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Rafael Nadal vs Lukas Rosol - Wimbledon 2012

29.7.2012: There is a definite buzz in wimbledon today. There was an upset yesterday, a monumental upset.

Rafael Nadal - Living Legend.

The name which has come to be associated with grit and determination. A man against whom you had to play inspirational tennis to win a single point; let alone a match. Rafael Nadal plays tennis the way it is meant to be played. There are no freebies on offer. Every ball is chased as if his life depends on it - and then invariably returned. Outrageous angles are created, the existence of which we were never taught in school. And all this, when he is in cruise mode. But every once in a while, comes along a stubborn opponent; an opponent who is willing to fight it out, an opponent who commits the blasphemy of believing he can win, believing that Nadal, Rafael Nadal, can be defeated.

The response: Nadal digs deep into his inexhaustible reserves, he shifts into top gear. Tennis becomes sublime. Time stands still. Gods wake up from their slumber to witness divinity.  

Rafael Nadal does not defeat opponents, he decimates them. When the match starts, there are two men on the court. As the match hurtles to its logical conclusion, only one man remains; the other is reduced to a mere shadow, a pale one at that.   

Lukas Rosol - _______

Well, who is Lukas Rosol? Ranked 100 in the world, making up the numbers in a grand slam, Lukas Rasol at best was a journeyman. This was his first Wimbledon. In his five earlier attempts, he had not managed to get past the first round of qualifying. His name, from today, will forever be intrinsically linked with Rafael Nadal. At the age of 26, he has lived out his greatest victory, his hour of fame and glory.

After 198 minutes of grueling tennis, Nadal was defeated; vanquished. But what does this match teach us? To me, it makes all his other victories that much more special. It reminds me that in sport, there exsists both victory and defeat and all that separates these two is a line so fine that it is often invisible.

It is days like these that make you realize how insanely amazing these guys really are. 

It is days like these that make you realize that they don't win by default, that they earn every run scored, every wicket taken, every goal, every point, every putt and every basket, that nothing ever comes for comes for free, never ever. That they pay for their seemingly effortless brilliance with years of toil, with sweat and blood.

It is days like these that make you realize that these guys are a tribe of men and women, who though live on the same planet, are a world apart from the rest of us.

It is days like these that makes us realize how very fortunate we are to witness these great men and women in all their pomp and splendor. Thank you.

Rafael Nadal: True Champion!
Lukas Rosol : Bravo!


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