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Sunday, July 6, 2008

On The Beauty of Tennis

I am sad that Roger lost the crown, but I am glad Rafael was there to take it.

After the presentation ceremony, it's customary for the champion to take a victory lap. How often do you see the runner up take a lap as well? A completely deserving one at that?
We live in privileged times, to see one of the best rivalries of tennis. I don't know if it can be termed a rivalry, given that Nadal seems to come out on top more often than not. But let that fact not demean the greatness of Roger Federer, of what he has achieved over the last few years. The sheer joy of watching him play beautiful tennis, the exhilaration of watching him march towards sporting glory, the growing alarm at the thought of him being dethroned, the high-pulsating race Nadal started on his quest to become the best player he could be by measuring himself against greatness[1]--thanks Fed.
I hope he comes roaring back from this setback, if losing on grass against someone like Nadal who has ousted several more accomplished grass courters over the last three weeks can be called one. It was inevitable that Roger would lose at the Wimbledon at some point of time, and with Nadal improving the way he has, it was more likely than not to be against Nadal. It's not necessarily an astonishment, given that Roger also managed to beat Rafa on clay, so Rafa could also get a win over Roger on grass. However, this being the Wimbledon final, has a part of me sad that Federer lost, but a part of me is happy that the loss came against Nadal. I couldn't have pictured a more worthy player to take the crown from Federer. Humble in his victory, the quintessential nice guy, the boy from Mallorca on the journey of his inexorable rise to the top has got everyone hooked--even a die hard Roger fan, and may yet make a Nadal fan out of me. Roger lost to the upstart Nadal, only Nadal isn't an upstart anymore-he is a worthy champion.

I am sad that Roger lost the crown, but I am glad Rafael was there to take it.

[1] Pete Bodo in his most excellent review touches on this theme. Read that review if only for the title.

2 comments:

Somu Ghosh said...

Good writeup joy.

Puranjoy said...

@somu,
since when did you start reading my blog?
and why didn't you comment?

thanks :)