Talk about a no-brainer.
Not only is Rafael Nadal the Mr. Olympia of tennis, but he also just outlasted the greatest tennis player of all time in the longest Wimbledon final of all-time. Nadal, in four hours and 48 minutes, effectively displayed to Roger Federer how the guns will, in fact, get you.
What a week for Spain. First Euro 2008, now this? I’m telling you now, watch out for the Gasol brothers leading Spain to Olylmpic basketball gold in a couple months.
We all have ESPN, so I don’t need to tell you what all the analysts have been saying. This is the greatest Wimbledon final, and possibly the greatest tennis match of all time. I’d like to argue that the epic three-setter that my brother and I played two years ago on the Taft High School hard courts (finished on a whopping 74 mph ace that I called out and he called in) was better, but we’ll leave that for another time.
The greatness of this match almost made me miss my flight. I was in Buffalo (on my way back from Canada) and Rafa and Roger were on the plasma in the bar, about 4 gates down from mine. It was 6-5 in the fifth set when it was time for me to board, so I walked down to the gate. Since I saw no plane I asked the lady at the desk what time we were scheduled to board.
“You want to watch the tennis game don’t you?” she said with a smile. “Just be back in 15 minutes.”
Despite the unusually friendly suggestion by a flight-related worker, I still was forced to board when it was 7-7. My new best friend in 7A (he had a blackberry) informed me that it was 8-7 just before the flight attendant called the “writ of no electronics.” It immediately occured to me that Federer had served that 15th game, so Nadal must have broken him and was now serving for the championship.
Fifteen minutes on a prop plane later, we landed in Rochester and as soon as 7A got the all-clear signal from the flight attendant he turned around and shouted “Nine Seven!” On one hand I was disappointed I didn’t get to see the conclusion, but from what I hear the last two games were played in near darkness, so it’s not like I missed anything, right? Right?
Anyway, by beating Federer on a surface that you can’t make pots out of, Nadal has now turned this into an official rivalry. It’s great for both of them and, more importantly, it’s great for men’s tennis.
Rafa, with your flowing locks, bulging biceps, and propensity to teasingly wipe yourself down with a towel after every single point, you have unanimously (one vote to zero) won the coveted MCOW Award.