I Supported Nadal, And He Won




Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

When I sat down to watch the French Open, after a particularly grueling day, Nadal was trailing Federer 1-4 in the first set.  Not the score I expected, or hoped for-wasn’t I a ‘die-hard’ Nadal fan? Would I have switched on the TV, only to see him crash out in the final hurdle to the French open title?

The previous day, I had watched Li Na script an emphatic win to become the first Chinese to lift a grand slam singles title. The win augurs well for Asia, possibly the first of many to follow. You never know, we could even witness a Sania-Li Na final, in the future. Or, a doubles win with the Indo-china pair as partners-dreams have no end, do they?

Having supported Li Na, and see her win, it was disappointing to see Nadal trail. And, the tide changed. I could see Nadal, chasing down every point to advance slowly, 2-5, 3-5, 4-5, 5-5. Wah, at this point, Federer was blowing his hands to keep cool. Then, 5-6 and 5-7-lo, first set to Nadal. Undoubtedly, it was a massive comeback, with seven games in succession. Of course, all because of me, whatever be the logic, for the turn of events.

The second set saw a rain interruption, more reminiscent of a Wimbledon match. And, the camera followed the players as they marched to take rest. That doesn’t happen in a cricket match, does it? Very unfair, I tell you. Anyway, the second set too in Nadal’s name, after a neat battle at 7-6.

Two sets, and was it all downhill for Ferderer? However, Federer being Federer, tennis God and all, was back wining the third set 7-5. No matter who you support, it’s always good to see a fight back, the joy of sports. And, the lion hearted Federer with sturdy forehands did just that, while Nadal looked tired and worn out. Was it a change of tide, yet again?

However, looks can be deceiving-would we ever learn that-and me as the lucky mascot, it was not to be? So, the fourth set was the last, and to be won by Nadal to wrap the match and lift the French open for a sixth time. A record equaled only by tennis great Bjorn Borg. Congrats, Nadal, for a truly deserved win.

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Merlin Flower is an independent writer and artist.

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