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Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Not the End of an Era
The Fed-Express has finally come to a halt in the Centre Court of London.
In what was arguably the best and clearly the longest battle between the two masters of the game we were all feted to a sparkling display of the most glorious tennis.
Rafael Nadal is the latest name to be etched on that golden Wimbledon Trophy and isn't he a deserving winner! Not that Roger Federer didn't fight back after two sets down. He came within a width of a whisker to winning it for the sixth straight time. But the nerveless perseverance of Rafael 'The Gladiator' Nadal stretched over close to 5 hours ultimately yielded fruit. Even the staunchest of fans from both sides would agree that both should have shared the trophy at the podium. So flawless was the script, so breathtaking every single moment of play, so terrific the duel, so awesome the effect of it all.
Many would speculate this to mark 'The End of an Era'. I believe Roger has more to give. Much more to give. Yes, there was an air of hurt and disappointment at the presentation speech. But it also came with an air of unexpressed grit and determination. If the man says, " I will be back next year" I reckon he really means 'it'. I will be mighty surprised if he doesn't finish his career a few notches above Pete Sampras's tally of 14 Grand Slams.
But then, let's not forget to celebrate the raw class, the seamless play, the lightness of foot of another great. That of Rafael Nadal. It takes a lot to get the majority to root for you in the Centre Court. Three back to back Wimbledon finals and one crowning victory. Nadal has now cemented his place in the pantheon of all time greats of the game. That the entire tennis following fraternity will from now on wait for a 'Clash of the Titans' between him and Federer on the grass-court ( or hard-court) speaks volumes of the powers of the Spaniard. It is born out of the assumption that the French Open is his for the taking for the foreseeable future. And that's exactly how Nadal is claiming Roger's territory. Fast and Relentless. Let we be teated to more such duel. And let the better of the 'Two Bests' win. Amen.