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"It little profits that an idle king, By this still hearth, among these barren crags, Match'd with an ag├Ęd wife, I mete and dole Unequal laws unto a savage race, That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me."

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Rafael "Sachin" Nadal

Will he or won't he? That was the question. But young Rafael Nadal from Mallorca (?) took advantage of an erring Federer to close out in four sets what was touted to be the game of the year. The match wasn't a classic by any standards, but Nadal played with a passion which anyone other than a Spaniard would have been able to display.



Friday's match was the first time I saw a full game featuring Nadal. He's got really powerful ground-strokes. Of course, you can't beat Federer without matching him stroke for stroke right?



The one thing that was clearly visible was that Nadal was egging himself on. With every point he won, it seemed as if he felt he was nearing closer to meeting Puerta in the final. Every passing shot, every winner was followed by a pump of the fist or a jump.



I don't know why, but I was reminded of Sachin Tendulkar. Nadal wasn't cheeky, but he brought that boyish enthusiasm, that burning passion of a teenager to what's otherwise a gentleman's game. As one commentator remarked, the birthday boy was playing tennis with the heart of a footballer. He confirmed this when he won a crucial break (to clinch the third set, I think), leaping up high in the air, half-knowing that he was going to return to Philippe Chatrier on Sunday.



He'll need one on Sunday too... albeit a giant leap!

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