Spaniard will not have it all his own way....just yet
As if he was made from the very clay used to coat the surface at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal almost waltzed his way to four straight French Open titles, defeating the equally inhuman Roger Federer in three straight finals.
Paris may have belonged to the Spaniard, but the rest of the tennis domain was Federer's, until early last summer. Not only did the matador storm to his first Wimbledon title, beating the Fed in five classic stroke infested sets, but he also made his mark on the hard stuff, claiming the Australian Open crown from the Swiss maestro too.
Times were becoming hard for King Roger. Despite claiming the US open in between those two grand slam defeats, Nadal had now brought him to tears on more than one occasion. It appeared men's tennis was on the brink of a seismic shift.
Federer lovers the world over knew, that one day, Nadal would overtake their beloved, but certainly not yesterday or today. Many feared his famous journey to becoming the most successful player of all time in slams, had been slowed down. Some even felt it might have ended.
But the passing of the torch appears to have been postponed. Federer finally cracked the French code and became champion on the sands, while Nadal was sent crashing out in four sets by Swede Robin Soderling.
It also appears the Spaniard's all-action style is beginning to catch up with him. At just the tender age of 23, the knees that are regularly strapped, appear to have given way, leaving Nadal unable to defend his Wimbledon crown.
Just as Federer's demise at the hands of Nadal would have hurt his hoards of fans, so too will Rafa's injury hurt the Spaniard's army of followers.
But fear not. Nadal's setback proves he might just be part human. While Federer's return to his lavishly high standards will ensure that tennis lovers, and most of the human race for that matter, will have an abundance of enthralling finals between these two legends to come.
Of course, many in Britain will hope it soon becomes an enthralling three-way, courtesy of Andy Murray. But for now, the gold club of tennis will only have two active members; two lifetime members for that matter.
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