Tennis: Nadal, Djokovic and Federer. From Roland Garros to Wimbledon
After the rain comes the sun … and Nadal!
El mallorquín won the 7th French Open and made history. Djokovic’s defeat meant he fell one match short of joining Rod Laver and Don Budge as the only two men to win four consecutive Grand Slam titles. The world No. 1 refused to put any of the blame for his defeat on the tournament officials. ”I’m not going back, saying it’s your fault and your fault because I lost,” Djokovic said. ”It’s unfortunate because I was playing better, feeling better, but he started strong. I started slower. But I don’t find an excuse in that. The better player won, so congratulations on that.”
On the other side Rafa was nervous and confessed he “wasn’t ready for the match until three minutes before”. The Spaniard’s mood and form had both markedly improved when play resumed on the Court Philippe Chatrier on Monday – and he broke Djokovic twice to bring the match to a swift conclusion and surpass Bjorn Borg‘s tally of six titles in Paris. The world number two, whose win takes his tally of Grand Slam titles to 11, played down the significance of pulling clear of Borg in the record books. ”The seventh is important because I am the player who has more today but the most important thing is to win Roland Garros, whether it’s the first, second, third or seventh time,” he added.
Gracious in defeat, Djokovic said of Nadal: “He’s definitely the best player in history on this surface and results are showing that he’s one of the best players to have played the game. He’s only 26 years old. We are very young and we have played over 30 times against each other. Hopefully, we can have many more battles in the next years.”
While Nadal was celebrating in tears and laughter with his family in the stands after the match, his main threat Roger Federer was joined by hundreds of fans at the inauguration ceremony of the Gerry Webber Open and the city of Halle officially unveiled Roger-Federer-Allee. “It is a great honour for me that a street is named after me,” said the 30-year-old Swiss. “In Switzerland and Austria I have a stamp. The street is something you can only hope for and it’s kind of surreal when it happens. I’m overjoyed to be forever linked to a tournament like here in Halle, not only through the victories but also beyond. That really makes me happy for the fans, for the tournament and for myself it is a great honour. Therefore, I am happy to come back in the next years and always be welcome. That is very pleasant.” The tournament director Ralf Weber added, “The people here simply love Roger, his natural manner and his confidential demeanour.”
In a wider context, the men’s game continues to be dominated by the Big Three. They now share 28 of the 29 slam titles since 2005. Federer has 12, Nadal 11, Djokovic five.
“The sport is experiencing some really good times now,” Djokovic said. “We’re attracting a lot of attention to men’s tennis because we have these two great players [Nadal and Federer], and [Andy]Murray, myself. This is good for tennis.”
We are looking forward to seeing them playing on the grass court at Wimbledon.
by Irene Montanari - RTR Sports Marketing In the pictures: Nadal at Roland Garros 2012 - Federer at Wimbledon 2011 picture by Flickr - Squeakly Knees and y.caradec