Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Here's Hopin' For The Open: Rafa is the CHAMPION!
So Rafa won. All our dreams came true. All the history that I had discussed in my semifinal post has been achieved (well, Rafa didn't quite get through the whole tournament without dropping a set, Djokovic managed to sneak in the second set after a lengthy rain delay, so that 50 year record remains in tact. But he still did pretty good for himself, I'd say.) He's now 1 of 7 men to complete the Career Slam and one of 3 people to win a Gold Medal in Olympic singles as well to complete the complete the Golden Career Slam (the other 2 people are Agassi and Graff.)
It was a great match, expertly played by both Rafa and Novak. The win finally pushes back the conversation as to whether or not Federer is the greatest player of all time to the end of Rafa's career instead of just the end of Fed's. I think it will be an interesting debate at that time, if Rafa can muster a few more years of excellent play on all surfaces.
Right now, Nadal can just bask in the victory. Obviously, it made me very happy that he won. I got to go see his press conference in NikeTown NYC the morning after his victory and he of course was very sweet and very happy and rather exhausted (plus NikeTown gave us all free T-shirts that say Vamos Rafa! Thanks, NikeTown!). John McEnroe interviewed him and it was fun to see McEnroe gush over him so much because McEnroe always loves Fed so much, and you can tell he was genuinely amazed that Rafa so convincingly won on the hardcourts of the US Open. Great stuff. Rafa didn't stay to sign autographs afterwards, sadly. Next time he's in New York, I have to find a way for Nadal to sign the Open Tennis Ball I got from him last year. It will happen!
It's been a very successful summer for a Rafaholic like myself. The French, Wimby and The Open all went our way in amazing fashion. Now I need a small Rafa detox which I'll get while he's chillin' at home in Spain and then when he heads out for those slightly random tournaments that pepper October and November in Eastern Asia. I know my love for him is a little too strong and my talking about him goes on way too long. I get sick of myself too sometimes. But he's a great champion of his sport and a nice guy and I find his confidence and tenacity inspiring. I'll never feel to guilty for my reflexive need to shout "Vamos Rafa!" Thanks for reading my posts!