Monday, July 07, 2008

Nadal's Big Fight

Or was it Federer's? He fought back to retain his crown but Nadal kept chasing him till into the last point on the ninth game in the final set, and finally dethroned the five-time king of grass court in an exciting, nerve-thrilling, highly suspenseful, extremely dramatic, power-packed, longest Wimbledon final.

For record's sake, the scores were 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5-7), 6-7(8-10), 9-7. What a match! Between the world No.1 and No.2!

Federer was almost out in the fourth set where he had to acquire 10 points in the tie-breaker to stay back. The third set had been decided on a tiebreaker too, and Nadal had given a real tough fight. But the final set was the most nerve-shredding. It had looked at many points during the final set (and I was praying for), that the reigning champ would break Björn Borg's record of five consecutive Wimbledon titles, but his opponent kept chasing him in almost every point and every game, till he finally screwed one wide and then netted the next, handing the cup over.

Federer's 25 aces couldn't save him from the Spaniard's energetic performance, running after every every shot, even apparent winners. Federer's excellent backhand slices were much better than the other's double-handed ones, but the Swiss could convert only one of many break points he had, could not take up some of the drops, and did way too many unforced errors, each net acting as a nail in his defeat. The two rain-breaks did not affect Rafa, but perhaps Roger could not calm down his nerves. He looked worked up towards the end, and even complained about Nadal's typical long moments before the serve.

"I tried everything," said Federer in his speech at near darkness. "Rafa is a deserving champion. He just played fantastic. It was the worst opponent on the best court." I couldn't agree more, Nadal did deserve this cup. Rafa showed an equal mutual respect by calling him still number one: "He's still the best. He's still five-time champion here and I only have one, so for me it is very, very important." But watch out kiddo, said Roger before parting with his runner's up trophy, "It is a pity I didn't win but I will be back next year."


The 12-time Grand Slam winner is often cited as the greatest tennis player ever, or on the lines of one. What do you call a 22-year-old Rafael Nadal who stopped five years older Roger Federer's winning spree on grass, having suffered defeat for two consecutive Wimbledon finals in the past at the same court against the same opponent?

39 comments:

sanjay said...

I would call it a sheer perseverance...though i missed the whole game due to interruptions caused by rain, looking at the score card, it must have been near-the-edge fight where anyone could have won. Personally, i wanted both Roger and India to win yesterday but both of them lost :(

pkj said...

> The 12-time Grand Slam winner is often cited as the greatest tennis player ever, or on the lines of one. What do you call a 22-year-old Rafael Nadal who stopped five years older Roger Federer's winning spree on grass, having suffered defeat for two consecutive Wimbledon finals in the past at the same court against the same opponent?

You call him "on the lines of one" for now.

Very good post :)

Amiya Shrivastava said...

Now This is what is called as breaking the ice.

ashes said...

Sanjay:

I didn't get you, why did you miss the game due to rain?

Yes, it was near the edge game in all the last three sets; the last set was especially near, and was very uncertain till the last game.

India had a pathetic defeat yesterday; Federer's was quite respectable.

ashes said...

pkj:

On the lines of the greatest tennis player ever? I am not that optimistic about Nadal, but yes, Federer is growing old.

Thanks.

ashes said...

Amiya:

By breaking the ice do you mean writing about tennis? Or watching tennis?

Amiya Shrivastava said...

I meant Nadal started to beat Federer in Crucial Finals!

ashes said...

Amiya:

Well, Nadal has been beating Fed in the past three French Opens which were quite crucial for Nadal, at least. Now the next Wimbledon would be extremely crucial for both of them. Lets wait and watch!

Anadi Misra said...

Yeah, that was a great game! I guess Federer couldn't have gone on and on, and who better than Rafa to put an end to it.

Makes you wonder how Borg would have been like? Its taking a Federer and a Nadal to equal what he did a few decades back!

PS; I didn't know you watched sports

ashes said...

Anadi:

It would have taken a Federer and a Nadal to beat Borg, but unfortunately Nadal was on the other side. Only if Nadal has cooperated this time. :)

On a more serious note, I never thought of it before you commented, but now Borg's record would remain unbeaten for another five years at least! And that too if Nadal wins it the next five times, which I believe is impossible.

PS: Well, I didn't watch sports till this Wimbledon men's final :) But am sure not gonna miss it now.

Shailendra said...

Guys, another record was Broken or can say equaled "After Borg Nadal is d only player to have won French and Wimbledon in same year" . :-)

I guess only 2 players have done that befor Nadal .

Nyways Borg watching the match that evening was sure that one of his record is at stake . :-)

ashes said...

Shailendra:

Na na, Borg's record is winning both the French Open and Wimbledon open in the same year for three consecutive years. Nadal has a chance of equalling that if he plays well in the next two years, which, I doubt again.

Another Borg recorded that was at stake (to be equalled) was of a winning streak of 41 consecutive singles matches. Federer stands at 40.

Well, there are hundreds of records for these players, and many of them get broken/equalled at every Grand Slam title. Some of them, however, are grand and very difficult to achieve, like this one of the five consecutive Wimbledons.

ashes said...

continued...

Well, yes, Nadal is only the second player after Borg to win both the French and Wimbledon in the same year, but that cannot be technically called as equalling Borg.

Shailendra said...

I don't wana go into debate of what records means..
Winning French and Wimbledon in same
year is a record of some kind and no one has done it in last 28 years..
but i think some one else has done that before borg. i'm not sure though.

and winning for consecutive 3 years only comes if u have done it for the 1st and 2nd year.

well forget it.. I mentioned those things b'coz u guys were missing on u r talk and according to me they were not insignificant record.

Anadi Misra said...

Saxena, Federer equaled 41,not stopped at 40. Simple calc., 7 matches per tournament, He won all 7 in the previous 5 and 6 here...so it makes it 41. Borg did the same, when he lost to Mcenroe in 81 which made him retire (plus I suspect he burned out).
You know he came back and I saw him play when I started watching tennis (88, Steffi's Wimbledon)....So i remember him as this rich guy, previous great, long hair, who owned an island, and played with a wooden racket (not many did that then)

Also,when you say won both Wimbledon & French, you are talking more of the recent past (not the Pre-Open Era). Two guys definitely make that list, Don Budge (1938), Road Laver,1962 (Only Grand Slam Winners in Men's tennis). Though Laver did it in 69 too, so I wonder if that qualifies too...

I remember from my Quizzing days that at least 4-5 people won both in the pre-open era (I believe that era prior to 1967)...I might still have that list somewhere in Kanpur (All open winners since 1880s)

Anadi Misra said...

Also, I think Borg must be really Happy...The chances of his Wimbledon record being broken in the near future are bleak...Rafa might break his French Open record but who knows, maybe Federer wins next year there :)

Besides, he can take pride in the fact that he accomplished all as one man...even though a couple of good players were there back then. Connors, Mcenroe had started out, Lendl I believe, Perhaps Wilander too...

You know, now that I google for it, it says 40 for Roger instead of 41...Wonder if he got a bye in the 1st round for some year.

ashes said...

Anadi:

Yes, Federer got a bye from German Tommy Haas last year, in the R16 round.

And yes, I was talking about the open era with my miniscule knowledge of tennis...

Breaking Borg's Wimbledon record is very difficult now...I think the only way that can happen is after both Federer and Nadal retire and some other great player comes in.

Cool yaar, you did have quite an extensive quizzing skills, my GK is wikipedia and google. :P

Anadi Misra said...

Nah, you are very good considering you have just seen one match :)

Haan in those days, there was no internet, so I had to be very patient when developing statistics...I had so many notebooks filled with that information...and with my limited resources, I had to depend on an occasional newspaper report, something heard on TV, or found in GK books

I was sports crazy...I think from 1989-1997 or so, I had records of every tennis tournament played since i started watching, all slams since inception, every cricket match (details such as stadium, umpires, individual player stats, How long Sachin will take to beat xyz record :P), soccer,TT, Badminton,picture collages of all sports persons (from newspapers and magazines)etc etc.

Because I was constantly participating in quizzes,I had all that info at my tips back then...Hence Don Budge, Rod Laver type of references :P

Thank god to internet, now people don't have to work that hard...It was like those pre-calculus days back then :D

Sorry, I tend to digress and ramble on, in your blogs...:)

Shilpee said...

Hey Ashes!! tnx for dropping by..yes have not written since long..but good to see so many new posts in Rambling mutterings..from celeb blogs to B'lore airport..movie reviews to sports..whew!! a versatile blogger..keep writing.

ashes said...

Shilpee:

Thanks a lot.

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