Don't kill `serve and volley' style

After the retirement of Pete Sampras there has been a steady decline of the `serve and volley' style of tennis, which used to be a unique feature of Wimbledon. When it was thought that this trend would be arrested, Wimbledon shocked the tennis world by deliberately making the surface slower and in addition using heavier balls to the utter dismay and dejection of the serve and volley players.

The move will surely put an end to the serve and volley style, which has been a fascinating facet of the game and which has been lending variety and spice to tennis down the years. Dazzling net attackers like Jack Kramer, Lew Hoad, Rod Laver and Pete Sampras gave immense pleasure to tennis connoisseurs, who will be doomed to witness only monotonous baseline play in future. Hope and pray that wiser counsel prevails and the most prestigious tennis tournament of all will revert to its traditional fast mode, so that net players will have the edge over the baseliners.

K. M. Chengappa, Mysore Murali is superb

I am sometimes amazed at some of the reasons trotted out to put Warne ahead of Murali. The kind of performances, that Murali has produced, has very few parallels in the game and certainly none in the spin department. S. F. Barnes, an English bowler before the First World War, had the same unbelievable ability to take wickets, but he was a fast medium seam bowler.Fifty-four five-wicket hauls are simply amazing. It's not right to say that Murali has to get all the wickets — all the 20 opposition wickets are not presented on a platter to Murali. In fact, his job is harder than Warne's as the great Australian pace attack tends to decimate the opposition and thereby put them under non-stop pressure. Murali simply does not have this luxury. Murali also had to battle all sorts of pressure from Australia, which was not related to performance in the field. Having said all this, there is no doubt that Warne is a great bowler.

P. Nair, Hyderabad Shishahai success

This is with reference to Pallavi Aiyar's article `The Success Story of Shishahai' (Sportstar, August 19). I sincerely wish that our Sports Minister and other State and Central ministers go through this article and take some positive steps to unearth talented sportspersons in our country. This is the ideal time to start such methods so that we can increase our medals tally in the Commonwealth Games to be held in India in 2010. This will also help our country win a few medals at the 2012 Olympics.

N. Mahadevan, Chennai. King Henry

There were only a handful of club football luminaries who came out with their heads held high from the 2006 World Cup in Germany. One of them was Thierry Henry. At a time when mediocrity abounds in the English Premiership (the Gerrards & Lampards have been found out at the highest level), it is the presence of players of proven class such as Henry and Joe Cole which would act as a `seasoning' to the Premiership season. Simply put, the Premiership dearly needs this Arsenal striker.

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad.