04 July 2008

Pour me another round

As everyone wanted and expected, it's Nadal v. Federer again in the Wimbledon final for the third year in a row and the sixth time overall in a major. Both players have blown through the tournament losing only one set combined (Nadal, to talented Latvian youngster Ernests Gulbis), Rafa like a hurricane, Roger like a slow, rising flood. They've only faced three tie-breaks apiece. Federer has had his worst season since 2003, but coming home to the lawns where he's won five straight titles seems to have made him whole again. Nadal, meanwhile, continues to improve his grass-court game, and more than a few observes think he's ready to punch the ticket and knock off Federer after taking him to five sets in last year's final.

If you're even a little bit of a tennis fan, you just cannot afford to miss this match. It's one of the great sports rivalries of our time; the perfect clash of elegance and athleticism. And, with Federer likely facing the downside of his career, you can't take for granted how many more matches you'll see them play in their prime. I don't think it's hyperbole to say this could be one of the all-time great matches in tennis history. It's already one of the most anticipated.