Sunday, July 6, 2008
Nadal Is Legend
In what many people are already calling one of the greatest matches in the history of Men's Tennis, world ranked #2 Rafael Nadal defeated world ranked #1 Roger Federer in the Wimbeldon Final, with a score of 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7. The match, at just under 5 hours long, was the longest final in the 131 year history of Wimbeldon. Words simply cannot describe what I have just seen. It is easily one of the most incredible sporting events I have ever witnessed; the match defined the words "sport" and "comptetition" - and then defied them - as the game moved beyond the natural into the realm of the supernatural.
John McEnroe, who won Wimbeldon 3 times, was speechless after the match. In McEnroes post game interview with the devastated Roger Federer, he simply hugged him and said thank you. No questions, no asking if he should have hit more shots down the line, or been more aggressive at the net. Just thank you - the way a fan thanks a superstar - thank you for leaving absolutely everything on the court. To Rafa, who demonstrated more mental toughness and focus than I have ever seen in a human, congratulations. I could write more, but its pointless. Just watch the replay of the match on ESPN Classic tomorrow evening - even if you saw highlights - because what happened at Wimbeldon today is something thats just so incredibly rare in sports. Two men, who are head and shoulders above the rest of all players in their sport - played like it was to the death. If they could have cut the trophy in half, they should have. But only one man could win it, and with the summer light fading over London, today, for the first time 5 years, it was a man not named Roger Federer.
After the match, Nadal, always the gentleman, always the consumate sportsman, said of his opponent, ""He's still No. 1," Nadal said. "He's still the best."
Not today Rafa. Not today.