The greatest

This is with reference to your Cover Story `Fierce Rivals' (Sportstar, August 26). There is absolutely no doubt that there has been a great rivalry between Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl and McEnroe, and Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. However, the rivalry between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer seems to be the greatest. Since power has taken over the serve and volley style of play, it is always interesting to see Federer and Nadal clash in the final.

Then, it's really sad that this year's final Grand Slam would bid farewell to two of the legends of the game, Martina Navratilova and Andre Agassi. It is a treat to watch both the players. I wish they have a farewell befitting their stature.

N. Mahadevan, Chennai. The missing dimension

S. Ram Mahesh's cover story on the Federer-Nadal rivalry was full of fizz. Like in other great rivalries, here too, besides the fierce intensity of the contest, the contrasting styles (silken touch versus raw power) and contrasting personalities of the players are an added attraction. However, Federer-Nadal still cannot be put on a par with the great rivalries of the past such as Borg-McEnroe, Navratilova-Evert or Sampras-Agassi, for it lacks an important dimension — that of `locational' play strategy. Both Federer and Nadal are predominantly baseliners whereas in other great rivalries one would be a net-rusher and the other a baseliner. Now this dimension provided additional `spice' to those legendary hi-octane rivalries even while dishing out uniquely sumptuous fare to the viewers/spectators.

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad. Magic leap

The article on Bob Beamon's record-breaking feat at the 1968 Olympics, `The Magic Leap' (Sportstar, August 19), made interesting reading.

I also remember seeing some old video footage shown as a serial in Doordarshan some years ago, on Jesse Owens and Nadia Comaneci.

I also saw on TV Mike Powell beating Beamon's world record at the World Championships in Tokyo in 1991. Well, the point here is that most of the gold medals won by the USA in track and field events have been because of the Afro-Americans.

In `The Magic Leap' I enjoyed the particular paragraph where the writer mentions the reaction by Boston after Beamon's jump, and subsequently the way the officials had to call for a measuring tape, as they couldn't get the reading on the optical measure.

K. P. Ganesh, Bangalore. The genius

The Cover Story, `The Premiership Pele' (Sportstar, August 19) was amazing. Thierry Henry is a genius. Keeping in mind his spectacular performances, both for France and his club Arsenal, his fans from all over the world are hoping for Henry to break some more records in the English Premiership. He will, however, be facing tough competition from the new stars in the league such as Michael Ballack, Tomas Rosicky and Andriy Shevchenko.

I wish Henry all the best. Aparajit Basu, Chittoor. The best triple hundred

Nirgunan Tiruchelvam's analysis of all 300-plus scores in Test cricket (Sportstar, August 19) made for absorbing reading. In my opinion, the triple hundreds that won the game for the side should be ranked very high. In this regard, Virender Sehwag's 309 in Multan, which paved the way for India's victory over Pakistan, and Mahela Jayawardene's 374 in Colombo, which enabled Sri Lanka to beat South Africa, should rank very high. The writer, though, has made some unnecessary comments on Sanjay Manjrekar's commentating ability. There was no need for that in what was otherwise a very well written article.

Evangelin Dale Nathan, Hyderabad.