Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The rivalry to die for

There is something poetic about the rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. They have played umpteenth time and every match brings enthusiasm, rejuvenation or just a new life to tennis. If I die tomorrow, I will totally tell everyone happily that I was blessed to see Novak, Rafa and Roger in same era. The fierce competition, the rivalry , the elegance, the athleticism and just being human. Every sports produces finest athletes and comparing athletes across different sports is not new. Eventually sports is nothing but skill which you hone over the years, but there is also a factor of talent and many may disagree with me, but yes the hard work these players can put in. 

A final before a final , that's how I describe tomorrow's match between Novak and Rafa, The two of greatest competitors ever born to play the beautiful game of tennis. Each others' fans are ready with their swords to dis each other and speculate who will win, but I just want to enjoy those beautiful ground strokes, those backhand shots or those drop shots on the beauty of clay court in Paris. If Vincent Van Gogh was alive, he would totally describe this match with The Starry night. 

Rafa, the undisputed king of clay court in Paris, has been immensely talented for many years, but his recent struggle with his body is very inevitable. This is the first time in many years, he is without a clay title while entering into Roland Garros. The struggle before the French Open was very much making him vulnerable to fall to any player, but current form has been staggering, specially in this tournament. The constant struggle and win over it only reminds me of the Irish poem 
 Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.
His unbreakable record on the red clay is with him, I hope that gives him the confidence. Five-set matches are a different beast altogether compared to matches in ATP 1000 tournaments. Whether it is his elegant double handed backhand or his pre-match rituals , he has won hearts every where.

For a decade Federer and Rafa dominated tennis world on respective courts of grass and clay, here came another king of hard court who probably did everything to conquer other two warriors, but it was not enough till he changed his diet in 2010. Novak has become unstoppable force in last 4 years. His unbeatable record this year has been stupendous and probably he will overcome himself in that record from his 2011 record. His ability to come back from behind to beat his opponent with fatigue and his return is very well known. He has been great first server. Novak's overall strength in tennis is not just physical, but it is also mental where he has practiced Yoga for years and now he looks lethal on tennis court.  
Another morning, another match between the two great warriors with different style and attitude towards the game, but hard core lover for the game. This French open has been revelation in the sense how top 10 players have been consistent with their ability to win matches on different surfaces. I don't like to speculate or nor I care about the result. I am ready to get enthralled for great strokes, rallies and some great tennis. 
Go Rafa, Go Novak

P.S. - The images have been copied from wikipedia (Rafa) and Telegraph.co.uk (Novak) websites. 

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