Yes, I really went to that alliterative place with my title.
I think as a Federer fan I'm supposed to be sad that Rafa won and knocked my boy off the #1 perch just one week short of Sampras's record, but you know what? Rafa thoroughly deserves this one, and if you can play an entire clay court season without losing a match, you deserve to be #1. The way Rafa is playing at the moment is out of this world. The boy is back.
The Rafa that stepped out on court today was not the Rafa that stepped out against Soderling twelve months ago. That Rafa was exhausted and at the end of something that would prove to be a chapter in his life. This Rafa - this is Rafa 2.0, and nothing can stop him now.
Short of beating Federer in the final (which he has done so many times here it has almost lost all meaning) I think Rafa is glad it was Soderling he fronted up against. There was something symbolic about beating the man who ended his reign - and beating him so comprehensively in straight sets. Rafa hasn't lost a set all tournament, and there's a reason for that - he is head and shoulders above the rest of the pack when it comes to clay court tennis. When you read a clay court draw, I think you read it for the runner up these days. Because it's always Rafa and a bunch of guys not named Rafa.
And this couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
Congratulations on your win, Rafa. You deserve all the victories and joys that come your way.
Roger: older and not quite out
6 months ago