Monday, 30th October 2017

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Glorious win

Djokovic’s win, yet again, opens the debate over who the greatest male tennis player of all time is

  • Published 7.02.20, 12:15 AM
  • Updated 7.02.20, 12:15 AM
  • 3 mins read
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Novak Djokovic (AP)

Sir — The Australian Open concluded with a familiar result in men’s singles with Novak Djokovic extending his record to an unprecedented eighth title. The final was a match to savour. Dominic Thiem, with his confidence boosted on beating Rafael Nadal in the quarter-final, was leading at the end of the third set. Thiem will regret missing out on his first major title but it was also a lesson for him in patience and perseverance from one of the greatest sportsmen of all time.

The other masterclass in the tournament was delivered by Roger Federer, who incredibly saved seven match points to beat Tennys Sandgren in the quarter-final. To produce a result of that kind at the age of 38 is a sensational feat. The match must have taken such a toll on Federer physically that his semi-final against Djokovic was a little underwhelming. Nonetheless, this has proven yet again that world sports will not be the same once Federer decides to hang his boots.

The race for the majors is heating up among Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, and tennis fans the world over are in for a treat as each of them is trying to outdo the others and thereby playing magnificent tennis.

Abhiroop Sarkar,

Birbhum

Sir — Novak Djokovic must be congratulated for his incredible win over the Austrian player, Dominic Thiem, in the Australian Open final. The victory is all the more significant for Djokovic as the Serbian clawed back from one set down to clinch a record eighth Australian Open crown, and reclaim the ‘World No. 1’ ranking. In fact, for the first time in eight Melbourne finals, Djokovic was trailing after three sets under severe pressure from Thiem before he could stage a comeback.

If Rafael Nadal rules Roland-Garros with 12 titles, Djokovic holds sway at the Rod Laver Arena, having never lost a final in Melbourne Park. Djokovic’s win, yet again, opens the debate over who the greatest male tennis player of all time is. The triumvirate of Roger Federer, Nadal and Djokovic defines a golden era in men’s tennis. They are all past their 30s, but among them, they have won 56 Grand Slam titles.

Ranganathan Sivakumar,

Chennai

Sir — One must congratulate Novak Djokovic on his latest feat. In the gruelling five-set duel, the 32-year-old Serb defeated the Austrian, Dominic Thiem. Prior to this, Djokovic also defeated Roger Federer in the semi-final in straight sets. Now he is only two short of Rafael Nadal’s 19 Slams and three short of Federer’s record 20 Slams. If he can continue this sublime form, Djokovic has every chance of surpassing Nadal and Federer in 2020. One wishes him the best for the upcoming French Open tournament.

Indranil Sanyal,

Calcutta

Right decision

Sir — The medical termination of pregnancy (amendment) bill, 2020 seeks to extend the upper gestation limit for abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks for certain special categories of women (“Step forward”, Feb 5). The bill also lifts limits on gestational age as far as pregnancies with substantial foetal abnormalities are concerned. These, of course, need to be diagnosed by a medical board, the scope of which is to be defined under the amended bill. This is a welcome step and addresses an important gap in the present legislation. Technological advancement allows doctors to tackle medical complications that can arise with a late termination of pregnancy. It was thus imperative for the law to consider the situation of unwilling mothers.

It cannot be denied that rape survivors are too traumatized to take quick decisions about their pregnancies, while minor survivors of rape are unable to understand the situation, leading to the expiration of the present 20-week limit for abortion. There are times when doctors are unwilling to help patients fearing legal hassles, forcing women to seek help from the courts. By the time the courts give the verdict, once again the time limit is up. The proposal to extend the deadline for the termination of pregnancy will empower women to take decisions about their bodies. The amended bill will also help reduce cases of maternal death owing to unsafe abortions.

The government — both at the Centre and in the states — should set up the requisite number of medical boards to deal with the petitions of women as early as possible, especially those by rape survivors seeking abortion.

Kiran Agarwal,

Calcutta

Sir — The proposals made by the amended medical termination of pregnancy bill are welcome. The 20-week limit that is in place at present is too short, especially in light of technological advancements. The bill, if passed by Parliament, will give women great autonomy over their bodies. The main aim of the bill is to bring down cases of illegal abortion, which women are forced to seek when the law fails them. It is commendable that the bill takes into consideration differently-abled women and survivors of sexual assault.

Another important aspect covered by the bill is the woman’s right to privacy. The new amendment rules that details about the abortion can be disclosed only to those who absolutely deserve to know such information. This is an important step towards becoming a modern society.

Venu G.S.,

Kollam, Kerala

Old tradition

Sir — Marriages in India, especially among royalty, were traditionally based on political motives rather than on personal ones. Monarchies may have become outmoded, but common people seem to have taken it upon themselves to continue the tradition of political unions. This wedding season, some couples — in Rajasthan and, more recently, in Madhya Pradesh, for instance — have been distributing wedding cards to invitees with their support for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act printed on them. A marriage, then, is more than just a union of two like minds.

Rituparna Das,

Calcutta