Since our Wednesday Sports guy has taken a bit of timeout, I have taken it upon myself to talk about a historic event that took place just this morning.
Now most of you that know me, know that I am passionate about tennis. If you dig a little deeper, not too much, you will find that my favorite player is Rafael Nadal. As of this morning Rafa won his 7th French Open title! This is an unprecedented number, and breaks Bjorn Bjorg’s record of the most French Open’s won by a single man.
For those of you who do not know the sport of tennis that well, the French Open is one of the 4 big tournaments of the year, called a Grand Slam. The other three are, Wimbledon, The U.S. Open, and The Australian Open. Wimbledon is played in London on a court of grass, it starts in two weeks. The U.S. Open is played in New York, New York, on hard court (most courts you see around your neighborhood) in September. The Australian Open is played in Sydney, on a plexiglass/hard court combo, in January. The French Open that just finished, is played in Paris, and on a court of orange clay. These are the four big tournaments of the year, all on different surfaces that play differently, and all in different weather conditions. Making tennis one of, if not the most, toughest sport in the world, but that argument is for another Monday.
Anyways, today Rafa beat his recent rival Novak Djokovic, in a rainy and honestly anti – climatic finish. In January, these two players battled for 6 hours, I repeat 6 STRIAGHT HOURS, at the final of the Australian Open. In what other sport are you hitting a ball as hard as you can, and giving everything you have to beat the guy on the other side for 6 hours?! Djokovic prevailed in the end, and I was heart broken. It was an incredible display from both men. That final marked the third Grand Slam Final in a row that Novak beat Rafa. Making today’s triumph that much sweeter. But following up that match was pretty impossible. I hate Djokovic, but I am not going to deny that he is an unbelievable tennis player. The physicality of beating Djokovic, Nadal already possessed, but overcoming his past defeats to Novak, and today’s pressure, mentally, was a different task entirely. Spanning over two weeks, with a final that took two days (rain delays), and four sets, Rafa finally held up that trophy.
Rafa now has 11 majors, and his biggest tasks of the year are yet to come. We have Wimbledon starting in two weeks. Last year Djokovic beat Rafa in that final, and after today’s match I believe Rafa has his “Mojo” back.