Tennis - the Greatest Game - In the aftermath of the Annus Horribilis...

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In the aftermath of the Annus Horribilis...

I was certainly not alone in feeling sad when Federer lost that last point. I immediately turned off the set as I am sure many others did as well. I have no doubt that he was graceful in defeat as he always is. That loss must have been the hardest of Fereder's career and many must have believed that it signaled the end of his magnificent career. What a delight it was to see him fight through the US Open fourth round match against Igor Andreev (OK, only afterwards)! That victory must surely rank as one of his toughest and best. It was even better to see him play the way we have become used to seeing him play in the final. His thirteenth Grand Slam title also ended what may very well have been the worst year of his professional life. Adversity, however, only tends to make one stronger.

Returning to the subject of this article, the tennis world is looking forward to years of intense rivalry between its two top players - that is to say, of course, if they can manage at all to stay at the top amidst the wave of rising stars (cf. Madrid, Paris, Shanghai, Murray). In a lighter vein, the present contest can be compared to the finesse of a Swiss clock pitted against the power of a charging bull. Although this may seem unfairly balanced, everything depends on the clock. It simply needs to find a way to turn back time!
Riaan Booysen
With close to two years having elapsed since I wrote the somewhat emotional article above, I have to admit that despite my stubborn refusal to become a supporter of Rafael Nadal, I no longer can resist. There has never been any doubt that Rafa is one of the best clay court players in history and that he may very well become the Greatest Ever (on clay!), but it is his character that has become a true compliment to the game of tennis, as is Roger’s. He deserves to finally be in the record books, and I wish him the best of luck for the future (on clay!).
June 2010
A last word on the tennis issue …
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