Why Djokovic’s the ultimate all-time great

Roger Federer is mostly accepted as the greatest tennis player of all time (20 Grand Slam titles). Rafael Nadal has matched him and is not done yet. But Novak Djokovic already has 18 titles and at 33 years, has time on his side to go way beyond both of them.

Here is a list of things where Djoko has outdone Fed-Rafa…

Djokovic1. Djoko has beaten both Federer and Nadal in all 4 Grand Slams.

Federer has never beaten Nadal in any French Open. The two never met in the US Open. But what of Djokovic? He has beaten Federer in at least one match in the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Fed-Djoko have met 3 times in Wimbledon finals. Djoko leads 3-0.

Djoko beat Nadal in three straight final line-ups: 2011 Wimbledon, 2011 US Open and 2012 Australian Open. Later he beat Nadal in the quarters of the 2015 French Open. That’s 4/4 Grand Slams for the 2/2 “greatest” players!

2. Dominates the trivalry in terms of one-on-ones.

Federer’s nemesis is Nadal. The two have met 40 times and Nadal leads a whopping 24-16. However it is only Djoko who has the better of all of the rivals he has played with after he came into form (he had a few failed rivalries only at the beginning of his career). Djoko and Nadal have met 56 times, which is an Open era record and Djoko leads 29-27. Anyone having 29 wins against anyone is also a men’s tennis record.

With the all-time great Federer, Djoko leads 27-23. Interestingly in 2011, he met Federer-Nadal 11 times, winning 10 of those matches! More importantly in all finals, Djokovic leads Federer 13-6 and Nadal 15-12. Did you only one person in Grand Slam men’s singles history has 11 losses to one player? No prizes for guessing that it’s Federer who lost to Djoko. Overall with Andy Murray its 25-11, Stan Wawrinka 19-6 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 18-6.

Tennis balljpg3. Held all four Grand Slams at once.

Rod Laver was a legend who did a calendar Grand Slam first as an amateur in 1962, then as a professional in 1969. However after that for decades, nobody managed to win all four at a stretch. Andre Agassi became the first to do a career Grand Slam in 1999. He was emulated by Federer in 2009 and Nadal a year later.

Djoko won the following titles back to back: 2015 Wimbledon, 2015 US Open, 2016 Australian Open and 2016 French Open. In the process he became the first person since 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles. That’s after a good 47 years! He is also the only player in men’s tennis history to hold these Grand Slams on three different surfaces at the same time. In more all-round records, Djoko is the only player with 9+ semis and 72+ wins overall in each of the Grand Slams.

4. Highest ATP ranking points ever.

Djoko has these short bursts where he looks near invincible. Like the time he won four straight Grand Slams. The same is with the ATP ranking points. He is the only person in history to have crossed ATP ranking points of 16000 in 2015 (if you win each and every tournament you play in a year, then you can go to 21000). To put things in perspective, when Djoko had 16950, that was more than the No. 2 + No. 3 combined (Andy Murray and Federer).

In 2015 Djoko won 3 Grand Slams, 6 masters and 11 titles. He ended the year in style winning the World Tour Finals title and became the first to win 4 straight end-of-year finals tournaments. He also created another world record that season, beating 31 Top 10 players. Earlier in 2011, when Federer and Nadal were at their peak, he won 41 straight matches, the best after John McEnroe’s 42 in 1984. He had another such burst in 2018-20.

5. The only man to win all 9 ATP World Tour Masters 1000.

After the Grand Slams and ATP Finals, these are the most prestigious tournaments and Djokovic is the only man in the world to have won all 9, called a Career Golden Masters. In fact in 2015, he won 6/9 in a single year. In the terms of ATP finals Federer has the most with 6, but Djokovic already has 5 and so well could go past him.

Dollars6. Became the first to get $100 million prize money.

There was a race between the three to get $100 million in professional tennis earnings and you never knew who would get there first. Finally it was a race between Federer and Djoko and the latter prevailed. Currently Djoko is in the range of $150 million as against $130 by Federer, which is the highest ever. In 2015 he became the only man to cross $20 million prize money in a year. Nadal’s yearly highest is $15+ million and Federer’s $13+ million.

7. Most weeks as World No. 1.

In the 1970s/1980s, Jimmy Connors spent a record 268 weeks as World Number 1. Ivan Lendl narrowly went past that with 270. Pete Sampras, who won his last singles Grand Slam in 2002, did 286. Federer did 310 and now Djoko has gone past him and is still counting. For year-ending No. 1s, the record 6 jointly shared by Sampras and Djoko, but the latter has time on his side. When you look at the 2010s, then weeks at No. 1, it’s Djoko 275 weeks, Nadal 159 and Federer 48.

8. Made the Australian Open his own.

Nadal has a whopping 13 French Opens. Federer has 8 Wimbledons. Both stand alone there. Additionally, Federer has 5 US Opens, a record he shares with Jimmy Connors and Pete Sampras. But Djoko has made the Australian Open his own with 9 titles. At the end of his career, could he touch 13 or beyond? Who knows! Djoko also has 3 US Opens, so he could also join Connors-Sampras-Federer for the most there. If Federer is the King of Grass and Nadal the King of Clay, Djoko is the King of the Hardcourt.

(This blog first appeared on July 16, 2018. This is the updated version of the same)

Why Indian cricketers aren’t poor travellers and ace foreign tours

plane-841441_960_720England is yet to win a major multi-nation ODI tournament outside England. South Africa and New Zealand have not won any World Cup anywhere. Forget a Test series—Sri Lanka has never even won a single Test in India. Pakistan won their first Test series in West Indies quite late in 2017 as against India way back in 1971.

The truth is that when you combine all three formats of the game, then only Australia and India are the best travellers. Only these two teams have won maximum multi-nation tournaments in maximum countries. It’s a myth that Indians are poor travellers in international cricket overall.

We have won in…

united-kingdom-1043062_1280England.
1 ODI World Cup—1983.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2013.
3 Test series—1971, 1986, 2007.
1 ODI Tri-series—2002.
3 ODI series—1986, 1990, 2014
1 T20 series—2018.
Total = 10.

sydney-3680862_960_720Australia.
1 Mini World Cup—Benson & Hedges World Series 1985.
2 Test series—2019, 2021.
1 ODI Tri-series—2008.
1 ODI series—2019.
2 T20 series—2016 (Australia’s only whitewash in any format on home soil ever since 1877), 2020.
Total = 7.
(India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Aus by tying the Test series in 2004)

South Africa.
1 T20 World Cup—2007.
1 ODI series—2018.
1 T20 series—2018.
Total = 3.

Lanka-2099225_1280Sri Lanka.
1 ICC Champions Trophy—2002.
1 Asia Cup—2010.
3 Test series—1993, 2015, 2017.
3 ODI Tri-series—1998, 2009, 2018.
4 ODI series—2008, 2009, 2012, 2017.
Total = 12.

West Indies.
5 Test series—1971, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2019.
1 ODI Tri-series—2013.
5 ODI series—2002, 2009, 2011, 2017, 2019.
1 T20 series—2019.
Total = 12.

pakistan-641446_960_720Pakistan.
1 Test series—2004.
2 ODI series—2004, 2006.
Total = 3.

New Zealand.
2 Test series—1968, 2009.
2 ODI series—2009, 2019.
1 T20 series—2020.
Total = 5.

dubai-1113262_960_720UAE.
7 multi-nation tournaments—1984, 1985, 1988, 1995, 1998, 1998, 2018.

Bangladesh.
2 Asia Cups—1988, 2016.
4 Test series—2000, 2004, 2007, 2010.
1 ODI Tri-series—1998.
3 ODI series—2004, 2007, 2014.
Total = 10.

Canada.
2 ODI series—1997 (Pak), 1999 (WI).

clover-445255_960_720Ireland.
1 ODI series—2007 (SA).
1 T20 series—2018 (Ire).
Total = 2.

Zimbabwe.
1 Test series—2005
4 ODI series—1998, 2013, 2015, 2016.
2 T20 series—2010, 2016.
Total = 6.

Grand Total = 79, that includes 5 World Cups/mini WCs, second only to Australia’s 6 away such wins.

India has won at least one 5-nation plus tournament in Australia, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, UAE, Bangladesh and India.

(This blog was first published on October 1, 2018. This is an updated version of the same)

A Twitter account hacked, hijacked, renamed repeatedly and gone

I had been on My Twitter handle @sunilrajguru since 2009 and have Tweeted more than 15K Tweets, with more than 5K followers, but all that has just vanished.

I had given my email ID and mobile number as a safeguard but don’t remember whether I did opt for a two factor authentication.

It all started when I got a mail saying someone tried to change my password…

Suspicious Yahoo Twitter

So I went to change my password, but I found I couldn’t even login to Twitter

Then I got this message saying my email ID had already been changed…

Address change

So now I couldn’t use my old email ID or mobile No. to change any details or change PW, they couldn’t be found.

I complained to Twitter Support Hacked Account, got a reply and further replied with the extra details.

Meanwhile, my handle vanished.

Account doesnt exist

Then my followers reported following an account which they never followed. When they clicked the link to my profile, their mobile cache showed my old account which got immediately refreshed to this…

Hacked Account Renamed

Same joining date. Same followers. A lot of my followers reported getting this when they clicked my profile.

So it appears my account was Hacked, Hijacked & Renamed.

Then I got an email from Twitter saying that they couldn’t locate my account or other details…

Twitter can't find

And this person, thanks to his or her hacking skills, gets 5K followers for free.

And I lose my 15K Tweets!

Identity Theft is one thing, this is a taking over of someone’s identity and renaming it to their own!

All in all a neat trick!!!

Post Script…

The hacker keeps changing the name of the handle multiple times, so I can’t keep track.

For Twitter Support it should show as one continuous account from 2009-20, but apparently it doesn’t, so nothing much can be done by the user!

Meanwhile I am off Twitter, but opened another account in my name in case I ever decide to get active again and no-one else takes my username.

Also the highest ReTweets I got for a single Tweet was in excess of 3000. That has been preserved thanks to good ole Wayback Machine.

3200 Retweets

Also one from 2010, the earliest it captured

Twitter 2010

Harrowing tale from another tech journo…

The day my Twitter account was hacked and left to rot out in the sun

Only Deep Tech can keep us on track for our $5 trillion goal

architecture-768432_960_720The Old Economy can take us only so far. We have to accelerate with the New Economy. Our only way forward is to embed a layer of technology on top of the Old Economy. Specifically, Deep Tech, coupled with a bold corporate India strong on manufacturing. The three pillars on which India should concentrate on are pushing Deep Tech, Big Tech Diversification-Global Tie-ups and Hardware-Electronics.

Read Part 1

Focus on 3As and 1C for deep tech push: Deep Tech is the future and the startups that come out of that will rule tomorrow. The Indian Startup Ecosystem is the 3rd largest in the world, but we can aim for the top spot. 3As and 1C are Automation, Augmented, Access & Cloud.

Read Part 2

Big tech diversification and global tie-ups: It all started with Jio. If it’s all about global mergers, acquisitions, investments and tie-ups, then Jio is showing the way. First came a host of investors, more than a dozen.

Read Part 3

Hardware and electronics to form the backbone of Deep Tech ecosystem: The forgotten pillar which is equally important to power the IT industry and has shown to be even more important especially in light of the global supply chain disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

Read Part 4

How Deep Tech can help fast track development in India: the 2020s could well be the Decade of India. But for that, the government, tech industry, Corporate India and SMBs will have to come together and get deep into technology.

Read Part 5

When Jeff Bezos became a Neelpati!

diamond-1186139_960_720Growing up in India in the 1980s, Lakhpati was such a big thing (Rs 100,000).

After the Liberalization of 1991, that became common and Crorepati became a thing (Rs 100 lakhs).

Today so many flats (forget bungalows) in every major city are worth a crore each. The Indian middle class is swarming with Crorepatis.

One term that never caught on was Arabpati (Rs 100 crores).

There are so many Arabpatis in India too.

How about Kharabpati? (Rs 100 Arabs or Rs 10,000 crores).

In the current rate of exchange, that’s roughly US$1.33 billion.

So now the terms US$ Billionaire and INR Kharabpati are almost comparable and we could well start using the latter.

India has roughly 100+ Kharabpatis.

Did you know that 100 Kharabs = 1 Neel?

So if someone is worth Rs 10 lakh crore, then he would be a Neelpati.

Is there anyone who is a Neelpati and worth that much?

Going by the above calculations, US$133 billion is enough to be a Neelpati. India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani is heading towards half a Neel.

If it’s anyone who’s already there then it has to be Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world who is worth (depending on the day you are looking) in excess of US$180 billion.

So a Neelpati is worth a 100 Kharabpatis or 10,000 crorepatis, or 1 million Lakhpatis!

How times have changed!

Covid-19: India must be doing something right, even if most don’t acknowledge it!

covid-19-5254302_960_720While there has either been less or inconsistent testing and some fudging of data here and there, one thing you simply cannot hide is Covid-19 deaths. They may even have been jacked up due to co-morbidities. Billionaire Elon Musk joked on the Joe Rogan Show that if a man got eaten by a shark and they recovered his hand and it tested positive, it would be put down as a Covid death. A recent US motorcycle accident death was indeed put down as a Covid death.

That way India has a population of 1.35 billion is still not a fully developed country with an inadequate healthcare system with problems of general indiscipline among the general population and also problems of awareness, especially in the rural areas. Then there’s the fact that everyone in the world in their lifetime will either catch the flu or cold or some sort of Coronavirus. No matter what you do, billions will eventually catch Covid-19. What exactly is flattening the curve? The Smallpox and Polio viruses have been around for thousands of years before they came under fully control. Every curve eventually goes flat. What is the correct time frame to know you’ve done well and beaten the worst-case scenario?

There’s no point really focusing on number of cases, number of tests and the like. China is the largest population in the world but we will never get the exact statistics beyond the Bamboo Curtain. So no matter what we do, no matter how well we manage, India may still emerge as the country with the most official Covid-19 cases.

There’s one statistic that is probably the most important and the least discussed.

Deaths… Per… Million…

That is the true nature of how we are doing because Covid deaths may be boosted up but very difficult to hide and the “per million” part equalizes all countries. How does India fare with regard to that? As of the time of writing this article San Marino has the highest rate but let’s discount that due to the fact that it is so small. At No. 2 is Belgium at 845 deaths per million. Strange that there is so little talk in the media about that!

Where does India feature? At 100th position with 19 deaths per million! So in that case, 99 countries are worse off than us. It was reported that the first Covid-19 case was in November 2019, even though it was confirmed in December. There was talk of some people flying into India January 2020 end and it really became a talking point in February. Now it’s mid-July and we are still doing better than 90+ other countries.

Who knows what will happen next month, but it seems under control as of now. Plus all of India is not affected equally but there are a few dozen hotspots all over India only and the rest of the country is doing much better than most parts of the world. So what’s the reason? Did we conduct the first lockdown at exactly the right time? Is it genetics? Is it climate? Is it geography? Is it a weaker strain? Is it luck?

Either way India seems to have escaped the full wrath of Covid in the first half of 2020. Let’s see what happens in the second half.