Monday, February 2, 2009

They call him Rafa

Rafael NadalFive sets to rule them all. One was reduced to a blubbering mess, one is now the most dominant player in the game. Clay courts – easy, grass – done, now finally hardcourt – check. Can we reopen the debate about the Greatest Of All Time?

Rafael Nadal underlined his status as the number one player in the game with a blistering hardcore performance to send the Swiss fans into misery. Federer’s fans were led into tears by their star who broke down in the trophy presentation and almost spoiled Rafa’s moment. Some spoke of Murray’s assured ascension to the top and were belittled (correctly) by Roger and Novak. Djokovic himself was sidelined too, a victim of his own health and insecurity. The greatest challenge was from an unlikely source the roaring bull Verdasco who came so close but whose mighty marathon will be all but forgotten after last night’s five setter. No one remembers who lost in the semi-final. It’s winners that count.

The Australian Open lauded Rod Laver again, perhaps just to point out to Roger Federer how far away from greatness he really is. This man won the Grand Slam twice, yes even the French. (And we won’t count the missing years he spent in the pros, because maybe if the other pros were playing in 1962 he might only have one Slam...) They even organised a line-up of Losers, the four guys that Laver beat in 1969 Majors. Great Losers. Will Fed be standing in a line-up of losers in 40 years time to celebrate another Grand Slam?

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