Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dignity in Defeat.

By winning the Olympic Gold medal at Beijing, Rafael Nadal has taken over at the top of the men's tennis ranking list. Roger Federer had held the No 1 spot for 237 weeks, a phenomenal performance by the Swiss master.

What caught my eye was Federer's comment on losing his prized top spot. He said

"Rafa played great to get to No 1. That's what I expected and hoped for many years ago when I got to No 1, that if someone were to take it away from me, he would have to play an incredible tennis schedule, win the biggest tournaments, dominate the game basically, and then like this he can take the No 1 ranking. So I think Rafa totally deserves it".

Compare that with the bitterness that flows from the mouths of Premiership managers after every defeat, and the churlish comments from politicians who lose office. Rafael Nadal is a wonderfully rugged, determined, athletic and likable tennis player who thoroughly deserves his new top ranking. And Roger Federer has demonstrated yet again that he is a truly class act, who has brought great credit on the game of tennis, which has been so contaminated by the antics of Conners and McEnroe, both great players, over the last 20 years.

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