Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 Wimbledon - RAFA IS THE CHAMPION!

(BREAKFAST AT WIMBLEDON - Most people are content to eat Strawberries & Creme on Second Sunday at Wimbledon, but Rafael Nadal much prefers to chow down on the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy! RAFA!!!!)

It's been a long road, gettin' from there to here. But after his win in 2008 and his miss-due-to-injury in 2009, Rafa has retaken his place as Wimbledon Champion. Punctuated by a somersault and a double fist pump in front of the Umpire's Chair at the end of the match, Rafa steamrolled over Tomas Berdych 6-3, 7-6, 6-4 to take the title.

This result did not seem like a foregone conclusion at the beginning of the tourney. Rafa had his struggles early on. Two 5-set wins, coming from 2 sets to 1 down. A difficult draw including matches against Soderling and Murray. But Rafa found a way to get through it, and once the Championship match started, it became clear rather quickly that Rafa was firmly in control.

"Be back on my favorite tournament of the world here and play well another time, and not only play well, so finish with the trophy is amazing for me," Rafa said afterwards. "Just can say thank you very much all the organization, all the crowd, because when I am on the court what they make me feel is unbelievable."

(These are the champions, my friends. And they clean up niiiice in the end.)

Taking a moment to look at the women's side, Serena Williams won her 4th Wimbledon Title on Saturday, easily beating Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2. This is Serena's 13th Major title. At age 28, her game looks better than ever. She didn't drop a set the entire tournament and her serve was unbelievable. If she stays healthy and focused she could still dominate the women's tour in Grand Slam events for years. It's really incredible. American Tennis really needs her (and Venus, too) to stay in it to win it, because we STILL don't have a viable next generation of players on the women's tour to take up the cause. Where are all the young stars???

But back to Nadal! Congrats to Rafa on excellent play. He now has 5 titles for the year, a tour best 47-5 win/loss record, 8 Career Grand Slam titles and a healthy point lead atop the ATP rankings. If anyone has earned a midsummer break, it's Nadal. I hope he enjoys a couple weeks off, eats some cookies, treats his knees and watches World Cup - a tournament win by Spain would be so sweet!

Looking ahead in the season, there's really only one title still needed to complete Rafa's Collection: The US Open. It's not an easy feat for Rafa. The hard court is not a forgiving surface on his knees. It's late in the season after Rafa's been playing (and winning) a lot. But this year might bring a great opportunity. I'll certainly be cheering him on.

Vamos Rafa!

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