Well, it was a great tournament and a long, exhausting one. Thanks for reading, everyone. Just a quick note about yesterday's post (right below). The reference in the hed What Would Novak Do? may not have been clear to many readers - it wasn't meant literally (it's a take-off on that familiar expression used by many Christians when, facing a tough decision, they ask themselves: What Would Jesus Do? ). I felt the play on that idea was really was justified on all kinds of levels yesterday , so I went with it.
Also, there was absolutely nothing "out of context" about the somewhat controversial "sour grapes" remarks made by Roger Federer. They were merely crazy, reflecting the temporary insanity that sometimes befalls tennis players, including and perhaps especially great ones. The suggestion that Roger "controls" the rallies, tone, or tempo of a match with Rafa is just plain bizarre. Again, no big deal. High performance athletes can be very child-like - and child-ish. I actually like that about them. Why not just have a chuckle over it?
And finally, I did not do justice to Nadal in my post, I'll be the first to admit it. I was just looking for what struck me as most poignant and interesting about the battle and the situation, knowing that the obvious bases - Borg, the slump, etc. - would be well covered by others.
And without further ado, let me bring a smile to your face with the latest Grand Slam epic poem courtesy of our TW Poet Laureate . .
THEY ARE THE CHAMPIONS
By Madame Highpockets, TennisWorld Poet Laureate
(aka Cilla Reid)
I’ll remember this Open for a brave Schiavone,
Dive-bombing pigeons and a glum Uncle Toni.
I’ll remember this Open for an injured Fognini;
Some called him hero and some called him weenie.
I’ll remember this Open for the slippery clay,
And Babolat balls that would just not obey.
I’ll remember this Open for Razzano’s bereavement,
Windy conditions and Chela’s achievement.
I’ll remember this Open for Maria competing;
She will be a force at the next Grand Slam meeting.
I’ll remember this Open for Li Na of China,
And Mighty John Isner from North Carolina.
I’ll remember this Open for Delpo restored;
His forehand’s a beauty, a fearsome swift sword.
I’ll remember this Open for a gluten-free Serb,
Riding the wave of a season superb.
I’ll remember this Open for NBC’s dissing,
Kim’s early exit and Srdjan gone missing.
I’ll remember this Open for Guga’s appearance,
Lisicki’s collapse; Ferrer’s perseverance.
I’ll remember this Open for Ana’s dejection,
Caroline snippy; Nadal’s introspection.
I’ll remember this Open for Murray and muttering,
Booing and whistling and cameras shuttering.
I’ll remember this Open because at the end
Were the four at the top, who had to contend
With the wind and the rain and the crazy French crowd,
But none of them folded and none of them bowed.
Andy and Rafael’s match was a tussle
Of cat and mouse magic, astonishing hustle.
The two traded breaks, but Rafa prevailed,
And into his seventh straight final he sailed.
Novak and Fed was a one for the ages;
They emerged like two tigers released from their cages.
Novak, once known as a shaky contender,
Had not lost a match since early December.
Roger, the spoiler, sashayed through the draw,
His losses to Novak still stuck in his craw.
They called him “old man” and said “he’s declining,”
So he tuned up his game and did some refining.
As darkness descended, the crowd grew more hyper,
Fed uncoiled on serve and struck like a viper,
Novak was stunned, but he won the third set,
Then took the fourth to a tiebreak; he wasn’t done yet.
The tiebreak was thrilling and so was the pace,
Then Federer sealed the match with an ace.
The crowd went bananas and everyone stood,
And Novak, with grace, said that Fed was too good.
The final on Sunday was quite a surprise,
But Roger and Rafa were a sight for sore eyes.
As they took to the court in that sunshine in France,
We knew that this could be their very last dance.
Their match showed us why these two are so great.
They held us enraptured and we took the bait.
This was one of their best and they took it to four,
And when they were through, the crowd gave a roar.
At the end, it was Rafa who captured the prize.
As his anthem was played, there were tears in his eyes.
A man in his element, spattered with clay;
He made history happen and he did it his way.
I’ll remember this Open for a rivalry glorious,
Where one player lost, but both were victorious.