Sunday, July 06, 2008

Brava, Rafa!

It was such a fantastic Wimbledon final today, I'm not sure I need to say a whole lot. This is what I was saying earlier in the week: when the ultimate matchup is this phenomenal, who cares if it was a fait accompli? I really thought Federer was going to get bailed out by all those rain delays (and that disappointingly pro-Federer crowd), but thankfully Rafa prevailed.

I have to say, Federer's reaction to the loss was an interesting one. He was gracious and all, but he was also devestated, sitting there looking wrecked. Which...he's won this tournament five times already. He's still #1 in the world. All this loss proves is that he's not actually unbeatable. That there's at least one player in the whole world who can compete with him. The fact that Federer can be so crushed by that makes me wonder just how central that sense of infallibility has been to his persona. And it makes me all the happier that he lost.

Anyway, more happy photos to commemorate Nadal's big win:


ModFab said...

Totally agree with everything you've said, Joe...I've been trying to remember if I've ever seen a tennis match that was more exciting that this one, and all I can come up with is Borg vs. Connors. But I was seven years old for that, so I'm not sure I had much to gauge. :-)

I am an unabashed Rafa fan, and was thrilled to see him finally conquer Centre Court. But I too was struck by Federer's demeanor...I mean, he had to see this day coming, sooner or later, right? No one wins forever. And he's had a stellar career, and will continue to have many great years.

Part of it may have been the was incredibly tipped in Roger's favor, and maybe he felt bad to fail in front of so many vocal and ardent fans.

But as for Rafa. I hope this is the beginning of many more great moments to come. He's got the talent to be the greatest player of my lifetime (besides Navratilova, who I'm not sure will ever be equaled.) And it does hurt that Nadal is super-fine. (Love those shorts!)

Grunt said...

You know, I actually thought of you as I watched this. I thought to myself, 'I should tell that Internet guy, Joe Reid, he was absolutely right, the Nadal/Federer match was extraordinary and the Williams/Williams match was kind of blah.'

So I am awfully glad you posted so that I could say that.

You were right Joe. You were right.

Joe Reid said...

I have to say, I thought Venus/Serena was a way better matchup than they've had in the past. Emotionally speaking, there's still something missing, which I guess you can chalk up to the sibling mixed emotions thing. But it always seems like Venus takes the match all in good fun while Serena is way more businesslike and humorless, and it ends up just being awkward between them. I don't think Serena cracked a single smile, not even a rueful one. It's weird.

Gabriel: I'm glad someone else saw things similarly. And I'm with you on Martina, even if I only caught the tail end of her career. Love her.

Jared said...

Hey Joe, great site. I LOVE Nadal (and tennis) and so, for me, this was the best sports day of the year thus far. But Federer's devastation is completely understandable to me. He got tattooed by Nadal at Roland Garros, and that coupled with Fed's crap (for him) start to the season had everyone from Borg to Bud Collins saying this was Nadal's year at Wimbledon. Then Federer came from two sets down and served first in the fifth, so he clearly had the advantage, and he still didn't get it done. Ouch. I think he thought all the talk of his tennis mortality was premature, and winning Wimbledon again was going to be his way of proving it to himself.

What struck me more was the post-match interview (not the on-court one) where Fed seemed to be complaining about the darkness. Someone like Jeter would have said, "It was just as dark for Nadal, so who cares," but Federer said, "It's lose the biggest tournament in the world over maybe a bit of light."

Other notes:

1) I was also surprised and a little disappointed the crowd was so pro-Federer.

2) I'm glad the time violation against Nadal didn't come back. I think he got it at 30-all serving for the second set, and I was impressed he still pulled off that game. For the rest of the match I kept worrying he'd get a point penalty.

3) Loved Papa Fed clapping for Rafa as he hugged his family.

4) I love Martina too, but I'm a little too young for her and was always a Steffi Graf man myself. I was talking to my boyfriend about Steffi recently and how she won the most Grand Slams ever except for Margaret Court. I started wondering why we never see Court at any of the Slams, since she's not that old and is a huge part of tennis history. I never knew this, but turns out: bitch runs a Christian missionary in Australia; said Martina and other lesbians were ruining the sport; basically accused certain older tennis lesbians (Billie Jean?) of converting younger one; and other shit I don't even feel like typing.

5) Sorry for the long post. I have no one to talk about tennis with.

JS said...

A win to define a man and possibly his generation.

They used The New Radicals's "You Get What You Give" for the closing montage theme which I thought was very nice.

JS said...

Oh by the way, the commentators were sharing he title of an article written by Simon Barnes in the Times before the final:

"Centre Court extends Federer's lease while still advertising for new tenants."

Bo said...

I didn't expect to spend my entire Sunday watching tennis, but I can't complain. It was fantastic.

Thought at first that the fans pulling for Federer was the typical give us five sets stuff. But then when it continued in the fifth set I was annoyed. I love Nadal--his tennis (and his determination to conquer on all surfaces), his flair, his humility (whether genuine or a product of his challenged English--it was cute in the press conference later that he asked how to refer to the prince in English--he didn't know how to say "his highness"), and yes he's adorable.

I was struck by the interview between McEnroe and Federer. It was almost more telling not seeing Roger cry because John saw he was about to and cut the interview short than it would have been to actually see the tears ourselves.

Anonymous said...

YAY, Rafa!!

What an incredible match.

Felipe Rezende said...

I was cheering for Nadal too, although I'm usually a Federer guy when it comes down to these two.

Can't wait for US Open now.

Joe Reid said...

"I was struck by the interview between McEnroe and Federer. It was almost more telling not seeing Roger cry because John saw he was about to and cut the interview short than it would have been to actually see the tears ourselves."

Seriously, who knew McEnroe was such a soft touch?

jessica said...

I know almost nothing about tennis and I didn't watch, so my opinion counts for practically zilch, but I do know highly competitive people and they just ... hate to lose. For as charged a match as you described, I'm sure emotions and adrenaline were running exceedingly high. Devastation seems about right.

And McEnroe strikes me as exactly the kind of machismoron who doesn't want to "emasculate" some dude on television by showing him cry.

Grunt said...

On the other hand, I suspect if I had just lost the Wimbledon final I wouldn't want people to watch me sobbing about it on TV, so I actually think it was nice that McEnroe cut the interview short.

It was that passion to win at all costs that was missing from the Williams Sisters match.

jessica said...

Maybe I'm twisted but I kind of like to see the emotion of the players after they lose as much as when they win. It gives more weight to the game, to me, to know they're invested.

JA said...

I'm pissed that I missed this match because it does sound good, but I hate Nadal so... not that pissed. I know I've expressed this to you before Joe, but I CAN'T EVEN LOOK AT HIM. It's like he has an aura of hair-lip about him or something; he grosses me out so completely. I hate hate hate hate hate hate him.

Joe Reid said...

Sorry, Jason, once again I cannot comprehend the words you've typed. Weird.

And to think I held back from mentioning that Andy Roddick has a rat face last week.

JA said...

Its more of a wolf boy face than a rat face.

Bo said...

"It was that passion to win at all costs that was missing from the Williams Sisters match."

The lack of passion in the crowd is what is missing from a Williams sisters' match. The crowd is afraid to root for one or the other and ends up rooting for neither. It makes the match really eerie and odd. I sense a real passion to win from Serena, but more petulance when she struggles than I normally see against other opponents. And Venus is just cold steel when she's at her best, no matter who she's playing.