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Ragged Spaniard cleans Swiss clock

Rafa NadalI watched the Wimbledon finals with a fan who would brook not a peep of admiration for the adversary, regardless who was sporting the better form.

Rafael Nadal, to be specific, was a Garanimal-wearer who had no place even crossing Federer’s shadow. Feigning scorn, I couldn’t help but come to another conclusion about his tennis.

I agree Nadal looked a sleeveless fright with white srtiped extremities and wrapped in a billowy sail. But outside of the fashion concern, the young Spaniard accelerated the play at each stroke, that much was obvious. To my mind, he forced the elder Swiss to play the mole in a bout of Whack-a-Mole. Nadal’s strength differential brought the wall in so fast on Roger Federer, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I might as well have been watching you versus Muhammad Ali.

True, Federer showed top-seed finesse as he persevered for what became a record length match. He may have been more impressive than that, but I didn’t get to see it. In the interest of full disclosure I’ll admit the small Nadal-dominated segment of the Sunday match was all I saw until I was driven from the family room for my non-partisan enthusiasm.

Normally I like to favor the underdog. In Whack-a-Mole for example I would probably favor the guy in the hole, for animal-rights reasons. David and Goliath would be another matter however, now that I’ve seen the tribe David begat. Certainly when survival is at stake, I hope it is instinct to root for the disadvantaged.

Perhaps the TV-land many were concerned for the survival of Federer’s winning streak. That mindset may be what distinguishes the true sports fan. For me, in a sporting match meant to rank athletic prowess, it seems counter-productive to hope the lesser best wins.

3 thoughts on “Ragged Spaniard cleans Swiss clock

  1. To “clean one’s clock” means to beat, thrash, or defeat someone decisively. I would hardly call a match that went 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-7 (8-10), 9-7, lasted nearly 5 hours, and was hailed by sportscasters the world over as possibly the best tennis match in history, a clock cleaning!

    Nadal is 6’1″ and 178 pounds. Federer is 6’1″ and 177 pounds. Both are fit as fiddles so the strength differential is likely not an issue. In fact, Federer’s serve, the greatest test of strength, garnered 25 aces to Nadal’s 6.

    My only issue with Nadal was the loud unsophisticated grunting, and the sleeveless — hence the obvious big guns — shirt that showed disrespect for the staid strawberry-and-cream-eating tennis-whites-wearing Wimbledon tradition.

    Yes, I was pulling mightily for classy beautiful Roger in his quest for a sixth-straight Wimbledon title. But, I have to admit, my heart melted instantly when victorious Nadal fell on his back in disbelief and was reduced to mush for the remainder of the day. He, if not YOU, Eric, understood that the victory could just as easily been Federer’s. In cute tear-tinged English, Nadal said “I am very happy for me, but sorry for him, because he deserved this title, too.”

    This rivalry is not even close to over!

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