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As the race enters the seventh stage, Armstrong is only fraction of a second behind the leader Swiss Fabian Cancellara. It is already incredible for Armstrong who is on a comeback trial after retiring from the event a few years ago. Mind you this is the game which he ruled unconquered in his hay days. Considering the physical strain this sport imposes, it is commendable that he is keeping up with that sweet sweat. And today is the key day for the racers since they are entering the mountainous terrain stretch. This is where Armstrong once used to thrive at the challenge offered. Can he do it again? It will be amazing if he does it again. Let us wait and watch. My office mate Reda is full time watching this game and I can see the excitement in many such enthusiastic tour de france fans. Apparently, they will touch Switzerland on 19th and 20th. It is not too far from here. Maya will be coming by then. It will be fun to take atrip to Verbier. I will be tuned to check the Armstrong progress in anycase!
Oh boy, what did we see this evening at Wimbledon? A grandslam final, filled with nothing short of a breathtaking drama. A near neck to neck battle between king Federer and a fabulously charged up Roddick. Guess who was watching that epic cliffhanger? The emperor of that piece of grass strip in central London! No point in guessing the name: Pistol Pete Sampras. Sampras was visiting Wimbledon after 2002, perhaps just to witness another great champion Federer get past him in the number of grandslam titles. What an occasion! Unbelievable tennis on display when blue sky topped the roof in clean light. I feel for Rodick here. This was ‘the chance’, he had at hand: and truly well he deserved, one must say. I for one had written him off yesterday, even though he had played great tennis in the semi final to beat British hope Andy Murray. From one Andy to another Andy, the other finalist name changed, breaking the great British hope, since Henman (Well, Henman was not really a realistic hope, when Sampras was taking a stroll down the Wimbledon park). I was expecting Fedex to just roll over him in the title clash. But alas! Didn’t he give Fedex a run for his crown?
In the end, Federer had that extra epsilon, call it luck or experience. He was there on that center court final stage on every single year for the last seven summers. Last year he lost it only by a whisker to the Spaniard Nadal. Federer truly deserved to be the grand-slam record holdert. He is the best player on the circuit and he is so very effortless, athletic and passionate. The great man is a beauty and indeed is a treasure to this great game. I cant have enough praise on the way he played tennis over the years. He is so very smooth and graceful. A touch of Lara, Tendulkar or Dravid in cricket. I really was feeling a lot low when Sampras retired in 2002, but the Swiss has indeed made up that void since then. A humble soul Federer typify the Swiss people I guess. So gentle and an amazing role model to the new generation. I really hope that he gets a few more grand slams titles.
Turning back to the losing finalist, I can imagine how hard it would be to be an Andy Roddick who narrowly missed the crown by perhaps one or two moments of marginal shots. Sometimes sport can be so cruel! In the end winner takes it all and it is agonizing. It must be hard to be a second at that level. But then, that is what it takes it to be the best in the world. Only thin air make the separation. It is courage and wisdom at times to grab that silver line. Grabbing is secondary, seeing it in the first place is what separates the best from the next best. After all, it is not easy to get there. Isn’t life beautiful?