Federer the great

Four-time Wimbledon champion, two-time Australian Open champion and three-time U.S. Open champion. He is the King, the Tiger, the Swiss Express. Roger Federer is a man with a mission. He has proved that he is a true champion.

Federer now only needs to win the French Open title to prove that he is the undisputed king of tennis.

S. Bagawati Prasad, Chennai Peerless Krish

Your `U.S. Open Photoline' and the `Star Poster' — Martina Navratilova (Sportstar, Sept. 16) — were excellent.

With reference to `Down Memory Lane' (The Never-say-die Krish, Sportstar, Sept. 9), there is no doubt that Ramanathan Krishnan was peerless. He took Indian tennis to great heights. Krishnan's match against Thomas Koch during India versus Brazil Davis Cup tie in Calcutta was one of his best.

Now the mantle is with Leander Paes, who also plays his best tennis when representing India.

N. Viswanathan, Chennai Hockey blues

We had the misfortune of watching one of the most inept and timid displays by the Indian hockey team at the World Cup in Germany. One failed to understand the players' tendency to back-pass the ball at the slightest hint of a challenge from an opposing player. This negative mindset was so pronounced that I was astounded to watch one of the players hitting the ball back to the Indian circle off a long corner, while any other team would have hit it into the rival team's circle and tried to at least earn a penalty corner.

Our team has developed back-passing into such a fine art. One felt that in case our players played facing their own goal, they would have reached the rival goal faster, courtesy back-passing!

Urgent measures need to be taken to change this negative mindset of the team in order to regain prestige in world hockey.

Mohan J. Thomas, Chennai Classy Sachin

Sachin Tendulkar returned to international cricket with a bang. What a knock it was against West Indies at the Kinrara Oval, Kuala Lumpur. He has once again proved, and reminded his critics, that he is in a different class.

Well done Sachin, keep it up. Shirish J. Buch, Rajkot Schumi is special

The Cover Story on Michael Schumacher was a veritable feast. While the over-riding will to win at all times may have made the German cross the thin line between sportsmanship and gamesmanship (even his brother Ralf was at the receiving end, once) sometimes, there is no denying his genius.

What makes Schumacher special, even amongst that rare breed we call genius, is his longevity. Usually for this rare breed of sportsmen there is a point of incandescence when they become the monarchs of all they survey, after which it is mostly a sad trek downhill (Beefy in that immortal `Botham's Ashes' in 1980-81; John McEnroe in 1984; Maradona in the 1986 World Cup, for instance, were never the same again after their stupendous performances).

Then there are the disciplined (discipline? A rare trait in a genius) lot among the geniuses, to which belongs Schumi, along with Pete Sampras and Sachin Tendulkar, who have not only extended their careers successfully (without even being at the top of their game) but have dictated terms to their younger and fitter rivals.

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad