Monday, July 05, 2010

Muy Bien Rafa! Way to go!!!

I should perhaps get bored of writing about Rafa and his victories. But somehow, each tourney is special. And surprisingly different.

So this time it was Wimbledon. And 2008 was wonderful, since at the peak of his form, Nadal won the championship by defeating his arch nemesis, in Fedex's own favorite turf. And that was some match indeed, a gruelling 5 setter interspersed with rain, and a nail biting finish. After all, the pretender was keen and the emperor was ready to go flat out!

But this year, there was no such drama. Rafa sat out all of last year, and as aptly described to the interviewer, it was the most difficult task to watch Federer win last year, as he sat helplessly nursing busted knees and fighting to get his psychological stamina back. And many, I included, post Roland Garros, wished to see a Rafa - Fedex battle again. The kinds that we had in 2008. 2008 saw Federer fight it out with Rafa on the clay courts only to let the king of clay prevail. 2008 also saw Federer fight to hold on to his stranglehold on the grass courts, only to let the pretender snatch that privilege rather harshly from him! So, I would have been happier, post Nadal's regaining his form, to have seen a duel much like the one we haven't seen since the Australian Open 2009. But that wasn't to be. In a surprise defeat, Fedex was knocked out, and it looked as if once Nadal surpassed his French Open 2010 rival Robin Soderling, he almost had the gilded trophy in his hands.

People expressed awe last year when Federer won French Open. A few Nadal enthusiasts, me included pointed out that it was one thing to beat a king in his own territory and a completely different story to usurp a kingdom when the king is incapacitated or away! In that respect, Rafa's Wimbledon 2008 was a well-earned victory, where he beat Federer in his own turf fair and square and earned the title. Likewise, even Wimbledon 2010, where he beat Federer's assailant and proved himself to be a grass champion as well. In my view, using that logic, Federer winning French Open 2009, was not so momentous, since the usual suspect or the expected victor, was pretty much missing in action! No matter what the case may be, 2010 is a year of good sport action. Rafa is back, his mental acuity, and on-court agility are as high as they have ever been. He has been able to match every player stroke for stroke and emerge victorious.

And then again, we have the football world cup in Africa. But I won't dwell too much on how ethereally beautiful the men in black were on the field, since I've all of spent a whole post on that. But I saw this rather interesting article in the Globe and Mail near the start of the world cup, (look here) and I must say, that for the greater good of humanity and to be able to stave off a double dip recession, please God let Germany win the World Cup!

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