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We’re after another classic, because that’s the only name we can call Nadal/Federer matches. Rafa defeated Roger 7-5 6-4.
It was the first time during 9 years of their rivalry, when Rafa beat Roger indoors, which says a lot how significant season he’s been having. This way he won 22nd match out of 32.
It’s his 3rd victory over Roger this year - previous ones include Indian Wells and Cincinnati quaterfinals, and Rome final.
Last time they both met in London, was during ATP WTF 2011 robin round, when Roger smashed Rafa 6-3 6-0. How different that match was, in comparison to the one we saw today. Rafa wasn’t considered as the hard court specialist, to what he is today, Roger was playing full season, not the shattered one we experienced this year. Roger later won the whole thing, Rafa didn’t manage to get out from the group. He hardly even hugged Roger back at the net at the end of that match, and my heart was utterly shattered.
Today we saw two players with so much respect towards each other, and so much will to fight to the last drop of sweat. Roger started very aggressive, but Rafa also held tight his service. That was until 4-4 when Rafa broke, but Roger quickly broke back and I started having hopes for a nice tie-break. Alas, Rafa was too good and we ended up at 7-5 in the first set.
Knowing Roger and his relaxed attitude in the 2nd set, I began to wonder if we ever got those 3 sets I’ve been dreaming about. I was right, Federror was calling out from time to time and Rafa broke quite early and didn’t give up until the very end. It’s not like Roger forgot how to tennis, but he didn’t manage to convert his break points into real breaks, and his magic worked usually when it was 30-15 for Rafa on Rafa’s service (equals: not when he really needed it).
At the very end I’d like to point out at Rafa’s behaviour after the victory. When he wins, he usually jumps, lies down, pumps his fist to the air, screams etc etc etc. Did he do that today? Nope. He smiled, fisted slightly his hand and ran towards Roger. He also applaueded him when Roger was going off the court. It shows how much respect and admiration he has towards the Swiss.
For Roger’s fans - we had an awful season. One Halle* title, a break up with Paul Annacone and so little tournaments when we could see our Maestro playing, that was tough. But anyone who wrote him off, well, they need to punch themselves in their heads with a frying pan, because Roger proved he can be competitive at 32, and 2014 can be very exciting.
To Rafa’s fans - we’re experiencing one of the greatest seasons ever. So many titles, so many finals, so many epic battles. During his knee injurywe thought we’re closer to the end of his career, but Rafa proved us wrong. Showed us, he’s the greatest fighter in tennis and with a pace like that he can be soon considered as the greatest, next to Roger. He’s ending year as Numero Uno but there’s always space for improvement, there’s always space for more record breakings and more classic matches.
Dear tennis fans. We were proven today that they are both the Greatests. And choosing between them is silly. They take the best from each other and that’s what makes it the Greatest Rivalry Of All Time.
p.s. when they retire, tennis should stop because it will never get better.
THIS IS NOT THE DRILL!!!
THIS IS HAPPENING!!!
EVERYBODY GET READY!!!
GET THE SUPPLIES, ASSUME POSITIONS!!
RAFA LEADS 21-10, BUT ROGER LEADS 10-0 ON THE INSIDE!!!
THE WINNER GETS MR. D OR STAN IN THE FINAL ON SUNDAY!!!
Kind reminder Rafa will be presented with No1 award in few minutes so you better turn on the stream/tv/whatever you have.
When he signed camera after win in doubles with Marc Lopez in Indian Wells 2012, his fingers looked amazing (am i really writing that???) and the look on his face was just adorable.
Please, anyone has this one?