Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The End and Beginning of an Era

06 July 2008- history was made at The All England Tennis Championship Club popularly called The WIMBLEDON. Rafal Nadal ended the reign of Roger Federer, the greatest player of all time, on grass. Seeing Roger crying after the match, sitting alone, deeply lost in grief I couldn't stop myself from crying too for the loss suffered by the Champion. His defeat made fans of him like I so so sad :( Roger's dream to become the first man in hundred years to win 6 consecutive Wimbledon titles was shattered by the Spanish bull Nadal who himself made history by becoming the first man since 1980 after Bjorn Borg to win back to back French Open and Wimbledon titles. The match was an epic classic, the greatest match of all times which will always be remembered and spoken of.The score read 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(7-5), 7-6(10-8), 9-7 in what we have been told the longest Wimbledon final. But somehow while watching it felt if the match could go on because of the high qualtiy tennis being played.The first set was easily won by Nadal breaking early Roger's serve. The second set Nadal snatched from defeat. Federer broke early to lead 4-1 when Nadal came back to 4-4 and finally 6-4 due to unforced errors committed by Roger.The third set wen into tie break when Roger won it, he gained some confidence. The fourth set was won by Roger after saving crucial match points forcing a fifth set. Since Wimbledon does not allow a tie break in the final set, both players continued to hold their serve until Nadal broke Federer to lead 8-7 and finally 9-7. The match had ended and darkness loomed literally after the marathon final. In the end, tennis won.

Had it not been for Nadal, Federer would have increased his Grand Slam tally to 16 surpassing all great people like Pete Sampras, John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg. Federer had been unbeaten on grass for a whopping 65 matches but sadly that came to an end. But to lose Wimbledon which has been his personal favourite, his forte' always bring out his emotional side was too sad. When he won the first he cried. When he won the fifth he cried even more and when he lost 6 he was shattered. There is so much charm and dignity that he effuses that one just simply admires him. He was gracious in defeat wishing Nadal after the match, the rivalry they have will defintely go on for more time. And for Nadal, I just don't like him at all. He may be the King of Clay and now grass but Roger is a champion:)

Much has been written about Roger's mental state after a disparaging 6-1,6-3,6-0 defeat at at French Open final last month by Nadal. There is something scary when great people fall. I don't like it when people criticise a great player whether it is Sachin Tendulkar or Roger Federer. They deserve many more things than our opprobium. That's why I am still sad at Roger's loss. Hope he continues to win! Come on Federer!! Be the GOAT( greatest player of all time).
And something about the Wimbledon which is the best grand slam out of French, US and Australian. The Wimbledon is about tradition. The compulsory white on players, the pristine Centre Court, the lush green grass that is so exhilirating. Wimbldon has always thrown surprises. Whether it is Maria Sharapova's or Novak Djokovic's shocking early exit,it has also shown some great players. Last year Marion Bartoli won great hearts beacuse of her superb play. This year the wildcard entry Jie Zheng won great fans because of her impeccable play. In all, I just love Wimbledon and hope to see some great tennis in future.