Saturday, March 17, 2012


So here we go. Another edition of Federer-Nadal. No. 28, to be in fact.

They've played quite a bit of tennis, those two chaps. And I'm talking genius tennis. If you watched their 2008 Wimbledon final and 2009 Australian Open final you get my drift about the genius. I mean, I'm thinking, are these guys human?

I've always wondered if rivalry is a good term to describe what Federer-Nadal has going for it as an entity. It's obvious that they are the two top guys and they've played some great matches, some real high-drama stuff. But so have Djokovic-Nadal.

What makes Federer-Nadal stand out?

Is it purely total Grand Slams amassed? Is it just simple math like that? 26 total Slams is better than 15 Slams, therefore the Federer-Nadal rivalry is better than the Djokovic-Nadal rivalry?

We all know it doesn't work like that.

We are not creatures of numbers. We love Federer-Nadal because of artistry, because of drama. We love it because each player is unique, yet divine. We love it because it's hard to comprehend. We love it because we know it. It's like family.

We love it because Rafa and Roger play tennis as polar opposites. The contrast creates tension. It's like good vs. evil. Rock vs. jazz. Tall and lean vs. Muscular and thick. Lefty vs. righty. Gwen Stefani vs. Shakira.

Think about Wimbledon. The French. How Rafa learned the grass well enough to finally surpass even Federer on it. How Federer, in all his brilliance, was so reluctant to give that Wimbledon crown up. How rain came. How darkness began to fall.

It's almost like one could never fully exist without the other. The defiance of each in the face of the other.

Of course the "rivalry" has come down a bit in terms of intensity since 2009. Federer wins less and less now that he's older, and Rafa's still in his prime years. But never, ever, ever, ever, EVER when they meet are we not excited.

I guess it's different for everybody, but it's monumentally special for a lot of tennis fans.

It's always a great day for tennis when they play. You can embrace the nostalgia while simultaneously viewing a battle for Grand Slam supremacy that is very real.

They will not go on forever. Suns always set. Fires aren't forever.

Get them while you can.

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