Cruel mean woman = Nadal vs. Wounded child = Federer
Nothing was more defining of the legacy that Roger Federer will have to live with than the winners ceremony at the Australian open early last Sunday.
Staying awake until 2:30 a.m on Sunday I was hoping that Federer would finally take down Nadal because he had yet to loose to him in a hard court grand slam final. You notice how there are such little places or surfaces that he has not been beaten by his arch rival and this was the last straw. Federer came out of the gates and was nicely broken in the first game but broke back in the second. So both men were shaky but Federer had to have the edge as he didn’t play a 5 hour semifinal match.
Nadal looked crisp and won the first set as Federer was unable to again unable to hold his serve at the end of the set and I believe he was broken 3 times in the set overall. Not a very auspicious beginning. Over the course of the match they kept giving and taking cracking blows and neither showed much signs of wearing. Federer won the second set and seemed to have some momentum. Fed had about 10 break points in the third set but did not capitalize on Nadal’s mistakes and was forced into a tie break. Fed made too many errors and Nadal claimed the tie break. The story of the match so far was Roger’s inability to serve a high percentage. He went as low as like 40% first serves in the second set but managed to win that set. For the match he ended up with a 52% first serve percentage. Horrible stats for someone who knew he had to serve well in order to beat Nadal.
Throughout the match I saw the most unbelievable gets and shots I have ever seen. Both players showed why they were the cream of the crop and produced some of the most amazing points I had ever seen. Federer to me still has the best forehand and used it greatly to his advantage and won a great deal of his points thanks to that side. He firmed up his backhand as well and kept it flatter and I thought for a while that he had changed and was playing smart and could finally beat Rafa. He used all these to his advantages and won the fourth set and pushed it to a deciding 5th.
Federer came out flat and I had a really bad feeling. After Nadal went up 4-1 I couldn’t watch my idol any more and turned of the television and went of to to sleep hoping to dream of a better result.
Nope, I couldn’t even come up with a dream that had a different solution and Roger was beaten 6-2 in the deciding set. I would later watch the highlights of the trophy presentation and see Roger come to tears and couldn’t even complete his sentences. I felt disgusted and did not know who I was seeing. It wasn’t the 13 time grand slam champion but a mere child who couldn’t move the rock that was Rafa Nadal.
In the end Nadal proved that he was the best indeed and that the era of Federer complete dominance. I have to this point despised Nadal for being the one hump that Roger couldn’t go over and kept him from the title of greatest ever, but I have realized that he isn’t going away and he has a better shot of gaining that title then Roger does.
I will still cheer for Federer in future events but will never forget the images of him crying holding on to the runner up trophy, jealous of Nadal’s abilities and his own stubbornness to adapt to his toughest opponents weaknesses.
Nothing is more defining then the pictures below:
Oh how hard the great fall……