SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
S P O R T S

ĎNo regrets, it was right time to stopí
Sachin Unplugged: A day after a stirring farewell speech, the Little Master looks back on his illustrious career
Just over 24 hours after walking off the cricket pitch for the final time, and after delivering a stirring emotional message to his fans, Sachin Tendulkar spoke to the media today. He seemed to radiate peace and calmness today too, when his interaction with the media, organised by the World Sport Group, went horribly haywire.

Sachin Tendulkar radiated peace and calmness as he addressed the first press conference after saying the last goodbye to the game on Sunday; and (below) the 40-year-old turned up in an Indian team blazer and a tie for one last time saying, even though I am not physically playing for India, I will always be playing for India and praying for its victory.
Well played: Sachin Tendulkar radiated peace and calmness as he addressed the first press conference after saying the last goodbye to the game on Sunday; and (below) the 40-year-old turned up in an Indian team blazer and a tie for one last time saying, even though I am not physically playing for India, I will always be playing for India and praying for its victory. ó PTI



EARLIER STORIES

The king's speech
November
17, 2013
Perfect, well almost
November
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Sach a day after a long while
November
15, 2013
The last ride together
November
14, 2013
Sachin the money-spinner
November
13, 2013
Go get a 400, Lara tells Sachin
November
12, 2013
Second game, second draw
November
11, 2013
Shami has all the weapons of pace
November
10, 2013
Famous win that wonít be cherished
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9, 2013
Rohit makes dream debut
November
8, 2013
WI run away from party
November
7, 2013

After Ratna, Sachin must raise the bar of public behaviour
Mumbai, November 17
Sachin Tendulkar has been given the Bharat Ratna. The time for emotional excesses is over ó the Ratna adds weight and gravitas to Tendulkarís persona which, despite its magnitude, was still limited by him being a mere sportsman... An icon, a legend, an adored human being who personified perfection and rectitude, but still a mere sportsman.

Tendulkarís grand party
Mumbai, November 17
The early end to the second Test match has advanced the date of Sachin Tendulkarís grand farewell party. Originally scheduled to be held on Tuesday night, the day after the fifth day of the match, the party will now be held on Monday night. The party is being thrown by Sachin and Anjali Tendulkar to celebrate the end of his career. Another reason to celebrate is his being conferred with the Bharat Ratna.

Anand needs a change of strategy
The defending champion is feeling the heat and the way the last two losses have come, they are sure to dampen the spirits. Chennai, November 17
The crown slipping away from his hands, defending champion Viswanathan Anand will have to pull himself together and produce a couple of sterling efforts to come back in the World Chess Championship match against Norwegian Magnus Carlsen. With the scores reading 4-2 in favour of Carlsen and just six games to come, the Norwegian is well on track to win his maiden world title in his first match itself. Carlsen has clearly dictated the course of the match so far and Anand needs to do a ĎHoudinií of sorts if he has to remain in the match. As things stand, Carlsen needs just 2.5 points in the next six games to prove youthís supremacy over experience.

The defending champion is feeling the heat and the way the last two losses have come, they are sure to dampen the spirits. ó PTI

davis cup
Djokovic beats Berdych to level tie
Belgrade, November 17
Serbian world number two Novak Djokovic forced the Davis Cup final against holders Czech Republic into a decisive fifth rubber on Sunday with a 6-4 7-6(5) 6-2 win over Tomas Berdych in the opening reverse singles.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after beating Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych in their Davis Cup World Group final in Belgrade on Sunday. ó Reuters

Bolt, Fraser-Pryce named as IAAF athletes of year
Monaco, November 17
Jamaican sprint duo Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were on Saturday named as the IAAFís male and female World Athletes of the Year for 2013. The 27-year-old Bolt, who also won the award in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, successfully defended both his 100 and 200m titles at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow this summer, winning the latter in a 2013 world-leading time of 19.66 sec.

Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce pose after receiving their World Athlete of the Year awards. ó Reuters

Vettel takes US Grand Prix pole
Austin, November 17
Red Bullís quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel seized pole position on Saturday for a US Grand Prix that could see him celebrate a record eighth successive win of the Formula One season. The 26-year-old German made sure of his 44th career pole with the last lap of the session, with Australian team mate Mark Webber having to settle for second on an all-Red Bull front row at the Circuit of the Americas.

If he wins the US GP, Vettel will become the first driver to win eight consecutive races in a single season. ó AFP

Malik holds on for victory
Panchkula, November 17
Amardeep Malik carded the best round of the day, a five-over-par 77, to win the overall prize in Division A of the Little Masters Junior and Sub-Junior a Golf Tournament which was played at the Panchkula Golf Course this weekend.

australian masters
Bhullar misses out on top-10 finish
Melbourne, November 17
Gaganjeet Bhullar finished a highly creditable tied 13th after carding a one-under 70  in the final round of the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Sunday. Bhullar, who will play at the coming weekís World Cup at the same venue, was on way to a superb top-10 finish at five-under but dropped a late bogey on the par-four 17th hole to sign off with a total of four-under 280.

Bhullar was on way to a top-10 finish but dropped a shot on the par-four 17th to sign off with a total of four-under 280. ó AFP

Ranji trophy
Mohit leads Haryana to an emphatic win
Rohtak, November 17
Haryana pacers led by Mohit Sharma (4/51) pulled off an emphatic 30-run victory over Jharkhand in their Ranji Trophy group B match. Sharma, who scalped four in the first innings, decimated the Jharkhand batting in company of Joginder Sharma (2/27) and Harshal Patel (3/42) at the Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium. Resuming the final day on 74/3, Jharkhand were bowled out for 172 in their second innings.






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ĎNo regrets, it was right time to stopí

Sachin Unplugged: A day after a stirring farewell speech, the Little Master looks back on his illustrious career

Just over 24 hours after walking off the cricket pitch for the final time, and after delivering a stirring emotional message to his fans, Sachin Tendulkar spoke to the media today.

He seemed to radiate peace and calmness today too, when his interaction with the media, organised by the World Sport Group, went horribly haywire. Up to 10 people shrieked questions at the latest Bharat Ratna simultaneously, but Tendulkar didnít stop smiling, didnít allow a single frown to cross his visage.

Excerpts:

You played for 24 years. Has the feeling sunk in yet that you have retired?

Playing cricket for 24 years for the country was an important thing for me. During those 24 years, different kind of challenges came up but the desire to play for the nation was so strong that I was able to find solutions to those challenges and was helped by family, coaches, players, friendsÖ A lot of people.

It was a dream journey of 24 years. But last night when I sat, it feels that it has not sunk in yet that I wonít play cricket anymore but I will try to play somewhere.

If I have to talk about those 24 years, in short I will say that it has been a journey dream and I have no regrets. I felt this was the right time to stop playing cricket. All I can say that it was an enjoyable journey.

Can you name two special moments that will remain closest to your heart?

I said earlier that when I went to the pitch and stood in those 22 yards, I realised that this was the last time I was standing in that place, in front of a packed stadium as a part of the Indian team. This will never happen again that I was emotional about and couldnít control my tears. Knowing that I would never had a cricket bat in my hand here playing for India was really emotional.

There have been many wonderful moments. You guys might have noticed that I could not look up while shaking hands with my teammates and the West Indian players. I didnít want to be rude, but I didnít want anyone to see my face with me in tears. In spite of all this, I know that the decision I took was correct.

What did you do this morning?

I woke up this morning, at 6.50. I go according to my body clock. I woke up at 6.50 yesterday and again at the same time today. I suddenly realised that I didnít need to quickly have a shower and get ready for a match. I made myself a cup of tea and enjoyed a nice breakfast with my wife. It was a relaxed morning. A lot of people had sent me their wishes, so I spent some time responding to those text messages and thanking them for their support and good wishes over the last 24 years. And now I am here in front of you.

How you will remain associated with the game in future?

Cricket was my life, as I said once cricket is oxygen to me. Out of my 40 years, I have spent 30 of them playing cricket so nearly 75 percent of my life has been cricket. So my association with the sport will continue at different, maybe not in the immediate near future. I have played for 24 years, and it has been 24 hours since I retired. I think at least I should get at least 24 days to rest and after that letís see what happens.

How did you decide to quit cricket? Did you stop enjoying?

I was definitely enjoying the game, but to tell you honestly I had always maintained that the day I get the feeling that I should stop playing cricket I will definitely inform you.

There have been a lot of questions over my retirement and my answer was always that whenever I get that feeling I will tell you.

That feeling came now because after playing for 24 years you have to appreciate that I had a lot of injuries in between and it was not easy to overcome them. I think somewhere in your life there comes a stage where your body gives you a message that enough of this physical loadÖ I think the body requires rest.

I thought that my body canít take that load consistently. If I had to undergo a training sessions it was becoming an effort. When I used to train in the past, it used to happen automatically. In between I also got the feeling that I should just sit out and watch TV. So a few question marks cropped up in my mind, and when I tried to find answer to those questions I thought that this is the perfect time to leave the game.

Then I requested the BCCI that these two matches would be my last, and if possible please keep my last match in Mumbai because my mother had never seen me play even a single ball before this match. My mom never told me that I want to come to see a match so I wanted this to be a surprise for her. But through you [media], she came to know of it on the television channels that the match was going to be held in Mumbai and especially for my mother. So this match became really, really special for me. But coming back to the question, the moment I got the feeling I should stop playing and I stopped.

Will you continue to follow Indian cricket?

Even though I am not physically playing for India, I will always be playing for India and praying for Indiaís victory. And it doesnít really matter whether I am part of the team or not. As an Indian I feel that whenever India participates not only in cricket but in any other field, India should come first and then the first.

Is the Bharat Ratna the best award you got from the nation?

Yesterday I had said that this award was for my mother, and this award is for all the sacrifices she made for me right from my birth. As a child it is difficult to understand life, you donít know what parents have to go through to make you happy. They have sacrificed everything and the beauty of it is that I was never told till date that we did this for you. And when you grow up, you realise all those things. So that is the reason I feel this award is for my mother and I would like to go a step further not just my mother but like my mother there are millions and millions of mothers in India who sacrifice thousands of things for their children so I would like to share this award with the mothers for all the sacrifices they have made.

Will you try to open an academy to nurture youngsters and bring up more Sachins?

Itís a nice thought that I need to be involved with cricket and I would definitely be. It is not just because I have retired. Even before retired, I have spent time with youngsters from U-19 teams to Ranji Trophy teams. Itís just that I have not made those things public. I like interacting with players. Itís just nice to share your knowledge and understand sometimes their problems also which also in return teaches you more about the game. I have thoroughly enjoyed those interactions and I will continue to do so. It may not be done publicly, it may be done quietly at a very low profile but I would like to help the youngsters, the next generations and jut share my thoughts and be involved with cricket.

You went back to the pitch and touched it?

I know never ever in my life during an international match, I would get to do that and that is where my life started. And those 22 yards have given me everything in life. Whatever I have today is because I have spent time between those 22 yards. Itís like a temple for me. So I just wanted to say a big thank you to cricket and every time I go to bat, I always touch the wicket and take the blessings and thatís what I did yesterday. I didnít say publicly but I just thanked cricket for everything I got in life and it was as simple as that, nothing complicated.

What went through your mind?

It was a very emotional moment. I remember when I was thinking about retirement and trying to decide, I donít think I was as emotional as this because I knew it was the right decision. My family, everyone was emotional but I wasnít that emotional. I became emotional when I got the kind of sendoff from the players, I got emotional when I went to the wicket and when I was coming back from the wicket. Actually, when I was talking to the wicket, then I got emotional. Whenever I see those images on TV, that particular moment, I still get emotional. Otherwise I was not that emotional because I knew I had taken the right decision. I think the thought I would not be able to go back there again for a competitive match, rather to put it simple and short, to represent India, that made me emotional.

Do you believe that pressure is a blessing, and injuries bring good luck?

I never thought of injuries as good luck! During injuries, it use to be very difficult because the injuries that I had, they were different injuries. To overcome injuries and come back to play wasnít easy. Each time, there were different goals ahead that I had only two months to become fit so let me put as much effort as possible in training during those two months. But it is not as if the recovery time is three months, I can work out extra harder in the gym for one and a half months and start playing. It doesnít happen that way.

When injuries happen, you need the help of nature to recover fully. And itís really important to respect nature. When I had the tennis elbow, it took four and a half months after surgery for it to become alright and the doctor had told me that I would be able to play competitive cricket after four and a half months. So I tried to come back earlier but it was just not possible. All I want to say is you need to respect time, the challenges that were then werenít easy, they were difficult. Sometimes I felt that my career was over, that I might not be able to lift a bat again. After the tennis elbow surgery, I could not even lift Arjunís plastic bat and when I went to practice for the first time with a season ball, on the ground, there were 10-12 year-olds fielding, and they were fielding my hardest hit balls within 10 or 15 yards and I felt maybe I will be able to play again. At that time, the pressure you feel, that is completely different. I donít think you can continue thinking of injury as a blessing. It was a difficult phase in my life and because of the support of a lot of people, I could come back so I would like to say thank you once again to them.

Would Arjun Tendulkar also like to become a cricketer?

See, as a father I will say leave Arjun alone. I will say let him enjoy the cricket, and donít burden him with expectations, like his father had performed like this and he should also perform like that. If I had such pressure on me, then I would have pen in my hands because my father was a professor and he was in literature field. That time nobody has questioned my father as why your son has a cricket bat in his hand, and why not a pen? So, Arjun has opted for cricket bat in his hand, and heís passionate about cricket.

How did you react to criticisms throughout your career?

I observe it to a certain stage about who is writing and about what subject he is writing. Opinions will be available all around the world. A stage comes when you are convinced as to which personís advice you should follow and who are the ones who offer constructive criticism and what is the motive behind it. I donít think I have paid much attention to it because those who were guiding me were by my side and they didnít hold a pen for a long time. They had either a cricket bat in their hand or cricket thoughts in their mind to encourage me to perform better so that I could perform better. I was normally interacting with such people whose interest was in how I could make more runs and how I could perform better. Beyond that, I didnít think much about the critics.

Coach Ramakant Achrekar never said Ďwell playedí but yesterday he said well done after you were conferred with the Bharat Ratna. Why did it take so long for the compliment to come?

At the outset, I must say that I could come this far only because of the blessings of Achrekar sir. There were others along with him who were there to guide me, some coaches also, I could come this far because of their guidance. These discussions have been around for 30 years. Even the other night, he (Ajit) told me how I could have played this shot (after his dismissal). This is the beauty of our relationship. I cannot describe this relationship in words. Every time I made runs, I expected the compliment will come now. But it never happened. He called me after the award announcement last night and said well done. He was very happy, I was very delighted that he was very happy. The joy of receiving such awards enhances when you share it with some special people and that is what happened with me last night.

Your brother Ajit had a dream for you. How will you repay him for his contributions to your successful career?

We lived the dream together. I represented the country, and along with that I was representing Ajit also. I canít describe it in words, what he has done for me. When we met yesterday I could sense he was emotional but was trying his best to hide it. At the same time he looked relaxed and relieved. The manner in which I retired and the warm response from the public can never be planned. It is decided by god. And I thank god profusely to have blessed me with this day. I couldnít have asked for more. Ajit had the same feeling yesterday. We didnít speak much, but he was relieved that everything went as we had desired.

You were the first player to be awarded the Bharat Ratna. Can this set a trend?

I am giving an opinion which will be heard by the world. I received this award on behalf of all my countrymen. I respect the award. Itís a special award. This is the ultimate. What more, beyond this? As for other sportsmen, I would say that I have accepted this award on behalf of them also. We have had a history of great sportsmen and sportswomen. I have grown up hearing their names. We have all grown in that culture. Their contribution can never be forgotten. In my opinion, the doors have opened for the future. I pray that in future there is appreciation for all great performances by our sportsmen and sportswomen. This award should go to special sportsmen.

How did your mother and father react to your best scores?

The beauty of my family is that they never lost balance. Whether I scored a 100 or 15 or 20 it did not matter. My father and mother always had encouraging words for me. I was able to perform well since my school days because the balance was maintained at home. Nobody got carried away with my good performances and celebrated those occasions endlessly. Like any other Indian family we used to buy a packet of sweets, offer it to the almighty and give thanks. That process continues. Even yesterday, my mother said sheíd kept sweets in front of god. That will never stop. Itís something I have learnt over the years from my parents. When you grow up you understand more of what your parents have done for you. This is one of those things. Their reaction to me, when I got back from any tour was never related to how I performed. It was more about parents and their child. It has always stayed that way.

Are you happy with your last innings of 74 and what was your motherís reaction?

My mother was extremely happy. Earlier I was not sure whether she would come or not because itís a little difficult for her to travel. That was the only reason I requested that this match be played in Mumbai. After the first day itself, I was worried that she might not be able to sit there for long. For safety I had also told the [Mumbai Cricket Association] MCA to keep a room for my mother at the Garware guesthouse. But my mother preferred to sit and watch each and every ball. It is special and when I went to meet her in the presidentís box, I could see in her eyes what it meant.

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After Ratna, Sachin must raise the bar of public behaviour
Rohit Mahajan
Tribune news service

Mumbai, November 17
Sachin Tendulkar has been given the Bharat Ratna. The time for emotional excesses is over ó the Ratna adds weight and gravitas to Tendulkarís persona which, despite its magnitude, was still limited by him being a mere sportsman... An icon, a legend, an adored human being who personified perfection and rectitude, but still a mere sportsman.

Heís the first sportsperson to be given this award. The list had included freedom fighters, politicians, scientists and artists. The guidelines were changed to ensure that Tendulkar got this award, too.

Heís probably the most beloved of all the Ratnas.

Heíll be only the fourth receiver of the award in the new millennium; the others before him were artists (Lata Mangeshkar, Bismilllah Khan, Bhimsen Johsi) and the one named with him is a scientist (CNR Rao, this year).

A sportspersonís achievements are now considered at par with those of scientist and artists in prestige. This might be a populist step, but itís not inappropriate. The sportsman may not have the power to good that belongs to a politician, or the breakthroughs of a scientist, but a sportsperson does more to build a nationís self-esteem than them. Sport is the pastime of privilege; however, it banishes the monotony and drudgery of the lives of everyone. Visits to a cricket match cost big money, but TV has made sport accessible to the poorest too.

Tendulkar lived his public and sporting life, with the exception of perhaps a couple of missteps, with exemplary integrity and rectitude. His love for his profession, his dedication for it, never diminished.

Tendulkar was a yogi of cricket, but he was not perfect.

Itís a sign of the love and respect he commands that we expect perfect behaviour from him ó something that is quite impossible.

The most famous of his missteps occurred when he Tendulkar asked for, and got, an exemption from the import duty on a car gifted to him by Ferrari. He sold the car to a businessman for Rs 1.5 crore.

When he made his dream bungalow in Bandra, Tendulkar occupied the house without the occupation certificate. He paid a fine, and then blocked a Right to Information (RTI) application that sought to determine the amount he paid.

In 1999, he was involved in a road accident in Mumbai; he got Raj Thackeray to call a Mumbai newspaper, asking them not to carry the story. Only one newspaper reported the story. Two years ago, Tendulkar, in order to save on taxes on income made from TV commercials, declared that heís an actor. An Income Tax tribunal accepted his argument that heís an artist (who benefit from exemptions) since ďhe has to use his own skills, imagination and creativity in the commercialsĒ.

These are not unknown stories. But they bear repeating because we must remind ourselves that even Tendulkar is flesh and blood; heís displayed a sense of entitlement and privilege, which the rest of tend to, to the extent we can. He didnít say that he was a god; he hit the ball brilliantly, he remained grounded and dedicated and humble and polite, and captured our hearts, and we thought he was a god.

Now heís been given the Bharat Ratna, Tendulkar, the model celebrity-achiever, must raise his standards in public life ó he must rise above even the flimsiest shadow of suspicion.

Not all Bharat Ratnas of the past were non-controversial or completely blameless.

Tendulkar is in a position to enhance the prestige of the Ratna.

But a Tendulkar controversy, with evidence of indiscretion, will break the hearts of his lovers and fans.

Tendulkar must raise the bar of public behaviour.

He probably will.

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Tendulkarís grand party
Rohit Mahajan
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, November 17
The early end to the second Test match has advanced the date of Sachin Tendulkarís grand farewell party. Originally scheduled to be held on Tuesday night, the day after the fifth day of the match, the party will now be held on Monday night. The party is being thrown by Sachin and Anjali Tendulkar to celebrate the end of his career. Another reason to celebrate is his being conferred with the Bharat Ratna.

Most of the Indian team members have not dispersed to their hometowns because theyíll be part of the party. Ishant Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara are learnt to be the two players who wonít be there. Over 1,000 guests are likely to be part of the party. Tendulkarís friends, former classmates from his school, Shardashram, his friends and other Mumbai cricketers will be there, too. The Windies team is likely to be there, and Brian Lara is likely to be a special guest. Bollywood stars who are almost certain to be there are Shah Rukh Khan and Amir Khan.

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Anand needs a change of strategy
The champ has been looking at forcing variations but Carlsenís plans have proved much better

Chennai, November 17
The crown slipping away from his hands, defending champion Viswanathan Anand will have to pull himself together and produce a couple of sterling efforts to come back in the World Chess Championship match against Norwegian Magnus Carlsen.

With the scores reading 4-2 in favour of Carlsen and just six games to come, the Norwegian is well on track to win his maiden world title in his first match itself.

Carlsen has clearly dictated the course of the match so far and Anand needs to do a ĎHoudinií of sorts if he has to remain in the match. As things stand, Carlsen needs just 2.5 points in the next six games to prove youthís supremacy over experience.

While the championship started on a predictable course no one had expected Anand to cave in so easily. The defending champion is feeling the heat and the way the last two losses have come, they are sure to dampen the spirits.

Carlsen had started as the favourite and he is living up to that. Everyone, who understands chess, knows his style, which are long and tiring grinds where he creates complications out of nothing and then almost hypnotises opponents into making mistakes.

This has been the hallmark of the world number one and in this championship too, he has carried on in similar vein.

Anand has been looking at forcing variations both as white and black but has not succeeded as Carlsenís plans have proved to be better.

One Caro Kann and two Berlin defence in the three black games have given nothing away to Anand and the Indian in fact has found very little going his way.

On the contrary, Carlsen has succeeded in creating exactly the kind of positions he wanted out of nonchalant, in fact, almost forgettable openings.

The Norwegian has presented a new style to the chess world wherein home preparation takes a backseat.

Anand, if anything, seemed stressed. Normally, the one to keep emotions in check, the local hero had a mild loss of temper during the press conference after game six.

ďI mean, today was a heavy blow. I will not pretend otherwise. Nothing to be done, you just go on,Ē he said.

A Norwegian journalist asked how he would deal with it, to which Anand answered: ďWell you just do your best.Ē

The same journalist wanted him to elaborate on his answer, to which Anand answered: ďDoing your best means doing your best. I donít know why you donít understand English?Ē

It is never too easy to take such losses in stride and even more difficult to attend a press conference soon after such pressing defeats.

Fortunately for Anand, itís not over yet. He still has three white games and he needs to win to equalise. The Indian ace needs to pull himself together to make a match of it. Monday is when he will his white pieces again. If he can turn the clock back a little by winning one, then a lot can still happen.

Team Anand has a lot to do on the rest day. Plan ĎBí has to be initiated. ó PTI

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davis cup
Djokovic beats Berdych to level tie

Belgrade, November 17
Serbian world number two Novak Djokovic forced the Davis Cup final against holders Czech Republic into a decisive fifth rubber on Sunday with a 6-4 7-6(5) 6-2 win over Tomas Berdych in the opening reverse singles.

The home team's Dusan Lajovic will face Radek Stepanek with Serbia chasing their second title after beating France in 2010, while the Czechs aim to become the first team to retain the silverware since Spain won in 2008 and 2009.

Djokovic came out on top after a titanic tussle in the opening two sets, converting his 10th break point in the final game of the first to gain the upper hand and then clinched a rollercoaster tiebreak in the second after winning the last three points.

Both players produced tennis of the highest quality, rifling in aces, passing shots and volleys in a packed Kombank Arena where 17,000 fans created a cracking atmosphere. Having failed to get back into the match after leading 4-2 in the tiebreak, Berdych was on the back foot in the third set as the effervescent Djokovic turned on the heat with the support of passionate home supporters and a brass band playing an ancient Serb battlesong.

He broke the Czech's serve in the opening game of the third set and raced through it to seal his victory with an ace after two hours and 41 minutes of absorbing tennis. ó Reuters

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Bolt, Fraser-Pryce named as IAAF athletes of year

Monaco, November 17
Jamaican sprint duo Usain Bolt and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce were on Saturday named as the IAAFís male and female World Athletes of the Year for 2013.

The 27-year-old Bolt, who also won the award in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, successfully defended both his 100 and 200m titles at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow this summer, winning the latter in a 2013 world-leading time of 19.66 sec.

He concluded his world championships by anchoring a Jamaican quartet to the gold medals in the 4x100m relay. Bolt also won 10 out of his 11 100m races (including heats), and was unbeaten in his five races over 200m.

He beat off strong competition from British distance runner Mo Farah, who followed up on his 5,000-10,000m double at the London Olympics with two golds at the Moscow worlds.

ďWow..another IAAF athlete of year award. Iím beyond honoured...Jamaica this one is for you guys,Ē tweeted Bolt.

Fraser-Pryce, 26, regained her 100m title at those world champs, her winning time of 10.71sec the fastest of the year.

She also clocked the fastest 200m time of the year (22.13) at the Jamaican championships in June and went on to win world gold in Moscow. ó Agencies

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Vettel takes US Grand Prix pole

Austin, November 17
Red Bullís quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel seized pole position on Saturday for a US Grand Prix that could see him celebrate a record eighth successive win of the Formula One season.

The 26-year-old German made sure of his 44th career pole with the last lap of the session, with Australian team mate Mark Webber having to settle for second on an all-Red Bull front row at the Circuit of the Americas.

Sundayís race will be the eighth time this season that Vettel, who clinched his fourth successive driverís title in India last month, has started from pole and the second straight year in Texas.

If he wins, the champion will become the first driver to win eight races in a single season. The all-time record of nine in a row was set by Italian Alberto Ascari over the course of two seasons in 1952/53. He will also stay on course to equal Michael Schumacherís record of 13 wins in a season, with only Brazil to come after Austin and 11 victories already under his belt. ó Reuters

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Malik holds on for victory
Shona A. Singh

Panchkula, November 17
Amardeep Malik carded the best round of the day, a five-over-par 77, to win the overall prize in Division A of the Little Masters Junior and Sub-Junior a Golf Tournament which was played at the Panchkula Golf Course this weekend.

Meanwhile, Mayank Thakur was one stroke behind after carding a 78 and finished second while Lohit Samotra finished third with a 83.

Amrit Lal carded a 85 to win Division B, while Mansukh S. Menon and Zenish Mahaseth tied with identical scores of 87 but Mansukh was awarded second place on count back. Armandeep Singh carded a 88 and was third.

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australian masters
Bhullar misses out on top-10 finish

Melbourne, November 17
Gaganjeet Bhullar finished a highly creditable tied 13th after carding a one-under 70  in the final round of the Australian Masters at Royal Melbourne Golf Club on Sunday. Bhullar, who will play at the coming weekís World Cup at the same venue, was on way to a superb top-10 finish at five-under but dropped a late bogey on the par-four 17th hole to sign off with a total of four-under 280. He began with birdies on second and third and added three more on eighth, 11th and 15th holes. But he dropped shots on sixth, ninth, 13th and 17th.

Scott defends title

At the top, Masters champion, Adam Scott successfully defended his Talisker Masters title, winning by two shots. Starting the day four shots clear off the field, Scott saw his lead dwindle as Matt Kuchar fired around the composite layout. A playoff loomed as the pair were tied on 14-under before a double bogey on the 18th for Kuchar handed Scott the title. ó PTI

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Ranji trophy
Mohit leads Haryana to an emphatic win

Rohtak, November 17
Haryana pacers led by Mohit Sharma (4/51) pulled off an emphatic 30-run victory over Jharkhand in their Ranji Trophy group B match. Sharma, who scalped four in the first innings, decimated the Jharkhand batting in company of Joginder Sharma (2/27) and Harshal Patel (3/42) at the Bansi Lal Cricket Stadium. Resuming the final day on 74/3, Jharkhand were bowled out for 172 in their second innings.

Bhavin Thakkar (64) and Ishank Jaggi successfully negotiated the morning spell. But just as when the duo looked threatening Joginder removed Jaggi on 106.

Brief scores

Haryana: 309 & 123 beat Jharkhand: 231 & 172 (Thakkar 64, Jaggi 53; Mohit Sharma 4/51). ó PTI

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