Roger Federer was left wondering where will the No 14 come from as he was beaten yet again by his nemesis Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in 5 thrilling sets. The quality of tennis was outstanding at times but the result crushingly familiar for Federer. Nadal may actually claim to be a better all court player than Federer, having won 3 slams on different surfaces. Even Federer hasn’t managed that and barring injuries to Nadal, the French Open trophy looks like a distant dream.
Andy Roddick had famously commented ‘ I need to win once in a while to call it a rivalry’, when questioned about his tennis rivalry with Federer. Federer may not say it but coming out second best to Rafa 5 times in a row gives the same deja vu feeling. The last time Federer won against Nadal was in November 2007. And Nadal is improving consistently where Federer seems to be caught in a rut. The vintage Federer has gone missing some where and though we see some glimpses of his mojo, it doesn’t seem like the same anymore.
Maybe it’s all in the mind for Federer when playing against Nadal is concerned. The only way to equal and then surpass Sampras’s record is hope. The hope that Nadal is beaten by some one else. The hope that Nadal gets injured. Or maybe to get back that mojo, the motivation to improve. Nadal’s irresistible march to Tennis greatness continues. Time will tell if Federer managed to slow the march down.
Posted by Rahul