Today, Roger Federer ended his drought of not winning any ATP Masters titles in almost two years by grabbing his 15th title at Madrid.
What makes it more special and ironic is the fact that this victory came at a surface which has been harsh to him to most of the time and against an opponent who is like a sort of thorn in his well-woven professional paradise.
Coming into this match with a head-to-head record of 1-9 against Rafa in the Red Dirt, Federer was touted a runner-up even before the match had begun, whereas the only thing assumed [if at all it would be] to be Rafa's downfall was his four-and-a-half hour semifinal saga against Novak Djokovic yesterday.
But then, taking into consideration Rafa's five-hour battle against Fernando Verdasco in the 2009 Oz Open and his immediate four-hour wrestling against Federer to capture his first hard court slam, almost everyone was more than convinced that Rafa could pull it again this time.
Federer's supposed mental barriers were also striked off against him in addition to his weak backhand, which these days Rafa is utilising to the optimum, plus his not so ticking first serve, etc., etc. With all such debilitating factors, Federer winning against Rafa was counted as an almost improbable event.
But predictions can always go wrong, and they did this time, when Federer won the match in an unimaginable, never before anticipated straight sets.
Much more than a consolatory victory, it was a much-needed break to the now seemingly pretty one-sided rivalry between these two giants.
Thus began the wagging of the tongues. Instead of giving credit and appreciating Federer's win, comments started flowing that Federer had won because Rafa wasn't playing to his highest possible level.
The match against Nole had taken its toll, his knees gave him away...blah...blah; the way it was being said, it looked as if Federer was and is capable of winning matches only if his opponent is a weakling when compared to him, or perhaps when he is grossly tired.
So does this negate all that he has achieved so far? That all his previous records and glory are a sham?
It looks pathetic, not to mention a huge disgrace to his playing abilities and profoundity
This is what bothers me—why can't some people accept when Federer wins? Why do they have to analyse and overblow the issue as if Federer's rival for the day has granted him a favour by allowing him to win?
Does all his hard work and effort mean absolutely nothing in spite of a well-deserved and long awaited dream come true?