Dipika Pallikal to compete in the Senior National Championship after 5 Years!!

Dipika Pallikal will compete in the Senior National Championship, to be held in July, for the first time in five years after her stand was vindicated with the organisers deciding to have equal prize money for the premier domestic tournament. Dipika had boycotted the nationals demanding equal prize money after winning the title in 2011 when her India teammate Joshna Chinappa was injured.
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“I look forward to playing the nationals again. My stand (for equal prize money) was not just about me but for the entire women’s squash fraternity. Nowadays, you have more and more international events offering equal prize money. So, it is good that the national federation (SRFI) too has decided to have equal prize money,” World No. 18 Dipika Pallikal.

 

Championship director Niraj Shirgaokar confirmed that the Nationals will have equal prize money in the men’s and women’s category with the winners getting Rs 1.25 lakh each. Confirming the development, Shirgaokar said, “Equal prize money is a contentious issue the world over but there are events which offer equal prize money. I welcome SRFI’s decision to have the same prize money for men and women.”

India’s Top 10 Sporting Moments of 2015

The year 2015 was an awesome year for sports in India. And with a year like that, a customary top 10 moment list should be in order ! So, here I go with my list of Top 10 moments.

1) A rare away test series win for the Indian cricket team

Indian Cricket team defeated Sri Lanka 2-1 in Aug-Sep 2015 and registered a rare away test series win. This was India’s first series win against Sri Lanka after a staggering gap of 22 years ! The series also marked a successful change of guard as Virat Kohli took over the leadership mantle from MS Dhoni. The team further went onto to inflict a humiliating series defeat on South Africa at home. Clearly, a pivotal moment in the history of Indian cricket and one that would have a prominent reference in cricket history books.

2) Indian Shuttler at the top of the world

Saina Nehwal reached the pinnacle of the ranking in 2015. For a brief period, she was the top women shuttler in the world; something that hasn’t happened ever. It was unfortunate that Saina missed out on a few finals against her arch rival and current # 1 Carolina Marin. Nonetheless, a great year for Saina and badminton in India.

3) Top Ranking for Sania Mirza

Another women athlete at the top ranking. The similarity in the name is eerie in its coincidence !

The doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis, also fondly known as Santina, won almost everything in the doubles calendar of 2015. It was a scintillating year for Sania and reminiscent of the good old Mahesh Bhupathi-Leander Paes days, when India had a list of tennis achievements worth talking about and be proud of.

4) Pro Kabaddi League II – A bigger success

PKL 1 started out with great doubts around acceptability. But, it exceeded

all the expectations. So, the true test of the league was to see if it can sustain the same momentum in the second edition. And sustain, it did.

PKL 2 out did PKL 1 with a staggering 45% increase in TV viewership. The likes of Anup Kumar, Rahul Chaudhari, Dipak Hooda and many more are now household names in India. The most exciting part is the fact that women and children contributed to nearly 50% of the viewership, a sign of how Indian households has taken a liking for this fantastic Indian sport.

5) Olympics qualification for Indian Women’s Hockey Team

Indian Women’s Hockey team qualified for the Rio Olympics after a long gap of 33 years. And, this will only be second time for the women’s team in Olympics. A little unbelievable for a nation which practically ruled the sports for a good part of the previous century.

We now hope that the ‘Chak De’ script actually turns into reality for the Indian girls. If so, it will surely be part of my list of top 10 sporting moments in 2016 !!

6) The Badminton League returns

Technically, this one is not a 2015 event. But the Badminton league was confirmed in 2015 and that itself was a great moment for the sport in India.

The first edition of Indian Badminton League was a huge hit. It was one of its kind event in the Badminton world and had stars from all countries participate. It was surprising that the league was discontinued after such an amazing start.

Thankfully, good sense prevailed and the league is back under the new name of Premier Badminton League (PBL).

7) India’s 173 medals @ Special Olympics

We generally do not relate a double digit medal tally at multi-sports event like Olympics with India ! But, India gathered a whopping 173 medals at the Special Olympics – games meant for people with intellectual disabilities.

Given the state of affairs of sports in India and concern (or lack of it) for people with special abilities, this achievement is nothing short of spectacular and hence a part of my list. ‘A true triumph of determination, hard work and sportsman spirt’ as quoted by our PM Narendra Modi.

8) Spring Cleaning of IPL

The year 2015 year was a tumultuous for the coveted Indian Premier League. Sadly, the issues were not around cricket but what happens outside it & within the closed doors.

Thankfully, the cleanup process began with apt intervention from Indian judiciary. While the ouster of CSK and RR may not be in the best commercial interest of the league, it was the right thing to do to win back the trust of cricket fans all over the world. IPL in 2016 promises to be cleaner than ever !

9) The launch of Pro Wrestling League

It was heartening to see the launch of Pro Wrestling League and true to its tag line it had a ‘fauladi’ start. With many reputed Indian and Foreign wrestlers, big sponsors and good viewership, the league was very successful and is surely here to stay. A great platform to promote wrestling in India, a sports which goes very far back in the Indian history.

10) India gets to see Federer v/s Nadal in action, finally !!

Usually India doesn’t get much of the international tennis action, but things have changed drastically after the launch of IPTL – International Premier Tennis League. It is a dream come true for the Indian tennis fans to see almost all of the top tennis star come down and play in Delhi.

And the excitement reached its peak during that awesome duel between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. It was just one set, but the intensity was the same and has made Indians hungry for more action !

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Overall, we can safely say that 2015 was a great sporting year for India. Sports is at the center of everything we do at Sports365. Our vision is to play a meaningful role (if possible, a lead role) in ushering the Sporting revolution in India and years like these makes us believe that we are headed in the right direction and at the right pace.

May the year 2016 bring in the best of fitness, health and happiness in your life !

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PS: The above mentioned list is compiled purely based on my personal preferences. I am sure there are many more great moments which are not part of my list . I would love to know about the one’s I missed; please be kind enough to mention those in your comments. 

U.S Open Preview

Women’s Singles:

1)Flavia Pennetta vs Simon Halep:

pennetta vs halep

Flavia Pennetta who has already taken down two higher ranked seeds in the tournament will look to do the same to the World No 2 Simon Halep in the semi-finals. Both come into the match after having playeda tiring three sitter in the previous round. They would have surely welcomed the rain on Thursday as it would mean they get to have an unscheduled one day break. Halep would need to maintain high level of concentration throughout the match as Pennetta has shown in previous matches this tournament that she comes back strongly once she loses the first set.

2)Serena Williams vs Roberta Vinci:

     serena_vinci

Serena Williams is aiming to become the first woman to win a Calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf in 1988.Serena Williams just seems to take her game to another level just when her opponents seem to have got her measure. On the other side of the net, we have her opponent Roberta Vinci. Vinci will play her first seeded opponent of the tournament (Bouchard retired hurt before their 4th round match started). Vinci will have to be at her best if she wants to stop Serena’s current 33 match unbeaten streak in Grand Slams.

Men’s Singles:

1)Novak Djokovic vs Marin Cilic:

djoker vs cilic

The first semi-final kicks off with the World no 1 taking on the defending champion. Novak Djokovic comes into this match with full confidence after losing only set so far in the tournament while Marin Cilic gets ready to play Novak after two grueling five setter matches in the quarters and round of 16. Novak Djokovic has beaten Cilic in all the thirteen meetings between them but is wary of being a victim to the Ace serving machine. Cilic has served 111 aces so far in this edition of the U.S. OPEN. This would be a entertaining match if Cilic can greatly add to his total of 111 aces.

2)Roger Federer vs Stanislas Wawrinka:

roger vs stan

The all Swiss semi-final would be the match many look forward to in this Fantastic Friday fixtures. Wawrinka has just transformed himself this season and already won this year’s French Open. Wawrinka when asked about the semi-final against his compatriot and close friend said he thinks now Federer is nervous when he enters the court to play wawrinka. In the previous meetings Stan feels it was only him being nervous because he knew he wasn’t at Roger’s level.Federer comes into the semis being the only player who has not yet lost a set in the tournament this year. He has just breezed into the semis with Wawrinka the toughest test so far.

The Indian Brigade:

1) Mixed Doubles Finals:

martina hingis and leander paes

Leander Paes entered the mixed doubles finals along with Martina Hingis after beating 2nd seeded Yung Jung Chan and Rohan Bopanna in the Semi-finals. The duo will look to add U.S Open to their 2015 Trophy cabinet which already comprises of Wimbledon and Australian Open. They take on the unseeded Bethany Mattek Sands and Sam Querrey,the winners of Roland Garros 2015, in the finals.Match is scheduled to be played on Friday.

2) Woman’s Doubles Finals:

martina-sania

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis have been on a roll since the amazing comeback victory in this year’s Wimbledon. They have swept aside all their opponents in the 2015 U.S.Open and would look to do the same in the finals. Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis will play the winner of the semi-finals between Casey Dellacqua/Yaroslava Shvedova vs.Anna-Lena Groenefeld/Coco Vandeweghe.The match will be played during the weekend if the rains do not persist

Do you think u have it in you to become the next Federer or Serena Williams? Or are you interested in just playing tennis in your free-time?  Do you get excited when anyone talks about tennis? Does playing tennis give you a adrenaline rush?  If the answer is yes, then please check out our awesome Sports365 tennis section at  http://goo.gl/J5KcAg .

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Best Deal on Shuttlecocks.

Like any other sporting equipment, shuttles too have evolved over the years. While the traditional shuttlecocks consist of 16 feathers, the more modern ones are made from plastic or nylon. Shuttles are graded according to their speed, if you are an expert you can use a standard speed shuttle and play from baseline to baseline. Conversely, if you are a beginner you can use faster shuttles till you build the necessary skill and power in the strokes. Weather and varying temperatures can affect your game, as these directly impact the flight of a shuttle. When it is cold the shuttle will move slower, and when temperatures are higher it will move faster.

Feathered shuttles vs Synthetic shuttles

  • One of the first factors that is taken into consideration is price. Feathered shuttles tend to be more expensive than the nylon shuttles, the latter is preferred because it is far more durable, and lasts through more matches with minimal impairment.
  • Professional players usually stick to the feathered shuttles as it offers a better feel on impact with the racket string bed, and gives them better control of the shots.  Novice players and those who play the game on a recreational level prefer the plastic ones.
  • In terms of performance, plastic shuttles fly slowly during initial impact, but take time to slow down when descending , which means that you cannot really get a straight drop falling. On the other hand, feathered shuttles fly fast on initial impact and slow down faster as they drop.

Super Saver Packs

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Super Saver - Yonex Mavis 370 Badminton Nylon Shuttlecock
Super Saver – Yonex Mavis 370

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