Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nadal brought down to tears in Australian Open 2009

Confused??? Everybody knows that it was Roger Federer who was all tears after he lost the Finals to Rafa. And who can forget the now famous words “God… its killing me” by Roger during the presentation ceremony, after which he couldn’t control the stream from within.

The audience on that day witnessed something incredible – the two best tennis athletes on the planet fighting it out till Rafael Nadal ended up victorious. The efforts of both the players who put their heart and soul, and everything else that an athlete could squeeze out, are worth inspiring scores of generations. I would even go to the extent of that becoming “a legend” in the days to come. But unfortunately, the cruel side of sport surfaced. Only one of them can win and the other has to wither down for that moment.

It so happened that Roger had to bite the dust this time as well as Rafa once again proved too superior. It was really heartening, though soul-wrenching, to see Roger break down during the ceremony. It showed how dearly he wanted to get hold of the magical figure of 14 grand slam titles, sharing space with the one and only Pete Sampras and the amount of dedication he put in to achieve. To go with Roger, he hadn’t done much wrong till the fifth and the deciding set. He played a tremendous game and at times he surpassed his own standards. But alas! It wasn’t enough against an inspired Rafa who desperately wants to prove that he is equally supreme on all kinds of surfaces and not clay alone. Who best than Roger to prove that point against? And he did exactly that.

Now, you must be thinking – why in the hell did I use such a title for what I’ve explained above – right? In fact Nadal was brought down to tears, but that happened in his semi-final match against compatriot Verdasco. He confessed with the media after that epic victory saying, “I was crying on the court”. It happened and I stand witness to it. That was the last game of the match and Nadal had three match points on Verdasco’s serve. One point was brilliantly saved and that was the moment when Nadal started to crack. The second point was also saved with another exceptional winner, one of 95, from Verdasco and Rafa cracked. It’s a pity that a double fault brought home victory to Rafa.

It’s the train of thoughts that goes within that makes anybody on the field. Nadal, in the semis, used all his powers to win and Verdasco seemed to have answers to break free and push the match further. Similarly, Roger, in the finals, used all his powers to win and Rafa seemed to have answers to break free and push the match further. The only difference is that Rafa’s effort paid off in the semis and ended up winning – the reason why we haven’t seen physical tears in his eyes and on the other hand Roger’s effort fell short and he ended up losing the match – the reason why he couldn’t control the emotional turbulence.

When somebody puts her/his heart and soul and are prepared to go any distance to achieve something s/he desperately wanted. And if there are hurdles not in their control stopping them time and again from achieving it, the agony is excruciating and if the hurdle is the same each time, the pain is all the more harder. And that’s exactly what happened to Roger and that’s exactly what Rafa meant when he said “I can understand what you are going through” to Roger during the award ceremony on the podium. Because, Rafa too felt the same agony during the semifinals.