Here are my ten thoughts for this week:
1. If I may just take this warm-up period today to say just how proud I am that the Nepali people helped restore democracy. The world watched with admiration at the defiance and marveled at how people from all walks of life put their differences aside to achieve a common goal. Can we duplicate that in the arena of sports? I believe we can and we must. People in position of authority must be held accountable for their decisions.
2. Sunday is Mother's Day here in the States. It is the time to thank our moms for all that they do for us and the unconditional love they provide. My mother was a true pioneer of tennis. Thirty years ago when it was taboo for women in Nepal to play sports, she was out there on the courts swinging away. She passed away a few years back but I will remember the valuable lessons she taught me. Above all, I learnt that the most valuable player in our lives is our mother.
3. Singles or doubles? If you are having a hard time deciding which one to pick, here is a tip. Do you like the net or do you avoid the net? Yes means doubles and no means singles.
4. For most club tennis players, back hand is disaster time. Grip change causes headache and they resort to slicing and hacking. Why not try the two-handed back hand? More strength and easier to grip and rip. So why do most club players have a one handed back hand? Go figure!
5. Is it time for three time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten to hang his racket for good? Arguably one of the most popular player on the tour, Guga will miss the French Open after undergoing his second hip surgery. I want to remember the great Brazilian for his flair and for his signature back hand and drop shot. I do not want to see him limping around and struggling in early rounds of tournaments.
6. If you are struggling with your serve, the quick fix is the toss. It is the root of all evil. For slice and flat serves, the toss should be above and slightly in the front and to the right. For topspin or kick, the toss should be slightly behind the head and to the left. When you release the ball from your hand, keep the rotation to a minimum.
7. Martina Navratilova will be 50 this year and yet she is going strong playing doubles on the WTA tour. She is a true inspiration and by her efforts, she challenges us every day to rethink how we look at ageing gracefully. Mind over matter, huh?
8. How do we cope with a cheater on the other side of the net? First of all, stay composed. Do not aim too close to the line and finally stand up and make sure you voice your concern. I have seen good people make bad calls because they want to win so badly.
9. Wimbledon is the only Grand Slam event that pays women less than the men. It is definitely not about the money so it must be about making a statement of some kind. So what kind of point are the Brits making?
0. And finally, we owe it to those that died in the recent weeks to put aside negative thoughts and skepticism as we move forward. Just like on the courts when we are battling our opponent, our mind must focus on the present and stay positive for Nepal to develop and prosper.