I KNOW it happened four days ago, so it’s old news, but I can’t stop thinking about THAT match.
Federer v Nadal was like something from another planet. Every now and again sports lovers are privileged to witness an encounter of epic proportions, one so transfixing we talk about it for ever.
The Iceman versus The Brat had been spellbinding eons ago, but even that wonder of Wimbledon was transcended by a contest fought out by two men at the peak of their powers.
Nadal may have taken the title but there wasn’t a loser.
I fell out with tennis a few years ago when the sluggers of serve and volley made the sport desperately predictable. If Lendl played he won. If Sampras played he won.
That interest was definitely rekindled by two juggernauts of the game who give every ounce of effort and artistry to every shot and don’t know the meaning of the word quit.
The fact I’m commentating on the tennis at the Olympics next month has tended to focus my mind too.
Everything that can be said about that Sunday marathon has been said, except maybe that somewhere in the world will be a wide-eyed youngster who couldn’t take his eyes off centre court and who has now committed himself to one day beating Nadal – and Federer – and becoming No1 on the planet himself.
That’s the beauty of sport. No matter how great a champion may be, one day he will have to hand over his crown, as Federer did so graciously.
It took the equivalent of three football matches and a period of extra time to separate two geniuses – few sportsmen could live with that intensity – and isn’t tennis fortunate to have living legends to enthral.