Well, yesterday was again a sad day for me. Federer lost to Nadal in a Aus Open Final in five setter. In the last one and half years, Nadal has gone on to win grand slams on grass and hard courts. With yesterday's win, he also stopped Federer from equalling Pete Sampras's record of 14 grand slams. I have never come across such battles on a tennis court in almost two decades of watching this game. Well, you can always compare Sampras and Becker matches or Sampras and Agassi matches with Fed vs Rafa, but the difference is while the odds were 50-50 for great players in 1990, the odds for Federer against Rafa is 0 today. Rafa has beaten Federer on clay in French Open, which made Federer and his fans say that Rafa is the King of Clay and Fed is King of All but Clay. That was certainly not arrogance from Fed, he is far too superior to show such kind of emotions, it was sheer belief in his game which made him pass that remark.
Yesterday, the belief was broken. For Fed, who stood through that gruelling Wimbeldon Final for five sets after having dropped first two and then trying to maintain the calm for the next six months enroute which, he lost to many unknown players, while doing the important thing of not shying away from loss, there was no surprise that he broke down during the presentation ceremony. It was clear in fifth set, that he had either run out of options against Rafa or run out of energy. The world had started regarding Federer as the greatest player ever on Earth. Even other legends like McEnroe had said that, Fed contemporaries said even if the match is on ice, this man would win it. From those heights, his stature is relegated to a great player who could not pass through the possible greatest players ever. I dont think it would be possible for Pete Sampras, Bjorn Borg, Rod Laver or John McEnroe to understand what is going on in Fed'd head. Because to understand that Sampras should have played an equally great player like Borg or Laver in his prime. I feel that the world has never seen two players of this class to come and play in the same era and with little age difference. This is evident as the two players have met each other seven times in a grand slam final more than any other pair of legends in their era. Though, an age difference of five is not insignifcant, still Federer is 27 and he started playing Nadal when he was possibly 23. In no way, can anyone say that Federer was too old to face Nadal, the excuse which Sampras could give when he was beaten by Federer.
Though, am sure that such matches are good for the game of tennis, still they leave an incomprehensible feeling with every match Federer loses to Rafa. Perhaps, this shows that am still a Federer fan and shall remain so. Not that I dont like Rafa, he is simply unstoppable. Sometimes, you like what is not the best at that moment and in this case it is Federer.