Sunday, May 24, 2009

Car Pictures

Spare tire is also an alloy rim and is unused (click to see unused plastic tab)


Jack for tire repairs


2 small scratches on left rear bumper

Rear seat has hardly been used

S-Line tag on grill

S-Line body trimming

Rims have no dings or scratches

Rims are in flawless condition

Interior is spotless clean

SAT/Sirius Radio and Bluetooth connectivity

Another shot of 2 small scratches on rear bumper

Steering mounted paddle shifters, make this car very fun and sporty

Front S-Line bumper/trimmings

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Federer Needs

Ok, its been a long time since I posted last... I keep promising myself that I'll write more frequently, but this time it has taken a couple of things for me to write this post.

1. Federer's loss in the Australian open
2. Scott Daniel asking me when Im going to post next (I actually have a blog reader, that too a tennis coach!!!)

Let's start first with Federer's loss at the Australian Open. I believe that he genuinely lost this time and that losing and being beaten are two different things. By the end of the second set it looked like the balance was shifting in Federer's favor - he was keeping up with Nadal and was getting many chances to break Nadal's serve. Nadal seemed to be struggling physically (by his own lofty standards) and the effects of his marathon semi-final match seemed to be showing.

The 3rd set went to a tie-break against the flow of play where Nadal really stepped up and took the 3rd set. While Federer did win the 4th set, the 5th set was a complete surprise. I stayed up till 4:30 am on the eve of the superbowl and decided to save what I expected to be the best for last. I decided to go to sleep and watch the final set off my DVR in the morning. Boy was I disappointed when I watched it after waking up (I didnt sleep too well from anticipation)

After holding initially (first 2 service games), Federer's game just fell apart. In Federer's game the first signs of weakness usually manifest themselves in the form of shanked backhands and overhit forehands. Slight let ups in his usually impeccable and exceptional speed and timing cause these misses. The naked eye of the TV viewer cant see changes in speed and timing, they can certainly notice the unforced errors... and they did rack up in a short span and at a very crucial phase of the game. If you remember the Wimbledon final with Nadal two years ago, Federer stayed level with Nadal until Nadal's knees caught up with him. This time around, Federer handed Nadal a get-out-of-jail card.

What caused this mental let down? Was it the sheer weight of going level with Sampras and winning his 14th major? Was it sheer disbelief that Nadal had an extra 5th gear in the physical strength department? Or was it the fact that Federer's serve never really fired affecting his whole rhythm of play?

I dont really know and I also dont know what effect this loss will have on Federer. I know that he can bounce back and strongly believe that he will. There are some very important tests coming up in the next few months before the clay season. Starting March 6th, Federer leads a strong Swiss contingent against the US in Alabama (I love Wawrinka, what a sweet backhand!). Thats followed by Indian Wells and Miami... lets see how Fed does there

Anyways, I know Federer has the game to beat anybody in the world (even Nadal)... he just has to make some key adjustments

- Incorporate Crossfit in his workouts: I'm not trying to sell crossfit here or saying that Federer isnt fit. He is far from either, in fact Lendl just called him the fittest tennis player with Nadal and Roddick. But I believe that Federer can work on his explosive power and his ability to win more of the longer points. How many of those 20-30 ball rallies does Nadal end up winning by just running down every ball? I dont know... it seems like he wins most of them. Explosive strength will give Federer the ability to trump Nadal physically in short bursts. I think Nadal is still has more stamina to win 5 hour marathon matches - but Federer will be well served by having that 5th gear in reserve to surprise Nadal at the end of those 30 ball rallies. Crossfit will give him that 5th gear.

- Use a bigger racquet: Federer currently uses what appears to be the 90 sq inch version of the K-Fed. There is a 95 sq inch version of the same racquet that will work better for Federer. He will get a bigger sweet spot (at the expense of control) and the expanded hitting area will give him a a smaller margin of error. This margin of error will be crucial for staying up with Nadal and developing some sort of rhythm for a comeback, instead of losing a few quick points and going down a crucial break

- Hire a coach and a manager: What do you look for in a coach to take you to new heights? Thats an open question... When you are already one of the best ever to have played the game "new heights" is a very subjective term. Peter Bodo does a good job of exploring this issue in a recent post on his blog. I agree with Peter that at the end of the day its the player who has to go out and win the game. A coach can work on technique, mental strength and strategic game plans, but at the end of the day its the player who has to do battle on the court by himself. In Federer's case he should go back to the basics and hire a coach who is not afraid to call it as it is. A coach who is in awe of Federer will not serve any purpose... instead it should be someone who understands the game and nurses Federer's confidence back. Maybe Sampras can do the trick? He has wanted to get more involved in the game but I do admit that it would be ironic for Sampras to help another man beat his record.

Anyways, now to the point about the manager. I know this is a more personal recommendation that my other ones, but Mirka should simply be Federer's companion and friend rather than a manager as well. Leave the management and organization part to someone else so that it frees up the two to spend more quality time together.

These are quite a few recommendations and I do understand that too much change is a bad thing. However Federer must descend from his pedestal and admit that some change is required... If Nadal is willing to change his forehand swing and serve motions for the Australian Open, then that should serve as a signal to Federer. Even the best are not afraid to embrace change and that change is only a means to an end, not the objective. In the end Federer must play to enjoy the game and make the changes that he feels work for him

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Crossfit? is it for me

So I just got back from my first CrossFit workout ever... all I'll say is that its a really intense workout in a very short period of time. I guess thats good because it saves time, helps you develop explosive power by developing the core and the base/legs + I think its keeps you burning calories way after the workout.

I went down to Level4 Crossfit off Leary Way in Ballard where Sean (who is an ultra marathoner!) gave me a free first lesson. We worked on proper form for squats and deadlifts followed by a workout that included 3 repetitions of the following

1) 5oo m of rowing on a concept 2 rower
2) 11 basic lifts (30KG)
3) 21 box jumps

My 500m rowing time is 2:05, but I did the first one in under 2... I tried the same in the second set due to which I ran out of steam. I did pace myself the 3rd time and did it in around 2:10 and completed the 3rd rep more comfortably in 12 min, which Sean said was decent. The best time is around 8 min while people take up to 15 min as well. So I guess Im somewhere in the middle of the bunch :)

There were other people there too who were doing box jumps etc... the advanced min-group was was doing insane 4 ft high standing box jumps! There were some seriously fit people there, including one of the other instructors, Fran who was one of the people in the advanced group (duh!). I also found this pretty cool article she wrote on losing 20 lbs, which you may find useful

CrossFit looks pretty exciting and it should be really good for my tennis game as it develops that elusive explosive power. Im definitely going to sign up, I think!

Or maybe not, heh... I just found this, and I dont want to be this guy :D

Sunday, July 6, 2008

C'mon Roger - An open letter to Federer

"There's one more left" - Roger on Wednesday

"I'll have a chance to win this tournament for the next five or ten years, you know" - Roger on Wednesday

"probably later on in life, you know, I'll go 'That was a great match'. But right now it;s not much of ... a positive thing to end this match" -  Roger after losing the Final.

"It is a disaster, the French is nothing in comparison..." - Roger after losing the Final.

Roger, I understand that by your own high standards, you are very disappointed to lose and that you couldn't win 6 in a row. I cant imagine what it must be like to be frustrated by the wind, rain and fading light and to not always be able to serve up the breathless tennis we have come to take for granted.  Worse still, it must hurt to lose to the man who has stood between you and an elusive career slam, and has slowly but gradually gained ground on your most favorite of courts.  Kudos to Nadal, but I know you will be back.

On a personal note, I believe that today's final was the mother of all finals and has injected new life into the game of tennis. People all over the world today were overawed - I went to play tennis soon after the end of the final. After we finished playing,  a man in his late 40's - early 50's took the court sporting a 'Wimbledon' tennis bag. He said that this was the first time he'd stepped onto the court for 10 years. Imagine the impact of the game on kids who may go on to play the game just because of what happened today. Even my NFL/Football loving neighbors were shouting and yelling as if the Seattle Sea Hawks were in a playoff game. 

I know the loss hurts right now and I cant imagine what that feeling of emptiness must feel like. I agree that it is too soon for you to say that you are "happy to be part of one of the greatest matches ever". That by itself is not a consolation for any player who is thirsty to win more titles at the highest level. That is the right attitude to have, but don't be too hard on yourself. You did nothing wrong and have everything to be proud off. 

The world does take you for granted and we are also fickle by nature but we would love to see you win again. 

I know that will come soon - just dont walk away or give up.

I know you wont - you are too good for that.


The Power of Sheer Will

I called it right here, and it has happened. As much as my heart goes out to Federer, Nadal has finally and deservedly won Wimbledon. 

This game was definitely the best I have ever witnessed - there was no shortage of drama, physical prowess, insane hitting, impossible winners and prolonged, agonizing suspense. Mother nature player her part too, with rain delays at the most apt moments. Wimbledon was a stage today and the world was the audience. Most amazingly, there was no script and they both emerged after each break with their resolve to script an amazing win renewed.  And at the moments when the suspense reached a crescendo, Mother Nature announced the end of the act.

To quote one of my all time favourite songs:

"When the going gets tough, the tough get going"

Today, when the going got tough it only brought out the best in each man. Tennis has emerged for the better and each man is a champion in my heart. People, order your game DVDs, I have already saved the recording on my DVR. The humbleness and awe of a great like McEnroe when he talked about this game being the best he has ever seen, and the humbleness that Nadal exhibited on winning are a sheer testament to the quality of this game.

Does it get any better than this? 

Regardless of who won, we were guaranteed that history would be made. And as the game went on longer the other records that were shattered just became a subtext to the plot. Will Federer do what no one has done before... make Wimbledon his backyard (not that he hasnt already) in a way no one has, or will Nadal win consecutive Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles in his 3rd attempt and enter the hallowed space occupied by the likes of Borg.

In the end Nadal won, but Federer showed us how much he didnt want to let go. In the end it was a battle of sheer will. Who wants it more? In the end the gentle sparring turned to sustained jousting, and it did become a mental fight. By making the finals the two players demonstrated that they obviously had the game to do well and that they belonged on Center Court on Sunday: Federer with his serve, insane forehand and all round excellent grass game... Nadal with his physical power, his curling forehand, curving lefty serves and much improved backhand.

I believe in the end Nadal won because this time he knew he could win. Even though he saw the finish line in sight as early as the 3rd set, where he had 3 breakpoints on the Federer serve... it took till the 5th set for Nadal to return to the plot. He knew he could win and as much as Federer wanted to continue his reign, Nadal did upstage him. I believe this was the difference between Nadal at Wimbledon and Federer at the French... one challenger knew he could win having come so close last year, while the other didnt truly believe.

At the same time, kudos to  Federer for digging deep into the reserve tank and making t so difficult for Nadal. 

At the start of the game, Federer said that he hoped he would have that extra gear to beat Nadal. I believe he did, but Nadal simply was a hill to steep to climb and scripted an insane win through sheer power of will and belief.

Best game ever... Im going to go out and hit myself.. release some of this pent up energy and emotion that has accumulated by sitting on my couch... I look forward to your comments. A more detailed analysis will follow later.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Wimbledon Prediction


Nadal seems to be in better shape than at the same time last year when he was having to play almost every day in the last week due to rain. This year Nadal's preparation has been better - not losing a single set at Roland Garros always helps. He has also had simpler games this year at Wimbledon and he seems to be playing more aggressive tennis... with the Wimbledon courts slowing down and Nadal playing more aggressively, that does make for a more dangerous combination. Nadal has made some easy work of some dangerous opponents such as Gulbis, Youzny and Keifer. His true test will come against Murray who is playing some erratic but inspired tennis. If he gets through his quarter, Nadal is guaranteed a semi against an un-seeded player which really improves his chances of making the finals.


Federer has had it pretty easy until now, when he takes on the last man to beat him on grass, Ancic in the quarters. Fed while not very impressive in his win over Hewitt, was still very clinical. He will definitely raise the quality of his game as the quality of his opponents increases. The game against Ancic will be a good test and a possible test in the sems against a composed and resurgent Safin awaits,

\\ Current Form \\

"He no longer plays short balls as he did in the past. You can no longer attack him on his forehand, as I could in the past. He is getting much more aggressive, and it's becoming much more difficult."

Federer on Nadal after the 08 Roland Garros Final

- "If he survives the first couple of rounds this year, I pick him to win Wimbledon"

Borg on Nadal after the 08 Roland Garros Final

- Most of the "pundits" are picking Nadal over Federer. But this is the kind of talk that will motivate Federer and works against Nadals favored position of being teh underdog on grass.

- I believe the main factor in Nadal losing to Federer in last years Wimbledon was his fitness and tendinitis of the knees. Assuming that Nadal is in good physical condition this year, I expect him to be mentally stronger than Federer specially with the way Federer gave up midway through the Roland Garros final. The last thing I expect from Nadal is throwing down the flag in a Wimbledon final - I think he truly believes he can win Wimbledon while Federer is plagued with self-doubt when it comes to winning Roland Garros. Is Federer over the ROland Garros loss?

I hope we get to find out in the Wimbledon finals. I personally have a feeling that its going to be Nadal over Federer in 4.

What do you think?

Plus do you even care who wins on the womens side?

Cool video of Federer and Mirka playing together

I was doing some research for another post when I came across this cool video on youtube. I didnt know Mirka is Swiss too... whats better, I found her and Federer playing together in the Hopman cup (Dec 01 - Jan 02), getting thrashed by Hewitt and Alicia Molik. Apparently this video is from the 2002 Hopman Cup.

You may ask whats changed since then?

- Federer discovered his inner quoa... he owns Hewitt now even though he lost to Robredo and Hewitt in this Hopman cup.

- Federer used to play the Hopman cup back then - I cant imagine him doing the same now

- Federer and Mirka have been going steady for a while... you can see the chemistry on the court. This sees to be more of a social mixed double game for the Swiss rather than a Hopman cup game... but that could also be because this is a dead rubber

- Then there is the small matter of Fed winning 12 Grand Slams since then... the difference is obvious :)