As Rafael Nadal ran into the stands after a famous win in the French Open final, one got a brief glimpse into what the win really meant to the Spaniard.
For much of last year, he was dominated by Novak Djokovic across different surfaces. Almost every time, he ran into the Serbian, he would be defeated. Surely the question of whether Nole had his number must’ve crossed his mind many times. So when the tears started flowing after win, it was understandable.
“The quality of the Nadal-Djokovic has always been good even though this didn’t reach the heights that we saw in the Australian Open. He has worked on his fitness and work on some tactical moves to counter Djokovic,” said veteran sports writer Ayaz Memon.
But even while Nadal was celebrating, somewhere in Europe, Roger Federer must’ve been sitting with his twins and wondering about what is the way forward for him. The tennis tour moves to grass now and for the longest time it has been the Swiss Master’s favourite surface. Wimbledon and the Olympics lie in wait over the next eight weeks which could decide Federer’s place in the tennis firmament.
“It’s crunch time for Federer. If he was five years younger, we would have not been saying this. If he doesn’t do well over the next 8 weeks and by that I mean win at least one of the tournaments then it will show that Djokovic and Nadal have moved away from him,” added Ayaz.
“As things stand, Federer is clearly third best.”
Indeed he might be. But only a fool would count the former world number one out. And of course, in a very different place, the lesser-known stars were making their presence felt.
Dinesh Ramdin and Tino Best played superbly to guide West Indies out of trouble and then Ramdin, promptly let the whole world know what he thought of the criticism that Vivian Richards has dished out to him a while back. It may not have been the best strategy but it atleast got some weight off his shoulders.
Watch the entire video discussion between Ayaz Memon and Sports Editor Ashish Magotra