. For the first time ever, the top three – Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Rory Mcllroy – missed the cut at a major.
Srikanth Kidambi continued his spectacular run just a few days after winning the Indonesian Super Series title. At the Australian Open, he defeated World no. 1 Son Wan Ho twice in consecutive weeks, shooting up to World no. 11 from 21 in just ten days. A day later, he eeked out only his second win in seven matches against fellow Indian star Sai Praneeth. He reached the semifinals (to be played on Saturday), having won 12 out of his last 14 matches since his early India Open exit.
With India’s Men’s scene finally looking up, the women are up to business as usual, beating the world’s best routinely. Both PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal reached the quarterfinals at the tournament, and have a chance to face off on Sunday’s final if they continue their streaks.
Kei Nishikori retired in his second round match at Halle, leaving the path clear for first seed Roger Federer to storm through the draw. Federer is gunning for his 9th title at the German warmup tournament for Wimbledon. He defeated the serve-and-volleying Mischa Zverev in the second round in straight sets, who is the only other player expected to challenge the might of Federer on grass this week. Federer will be hoping to win the title, given that he has a week’s break after that to feel good about gunning for his 8th title at Wimbledon. The others – Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, Raonic and Wawrinka – aren’t playing at the moment, either defeated or resting at this point of the season. This is Federer’s time.