The Unstoppable Novak Djokovic

Match statistics: Aces (0-2), Double Faults (1-1), Winners (26-15), Unforced Errors (32-22)

Novak Djokovic is the 2011 Italian Open Champion defeating the defending champion and World Number 1, Rafael Nadal (6-4, 6-4). This is the Serbian’s second victory over the Spaniard in a tournament clay finals. Do the math and include the three singles he played in Hopman Cup + the two rubber matches in Davis Cup last December 2010, Djokovic won 42 matches in a row as to date.

French Open will start in less than a week and Djokovic needs to save his energy for the best-of-five matches. He’s going to be a big favorite, I’m well aware of that and help me God to survive a three-day-mental-devastation should he’ll lose before or during the Day 14th!

Photo courtesy of: Yahoo! Tennis Home

Survivor Insights 101: Redemption Island – Control (Episode 13)

1) In Control: An episode before the finale and eight castaways were still standing. Matt, Mike, Andrea, Grant in Redemption Island and Boston Rob, Phillip, Natalie, Ashley in Murlonio camp. And, only one person who is in control. That’s B-O-S-T-O-N R-O-B! It’s uncertain why Natalie, Ashley, Phillip and Grant did not vote against or blindside him when he’s not wearing an immunity necklace. It could have been the right time. It could have been the right moment but those four completely blew their chances and they only grant Boston Rob the one million dollars. Don’t they know Rob will be their biggest competition for the title? Didn’t they watch the past seasons of the show? Or, were they playing a game without any strategy at all?

On the other hand, I also don’t know if it will be a guarantee for someone who’s in Redemption Island to secure a spot in the final three. Of course, that someone will immediately be on a chopping board. Boston Rob, Phillip, Natalie and Ashley will be 100% threatened by him or her. To be honest, it’s not a good entertainment to see someone returning in the game and be voted out just because he or she does not win immunity.

Perhaps, it’s not only a question of who deserves to return in the game but will the most deserving player return in the game and has the ability to handle pressure well?

2) No Control: It’s disappointing to see Grant got eliminated without a good fight. That was not a blindside at all. He knew it after Ashley won the immunity challenge. I just don’t know if he’s well-aware if he could have orchestrated a plan to oust Boston Rob, his chances of winning is high. However, there’s still 50-50 chance for Grant to return and if he’ll be the last man standing and convincingly beat Matt, Mike and Andrea in the last four-person-duel, that spells trouble for Boston Rob. He’ll probably end up as a runner-up again.

3) Who’ll Win Survivor Redemption Island?: Boston Rob deserves to win. That’s given. I have said it in my previous posts multiple times. His chances of winning is 80% even if he’ll not win the final immunity challenge. There are only two reasons why Boston Rob will not be the sole survivor. It is either Mike or Grant returns and be in the final three. That brings me to the other sure player to win – Mike (100% winning chances). He’s one of the most well-rounded players in history to play this game (but also one of the biggest threat), even Boston Rob is completely aware of that. The only reason why Mike did not last long was because he’s outnumbered. Grant or Andrea is the third deserving player to win this game. Both of them are likeable. If they can give a valid reason why the jury should vote for them, they can win. Winning chances: 60%.

Matt is primarily a  “best dueler of the season,” not the sole survivor. To be called the “deserving” sole survivor, he or she has outwitted, outplayed and outlasted other competitors. The sole survivor understands why and how to begin playing a game with a group and he or she can easily rearrange his or her gameplan when it’s an individual game. Looking back, Matt got the boot in day six, won six duels in a row and came back during the merge. This was his moment to fight and to create an important decision to stay longer. Just one decision and he would have been safe. However, he wasted all his chances and allowed his vulnerability to devour him. Boston Rob did not vote him out. It was Matt himself who “silently” told the group to vote against him for the second time. Winning Chances: 51%  “just because he’s the underdog”

Natalie, Ashley, Phillip are somehow on the same board in different rooms (49% winning chances). Natalie started strong by winning the first individual immunity during the merge but her gameplan went south by relying too much on Boston Rob. Ashley is not my bet at all from the beginning but I seem to think she’ll be the dark horse. By winning the immunity challenge before a finale episode was not simply a luck. She worked hard to win the challenge and she knew she needed it. She can convince the jury why to vote for her should she make the final three, but it’s inevitable for many viewers to label her as “forgetful.” As for Phillip, he’s the star of the season and I seem to think all his plans of becoming “an annoying specialist” might be rewarded.

Episode 13 Rating: 6 of 10 stars

Photos courtesy of: CBS

Novak Djokovic: Streaking and Making History

It appears Novak Djokovic is not satisfied to be named as the 2011 King of Hardcourt. He’s too unstoppable and he keeps winning!

Playing his season’s seventh tournament in Madrid, the two-time Australian Open Champion fired three aces and twenty-three winners before dethroning Rafael Nadal for the third time in finals (7-5, 6-4). This is also the Serbian’s ever-first victory over the King of Clay on his most favorite surface.

“It is my goal to try to go all the way at Roland Garros and I am definitely setting my form up for that tournament. I just started the claycourt season. It was a perfect start and I need to really stay dedicated and focused. There are no secrets, things came together for me,” Nole said. “I am a more mature player and a more mature person so I know what to do on the court.” (source: Novak Djokovic Official Website)

Streaking Djokovic stands at 34 wins in a row since Davis Cup Final in December 2010. He will play one more tournament before French Open starts on May 22nd.

It is still possible for Djokovic to win six more matches in Rome but it is too hard to tell. Fitness is everything in tennis and if he won two consecutive 1000 Hardcourt Tournaments last March and April, why can’t in clay? This is a possibility and it’s hard to doubt Nole. He’s still one of the best clay players in the world and since following his career three years ago, he’s in his excellent zone to date.

I am just too anxious if there’s still gas left in him to win seven consecutive best-of-five matches in a row in Paris. Raising the trophy in Phillip Cartier is in no doubt a bigger priority than in Centrale Stadium, right? And it’s all up to Nole. It’s all up to him and his coaching team!

Survivor Insights 100: Redemption Island – “Tricky, Tricky” (Episode 12)

1) Andrea Got Tricked: Voting out Andrea was only a proof in which Boston Rob does not want to be outlasted by a female twice. He clearly learned his mistakes back in season eight. He knew Andrea is his biggest competition in terms of jury votes and blindsiding her is his only option to make things right.

Trust is a complicated issue in SURVIVOR and you certainly can’t win this game if you put your 100% trust on somebody. This is the biggest problem with Andrea. It’s either she’s too clueless about the game or she’s just convincing herself to still trust Boston Rob and co. I am aware Andrea sealed her bond with her group the moment Matt was blindsided for the second time. However, to continue the bond wherein there were only six of them left at the camp was a lame strategy. Doors were opened for Andrea to create brave moves on her own but she did not take it. Somehow, it’s still a mystery why she didn’t pull Natalie and Ashley on her side and take out Phillip or Grant.

2) Endless Duels: This was Mike’s second time finishing first before Matt and if only it was the last duel, Mike would have return to the game and earns a deserving spot in the finals. It didn’t happen though. This duel in redemption island will continue until the next episode and probably, I’ll still watch a four-way duel during the finale. Just to be fair and square, a four-way duel and only one person will be a part of the jury is not fun at all. I keep on asking myself why the show’s creative minds are coming up with this new concept in which it completely overkills the original run of the game. I rather watch a four-way duel and only one or two persons survive.

3) Mike’s Brilliant Decision: This week’s duel became more interesting due to Mike’s decision. His decision not to be with his mother in exchange of giving the love-from-home reward to the Ometepe 6 was a proof Mike was swallowed by his good emotions. This was the decision that could either help him win the game or make him a double threat. He’s giving Matt and Ralph the reason to beat him because both of them knew Mike will win.

4) The “Extremely” Exhausted Boston Rob: The Step-On-Up Challenge is the ideal workout to lose weight and for those who want to improve the ability to recall a pattern while climbing down and up the stairs.  This was the toughest immunity challenge yet. The challenge in which Andrea won probably came second to this one. There’s a three-way race to get to the top. All of them were tired, thirsty and sweating so hard. Still, it was Boston Rob who showed consistency and push himself beyond his limits just to survive the extreme physical exhaustion and emerged victorious. I have no idea how long it took for Boston Rob to finish the challenge and I wonder how he exactly ace the challenge without eating nutritious food in thirty-one days.

5) One Episode to Go Before the Finale: By winning the immunity necklace for the third time, Boston Rob has proven himself more than what I expected. He’s a veteran and he’s up for no competition as he returned in the show for the fourth time. Right now, the empire of Boston Rob is unbreakable. No one knew he still have the hidden idol and even if someone initiates an action of blindsiding him, he’s still safe. His only problem is to choose who he’ll bring. To me, even persuading the jury to vote for him is not a big problem anymore, right?

Episode Rating: 7 of 10 stars

Photos courtesy of: CBS

The Royal Wedding Kiss

Prince William, Catherine Middleton: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge

Last Friday, it’s my first time to watch a royal wedding on TV. Things were too perfect, things were too happy but it still can’t be denied I got a bit boring. To me, the after-wedding  royal kiss in Buckingham Palace balcony was the highlight of the day.

The kiss certainly saved the day!

Photo courtesy of: Huffingtonpost