Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sun July 5: Greatest Wimbledon Final EVER!!!

I apologize for the lateness of this blog but I was doing what probably many of you were doing: watching the EPIC final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

A Wimbledon Final For The Ages
Okay, I admit that I am only 17 years old and wasn't able to see the great finals with Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi. But in at least recent memory, today's gentlemen's final has to be regarded as the best and arguably the best match ever. 

It's a classic scenario, two of the world's best players fighting on tennis's hallowed ground. I'd say this match had everything, and more. For the majority of the morning, I thought Rafael Nadal had it after winning the first two sets. I did say yesterday that this final would be Nadal's best chance to defeat Federer in a match other than the final of the French Open. 

Then the rains came and delayed the match for over an hour. With the championship so close to within reach for Nadal, the delay definitely broke the momentum, both physically and mentally. Meanwhile, it gave Federer the advantage. It allowed him to regroup and refocus. Eventually, he got the match to a tiebreaker, something he is best in at Wimbledon. 

After extending the match to the fourth set, both players held serve and Nadal performed better in the fourth set tiebreaker with at least one championship point in his favor. But Federer was able to comeback and play classy. He was able to get the match to a fifth set and a lot of people thought that Federer would be able to complete the comeback that once looked impossible. 

Even I thought that he would dominate the fifth set. He had so much confidence and momentum that I thought it would be inevitable. After all, this was his home court, the grass court of Wimbledon that he has dominated for five years. 

But those who watched knows what happened. Both players would hold serve until Nadal broke Federer at 8-7 and Federer eventually hit a forehand error into the net that sent Nadal onto the ground and everyone out of their seats cheering and roaring with great applause. 

Sorry that these were probably things that you know or saw but I couldn't help typing about them as I realized the significance of this win. Everything about this match was historic and I remember how competitive last year's match was. I didn't think it could get better. But as the daylight faded and the drama climaxed, you can only wonder what is ahead for these two in their storied rivalry. Nadal also stopped Federer's Wimbledon winning streak, which included five consecutive Wimbledon titles. I doubt Federer will be able to have the chance to win six in a year again, but then again you never know. Regardless, this match was one of the greatest in tennis history. It lasted well past nine o'clock and had the classic Wimbledon rain delays that will no longer happen at centre court next year when the new roof is installed.

More importantly, it had great tennis. There were the break points, the exciting shots that seemed impossible, the unforced errors and the climactic rallies that always had you yelling at the television. 

Overall, this was a great weekend for Wimbledon tennis. After yesterday's all-Williams affair, as well as their doubles championship, an American tennis fan couldn't ask for anything more. Then this morning, we got the match that every tennis, better yet, every sports fan wanted. And though Nadal won, it was clear that Wimbledon and tennis were the clear champions. 

Other stuff
Yankees finally won...Tour de France continued...Sri Lanka won the Asia Cup in cricket...and Olympic Trials end tonight. These are all things I'll discuss tomorrow.  

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