Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Federer-Nadal rivalry

I can think of a number of interesting sports rivalries such as:

  • Mohamed Ali vs George Foreman - Boxing
  • Brazil vs. Argentina - Football (Soccer)
  • Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Montreal Canadians - Hockey
  • New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox – Baseball
  • Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics - Basketball
  • Barcelona vs Real Madrid - Football (Soccer)
  • Ahly vs Zamalek - Football (Soccer) - ayam zaman
and we had a number of great rivalries in tennis too:
  • Martina Navratilova vs. Chris Evert
  • Steffi Graf vs Monica Sellas
  • John McEnroe vs. Bjorn Borg
  • Andre Agassi vs. Pete Sampras
  • Boris Becker vs Stephan Edberg
but nothing as intense or enjoyable as the Federer-Nadal rivalry which has been going on for the past couple of years.

Many think that Federer is the greatest Tennis player ever. He is unstoppable on hard & grass courts. But Nadal is just amazing on clay. What he does time after time defies the laws of gravity, physics, and logic.

I am looking forward to their Roland Garros final tomorrow. The only other time the same two players met in a Grand Slam final three consecutive years was from 1988-90 with Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg at Wimbledon.

If Federer wins, he will have amassed 15 Grand Slam titles, and will definitely be crowned as the greatest tennis player ever. We would join the following greats as a Career Grand Slam winner:
  • Fred Perry (1933-34-35) [26]
  • Don Budge (1937-38) [23]
  • Rod Laver (1960-61-62) [24]
  • Roy Emerson (1961-63-64) [27]
  • Andre Agassi (1992-94-95-99) [29]
  • Maureen Connolly Brinker (1951-52-53) [18]
  • Doris Hart (1949-50-51-54) [29]
  • Shirley Fry Irvin (1951-56-57) [29]
  • Margaret Smith Court (1960-62-63) [20]
  • Billie Jean King (1966-67-68-72) [28]
  • Chris Evert (1974-75-82) [28]
  • Martina Navratilova (1978-81-82-83) [26]
  • Steffi Graf (1987-88) [19]
  • Serena Williams (1999-2002-03) [21]
If Nadal (who is now unbeaten in 27 career matches at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament) wins, he will definitely become the king of clay courts.

I will be cheering for Federer. (why do I always go for the under dog, although I do not like animals at all??) But a win by Nadal is fine by me too(NOT).

BTW, if you are wondering which players achieved the impossible Calendar Year Grand Slam, here they are:
  • Don Budge (1938)
  • Rod Laver (1962 • 1969)
  • Maureen Connolly Brinker (1953)
  • Margaret Smith Court (1970)
  • Steffi Graf (1988)
I did not follow many women's matches in this tournament but I definitely missed Justine Henin massive presence. She announced her decision at a news conference 1 1/2 weeks before the start of the French Open, where she has won the past three titles and four overall. Put simply, she realized she was burned out, and became the first woman to quit the sport while atop the WTA rankings.

The women's final is scheduled for this afternoon. Ivanovic of Serbia will meet Safina of Russia. I will support Ivanovic and hope I won't be 0 for 2.


Anonymous said...

fu'ad mohandis vs. isma3een yaseen.

nahoul said...


nahoul said...

Ouch. That actually hurt. I've just watched Nadal destroy Federer in three straight sets. Federer won a total of 4 games!!! Don't think anyone, including Nadal, enjoyed that one.

Anonymous said...

bravo ya ana though!!