Well, that's too bad. Our Hero, Rafael Nadal lost the Wimby Final yesterday to Our Mortal Foe, Novak Djokovic. Novak won 6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.Despite going four sets and the usually slow pace of both players, the match just flew by. Rafa was down 2-0 before you even knew it. Probably before Rafa even knew it either.
I'm no Djokovic fan, but ultimately it's hard to begrudge him this win. He was just better than Rafa in this match. Clearly this tournament has always meant so much to him and he was thrilled to have his dream come true. It's not like Rafa hasn't won it twice before. Novak was already guaranteed to take over the No. 1 ranking from Rafa today, and this achievement really reinforces why he deserves it. He's only lost once in 7 months on the tour! He's beaten Rafa in 5 straight finals this year! That's just crazy. Gotta tip your hat... even if the dude is Our Mortal Foe.
Rafa just never really played his top-level tennis this match. He might have peaked a little too early with his win over Murray in the semis. Novak had more of an off-and-on two weeks at Wimby and had plenty left in the tank for the final. Despite a drop in his level of play during the third set, Novak played hard and won all the other crucial moments of the match. It was an uphill battle for Rafa the whole time, even though he really was playing quite well. Ah, well. What can you do?
Nadal needs to regain his confidence against Novak. He now has the chance to take several weeks off and rest and train and come back strong to attack the US Open Summer Series. I know he'll be back better than ever and hopefully I'll get to see him again at the US Open! Vamos!
Nadal has also turned into quite the philosopher. Here are some key quotes from his post-match press conference: