Back To The Same World I Left
I was fortunate that I was able to watch quite a bit of Wimbledon while I was away, sometimes to my wife's chagrin. One of the important matches that I did miss was the Nadal-Agassi clash. I happened to catch the score on one of the scrolling tickers while I was in Times Square. I was disappointed to know that I would never see Agassi on the grass again. That match was part of a two week period where the tennis world was almost turned on it's head.
As I returned home this weekend before the big Fed-Nadal final I truly believed this was the most important match tennis had seen since Federer won Wimbledon in 2003. Why, you ask? Well, this wasn't just another final and it wasn't just another match in this growing rivalry. If Nadal had managed to win this match, I truly believed it was the end of the Federer era in tennis. I'm not saying that Federer wouldn't go on to win more slams or be successful, but his era of dominating men's tennis would be over. Many would look at Nadal as the best player in the world and he would command a 7-1 head to head including beating Roger in his house. Roger's legacy he's working toward as the greatest player ever would also begin to be tarnished as he wouldn't even be the best player currently. On top of that, it would have to destroy Roger internally for any future meetings with Rafa. There was so much at stake here for Federer and so much to gain for Nadal.
However... Roger didn't allow this to happen. He played a solid match and defeated his arch-rival in four sets: 6-0 7-6 6-7 6-3. This was such a huge win for Roger. He claimed his fourth straight Wimbledon title, maintained his status in people's minds as the clear #1, and built some positive foundations toward future clashes with Nadal.
Let's not forget the great run by Nadal here to shock the world by making the Wimbledon final this year. He took advantage of a pretty soft draw and played great tennis for two weeks. If Roger hadn't been on his game, he had given himself a shot at being the first guy since Bjorn Borg to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon back to back. This was a great run for Nadal and he will be a serious threat at the US Open this year.
Tennis is also the better for Sunday's clash. Federer's win takes this rivalry a step further and I believe will increase interest even more to draw people to the game right now. We're all fortunate as fans and we should all enjoy the ride.
On a side note, another thing I saw while I was in Times Square was the Federer ESPN commercial on the big screen above ESPN Zone. I just figured I'd take a picture and post it here for all of you. I thought it was kind of cool.