Would you have believed it, dreamt it, envisioned it? Yet, we can savour it—the stuff of dreams, the embellishments of legends—another glorious chapter in the annals of tennis history.
A fitting ending to two momentous occasions—nostalgic yet novel.
An all-Williams final that culminated in Serena’s 23rd singles Grand Slam win and a Fedal encounter lasting a pulsating five sets that saw Federer reverse his hoodoo against his younger opponent Nadal equalling Jack Nicklaus’ golfing record of 18 Slams.
Roger ‘Tiger’ Federer, take a bow while Serena pirouettes with her trophy.
Vamos, Rafa, see you at Roland Garros, hopefully biting into the silverware.
What she said:
“It’s the way the game is played now. The two hander will rule, no doubt in my mind. Unfortunately, it’s a beautiful thing that’s kind of passe.”
Martina Navratilova agrees that as the game progresses it becomes harder and harder for a player with a single-handed backhand to triumph against two-handed backhand players.
What she really meant:
“A single-handed backhand player? Soon to be extinct—a museum for him or her, perhaps?”
What she definitely didn’t:
“Federer still rules.”
Just one Grand Slam final in over two years between the giants that straddle the men’s circuit. Yet fans and critics alike are terming it a revival of the Fedal rivalry.
Is it, really?
It cannot be much of a competition if the duo have faced off just once in the last eight Slams.
The women’s round of 16 has a threadbare appearance.
Three big upsets in the first week tells a tale of the unpredictability visited on the WTA tour—absent the Williams sisters.
Fans are so used to seeing Serena Williams perched atop the rankings that they failed to note the depth in the lower rungs.
Was it expected?
Yes and no.
Yes, because Nole is on an unbeaten streak, second only to McEnroe’s 42 in 1984.
No, because it was in Spain, on clay and against Rafael Nadal.
Image via Wikipedia
Rafael Nadal has been endorsed twice in the past few days.
John McEnroe has gone on record terming him the best athlete among the current lot of players; probably as good as his contemporary, Bjorn Borg.
He has rated him above Federer in that respect.
Soderling takes home the Paris Masters for the first time.
Monfils could not use the momentum of the crowd to make inroads into the Swede’s game.
The first set was an one-sided affair with the tall Nordic breaking twice to take the set 6-1.
It will be Robin Soderling versus Gael Monfils this Sunday at the Paris Masters but not before both protagonists overcame hiccups en route to the final.
The first semi featured Michael Llodra—on a hot streak—against Swede Soderling.
The initial set went with serve 6-6. And it was Llodra—playing with the foot pressed to the accelerator—who romped home 7-0 in the tie-break.
That served as a wake-up call to Soderling who started to find his feet in the second, hitting his returns nice and deep. But it was all bazookas and Llodra’s brilliance until 5-5.
Soderling broke Llodra to go up 6-5 and then served out the set to make it 1-1.
Scintillating tennis continued with Llodra negating an early break to come roaring back into the match in the third set.
The retirement of Elena Dementieva comes as a bit of a shock and surprise to her many fans. She was one Russian player who always seemed on the cusp of usurping a Grand Slam but just could not pull it off. She came close twice—each time losing to her fellow Russian contemporaries, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Anastasia Myskina.
Elena does have the consolation of winning a Gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Elena, how could you disappoint us so?
Elena Dementieva spent fourteen long years on the tour. Can the younger lot match up? What if success does not come that easy? Are they willing to struggle the way Elena did and the way Sharapova is right now?
Now that Rafael Nadal has staked his claim to being the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), let us examine the reasons why tennis aficionados are still leery of anointing him the heir to Federer’s not yet vacated throne.
Is it that he is a Spaniard not too familiar with the nuances of the English language?
Is it that he does not typify the usual tennis player? Is it that he appears to be a muscle-bound hulk?
Is it that he’s built more like a boxer or a sprinter?
Is that what blinds us to his ever improving court craft?
Or are we just peeved with the alleged illegal coaching by his Uncle Toni from the sidelines?