There are days in your life when you thank God for being born as a human being, being gifted with eyes that can watch and being able to feel emotions. I remember one such day when India beat Australia in a test win at Adelaide and today was yet another day when I watched the two Champions play at the Centre court at Wimbledon. One of the champions have to win and it was the lucky one who won it eventually, but my champion for today is Rafael Nadal, the prince of Clay, nay, the prince of Tennis.
The match started with swiss holding the serve on love and looked like, O No!! we are here for yet another boring three setter, when mr. casual is going to sail through eventually and it just looked far more imminent when Nadal lost his serve on the second game and the Champion was up 3-0 and then we were presented with a quality of tennis that I have not seen in my life. Every challenge Mr. Federer had, Rafa had an answer and soon we were 6-6 Set number one. Tie breakers is Fedex's forte and looked like so when Nadal down from 6-3 was looking ominous to level 6-6, but the lucky fed managed to squirm throught the first set 7-6 (9-7).
Set number two started with Nadal serving first and from the trend I have seen, if you don't break Nadal in first nine games, you are going to loose the set and that is exactly what happened when Federer was broken in the tenth game. 6-4 second set Nadal. Match score 1-1.
Third set was like a boxing match when each player delivered their punches and it went to tie breaker, this time the swiss winning comfortably 7-3. Federer leads 2-1.
Thank God Federer started service in the fourth set and unless he lost the set with odd number of games in the set, he'd be the first to serve in the final, which gives a slight edge. Looks like Federer was in no mood to win the fourth set when a controversial "Hawk Eye" ruled a point in favour of Nadal and Federer was visibly peeved. To the 'naked eye' the ball really looked "OUT". Nadal completed the formalities of the fourth set with a double break and 6-2. Match state 2-2.
Federer serving in the final set. I couldn't hold my nerves and went away just to take a break from the tennis for a few minutes and when I returned I expected the scorelines to be 4-3 Nadal serving. To a kind of pleasant surprise, it was 2-5 Nadal serving. I knew the match was over. and it lasted a little less than five minutes after that when FedEx clinched his fifth title in a row.
The final scores (7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-2). And these scores do lie, todays champion was Nadal. Federer has lost to Nadal a couple of times before, but it was his horrible play back then. Today Federer was not going to loose, he didn't seem interested in loosing today and played like he _had_ to win this match, but the darling of the crowd was 21 year old spaniard, whose agile court coverage, brilliant passing shots, made federer look like a
"normal" player. Nadal made federer run everywhere and made him win every single point that he had to, to win the championships... Ultimately Federer won, but my champion for today is Rafael Nadal and they say his style of play does not suit the grass courts, guess no one would dare say that after today.
The story of the match was captured in a couple of sentences in the post match interview when Roger said - "I said to Nadal at the nets 'You deserved to win today, I was just lucky one to win this!!'"
Well played both of you and thank you for such a marvellous display of high quality tennis.