One for the books
June 5, 2011 2 Comments
“What a frivolous title, Pete!”, the few of you who will read this might think. “You could use the same title for every Slam!”. Yes, I could. But some of them are more historic than others – like, this Australian Open. Though I was happy to see Djokovic winning the title and completely inebriated to watch Kimmie lifting the trophy, the Aussie Open 2011 will always be… only the Aussie Open 2011.
But this Roland Garros turned out to be something else. Yes, something else. We lived the expectations of watching the completion of a Career Slam in the women’s side and the extension of an already enormous winning streak + the crowning of a new number 1. Pure history.
And yes, we got history. But from different characters.
It all started on Saturday, with the final of the ladies’ championship – Li Na from China and Francesca Schiavone squaring off. Li was playing her second career Slam final (Kim had spoiled her glory back in the Australian Open), just like Fran, the defending champion. And, well, for more I hate this labels, history was made: the 29-year old, against all odds, I think (didn’t see anyone listing her as a top contender), needed two sets, repeated last year’s scoreline, 6/4, 7/6, and carved her name in the list of Grand Slam champions – the first Asian player to do so. A milestone of the new world order, that’s for sure. 100% deserved, that’s also for sure – not because she ‘carries the weight of 1.3 billion’ (and a few more enthusiasts), but yes because she proved herself capable.
Enjoy it, Na.
Then Sunday came. “The biggest tennis show on Earth”, one said. Federer vs. Nadal, 24 meetings, more Major finals than any other pair. Nadal was seeking a record-tying sixth Roland Garros trophy, the CLAYGOAT epithet and double-digits Grand Slam titles.
He made it. Because if history gets into Rafa’s way, I tell you, he will grind history away, hammering forehands and running around for four consecutive hours without even gasping. And if Rafa does that to history, you guess what he ‘do’ with Roger Federer. Nadal routines RogerFederers for breakfast. And he saves set points and triple-break points as appetizers. And now, a 7/5, 7/6, 5/7, 6/1 later, Nadal and Borg are tied. But since the Swede retired way to soon, the path is wide open for Nadal to step up and become the best player to ever walk on the shattered bricks.
Just to finish, some other milestones reached by Nadal today: 10 Grand Slams titles (only the fourth player in the Open Era to do so), 100 weeks as #1 (8th player to do so), 6th French Open title (the fourth over Federer), 10-2 in Major finals (must be one of the best records ever).
Streaks, Li Na, Rafael Nadal, and the French Open. 2011 will surely have a special chapter in the books.