I was going to personally pen a few final words about last night’s match as well as this year’s Australian overall, but then I saw this from Allen. His words pretty much say it all. It was a beautiful event, capped off by two of not just tennis, but all of sport’s, greatest ambassadors. So for now, I’ll let Allen’s words bring us home on what had to be the best Major I’ve ever seen, certainly in recent memory.
From the Good Doctor Himself…
I am generally somewhat disinterested in the presentations after tournament finals. The players usually say the obligatory thank-yous to their teams, the sponsors, the crowds, and mouth a few complimentary words about their opponents. (except in a few rare cases with players whose names I won’t mention) But this was different. It was a few moments of remarkable beauty, humility, honesty, and sublime spirit. As great as their tennis was, when Nadal and Federer took the microphone, their words left me equally transfixed by their extraordinary generosity of character.
Both of them spoke from the heart, and what came out was beautiful. Both expressed their profound admiration for their opponent. It was clear that both realized they had faced genius on the other side of the net, not just in game, but in courage, work ethic, and fighting spirit. Nadal smiled in defeat and forgot nobody in his speech, least of all Federer, who he praised heartily. He realized that he had played an historic match, and though defeated, he had done all in his power to win but had lost to the genius and fortitude of his great opponent.
Federer was humble in victory. He admitted that he was surprised to have gotten so far in the tournament and that if it were possible for the final to have been a draw, he would have been happy with that result. He could hardly stop praising Nadal. He looked back at him several times during his talk, smiled, and it seemed that he wanted to share the glory of victory with his defeated opponent. He was deliriously happy to have won, but at the same time, was almost sorry to have beaten the stout-hearted Nadal.
These two magnificent players showed us petty spectators what it is like to be superb human beings as well.