Tuesday, February 03, 2009
While you were sleeping on Sunday Morning dreaming of the beer and food you were going to consume durign the Super Bowl, something happenned. A Man, a Legend was Officially Dethroned. In knocking off Roger Federer in the fifth set of the Australian Open finals Rafael Nadal grasped the tennis crown in his hands and firmly placed it on his head.
Now Rafa is not just The King of Clay, he is one of only 4 men's tennis players to own Grand Slams on three different surfaces. He, like Roger, is missing just one Major trophy on his mantlepiece. Unlike Roger, though, he just proved he could get it done on a hardcourt. Meanwhile, Roger needs to get by Rafa on the Clay which looked light years away after the 6-1 6-3 6-0 beatdown in Paris last year. The biggest difference between the two? Rafa owns Roger.
Rafa has defeated Roger in 5 of their 7 grand slam finals matches in addition to his dominance at lower courts. He comes up big at the biggest moments. On Sunday, it was actually Roger who had more total points (174-173), but not the big ones of course. Rafa converted 7 of his 16 break points in comparison to Roger who converted just 6 of his 19 chances. Roger fell apart in the 3rd set tie breaker, even double faulting to end the set. It all came down to the 5th and final set between the best 2 players on the planet. The momentum laid squarely at the feet of Roger, but in the end Rafael Nadal, the best player on the planet, the most clutch player on the planet, rallied up his 8th wind and knocked Roger's attempt to tie Pete Sampras's Major Record into the dumpster.