It was during the mid of 2007 that I started pushing myself to come out of the debaculous memories generated by the Indian men cricket team with their unanticipated exit from the first round of world cup at the caribbean islands. Dumbstruck I was on the day of their defeat to Srilankan team. Although I nonetheless supported them in public saying that everything was part of the game, some portion of me needed something other than cricket to come out of all that occurred.
It was at the same time when Roger Federer kept defeating Rafael Nadal match after the match, tournament after the tournament. I was not a follower of Tennis until then and knew nothing about these two players. But the series of defeats of Nadal caught my attention. I thought why the hell this person had been continuously losing to the other! With that curiosity I started watching Tennis. I just wanted to watch Nadal defeating Federer one day and I had no other wish absolutely. I saw Nadal reaching out to the ball on every corner of the court, including the thunderous aces of Federer, and on the other side Federer executing every shot with an ease of class. That was for me the class vs reach and I desperately wanted to see the reach win at least once!
The much awaited day came in 2008 when Nadal won the Wimbledon final after a marathon match against his rival, Federer. I enjoyed the match to the fullest and never looked back since then. The wish I had to watch at least one win of Nadal expanded itself into watching final after final, win after win Nadal went through. Since then and till date, Tennis has been one of my favorite sports to watch.
Couple of years back when these two champions reduced their pace in the tennis arena and of course with the arrival of the champions like Djokovic and others, I too started to stay away from watching tennis. For a while I enjoyed watching Djokovic winning, who had also been losing to one or the other champion in earlier matches I saw. Lately as Djokovic is inured and as no other interesting rivalry has come up, I almost stopped watching tennis with interest.
All of a sudden, one fine day I woke up to the news that Federer and Nadal would be playing the Australian open final. That ignited me once again. All over again, Tennis became interesting. Waited for the final desperately and watching it to again witness the reach losing to the class yet again! This time, it was a bit aged class and a bit aged reach! Well, however their desperation to win remained as young and energetic it used to be few years ago.
I'm truly inspired by the way Federer and Nadal came back to the glory all over again. Now that they have played two more ATP tour finals and on both of them Federer won, the earlier-like wish started in me, and that is to watch Nadal winning. All my enthusiasm is now shifted towards the French open, the grand slam that introduced Rafeal Nadal to the world. The nine-time champion seems to be in right physical fitness, though not physiological fitness yet regained I guess. I will have to wait and watch what this year's French open has in store for Rafa!
Congratulations Roger Federer for the streak of successes and thank you for making us once again believe that class can make a come back anytime, provides one keeps trying to give his or her best. And Rafa, congratulations for the come back from career-threatening injury. No one knows better than you that reach can beat class given the day and put-in efforts, all the very best for the rest of the season.
Looking forward to following this ever sportive-rivalry for a few more years!