The bull has triumphed!

I’m dancing on Cloud 9 since last night and obviously I won’t be stopping and coming down any soon.

Rafael Nadal had just won his fifth Roland Garros title last night – all without dropping a single set. It’s his 40th career title, his seventh Grand Slam, won this year’s “Clay Slam”, set a new record of 18th Masters title, and re-gaining the number 1 spot, all of which he achieved three days after his 24th birthday!!! Whew, and the world suddenly seems to be right, at least in the tennis world of Rafa and us, his fans.

Be calm. I am going to win.

– Rafael Nadal, Wimbledon finals 2008                  
Elizabeth Kaye quoted him saying this to his Uncle Tony and Team Rafa in the locker room while waiting for the game to resume at the rain-delayed Wimbledon 2008 finals match against Roger Federer. Read the whole article here – Zen and the Art of Rafael Nadal – a wonderfully written piece about one of the greatest sportsmen of our time.

This quote showed Rafa’s character and the moment I saw it, it quickly became my mantra throughout the tournament. I honestly didn’t think Robin Soderling will win. I was not disappointed; I knew Rafa had already set his mind. Last night’s finals match showed a cool, calm, and collected Rafa. Cool as he might have been last night but he sure did went out there on a mission: to destroy the bird (Robin) and the mission was completed in a very convincing fashion. Rafa didn’t let his nerves bother him again. Robin Soderling had some brilliant moments showing his thumping shots there but, like Nicolas Almagro, it wasn’t enough to even win him a single set; he had a lot of break points but Rafa wouldn’t let him.Clearly, Rafa means business and when Rafa means business, we saw why he is the best defensive and offensive player there is. After the second set, Robin is seen walking slowly and tiredly towards his chair. It gave me an impression of a beaten man about to begin the third set.
It was an emotional experience to see Rafa fall down on the clay in celebration of his win, and later on, him sobbing and heaving in between sobs behind the towel. It was the first time I saw him cry after a game and it is quite understandable. Going up against the only player to have beat him at RG and winning it means so much more to him, considering the circumstances of his performance in 2009. It is awesome to see him again lift and bite the RG trophy he so deserves. It goes to show that when Rafa is 100% fit there is no one who could stand in his way at the RG. I hope this will shut all Rafa doom-sayers and Uncle Tony hecklers out there. 
The Order has been restored, sports analysts/writers say. Indeed, as Rafa is, once again, the King of Clay. I know my friends Ana and Lui will agree with me when I say that us fans have had a great ride with Rafa, so far, and that we all can’t wait for the rest of the year to unfold in the tennis world.
Now, it’s on to the green, green grass; Rafa has a second Wimbledon title to chase.
Imagine the delight of the French audience when Rafa spoke a bit of French during the awarding ceremony. By doing so, he not only has reclaimed his Roland Garros title but also regained the hearts of the French tennis fans.

7 thoughts on “The bull has triumphed!

  1. Fab tribute to Rafa, Z! I read that article you linked up, and I got teary eyed again.. I’ve been like this since last night. Hayy, I wish I’d have a son like Rafa..{seriously..}

  2. Thanks, Lui.
    Ako rin, I got teary-eyed when I read it before his semis match against Almagro. I want to have son named Rafa, too hihihi. Ang galing ng article, di ba? Not only did it show to us one aspect of Rafa’s personality but also how his Uncle Tony have moulded Nadal not only as the King of Clay, but into a man of great character. I so envy Elizabeth Kaye for spending time with Rafa. I really have to get my sports writing career going. Who knows this is my niche? ahahaha, asa pa. But I wouldn’t mind writing blog posts that are Rafa-related 🙂

  3. Yes!! I was also sort of shocked when I heard Rafa say something more than Bon Jour in French! He definitely won many new hearts with that!
    When Soderling was speaking, I actually expected him to say, well, I may win here next year, third luck charm, but only if Rafa isnt playing…I think that due to the fact he beat him last year in an early round, he thought he wouldnt have problems to deal with him now and that RG is his…but Robert, I really dont know what you were thinking :)1
    I can hardly wait now to see his hunger on grass!

    PS. Did you notice that little girl who held Nadal’s hand while escorting him to the podium where he was about to take his trophy? Aghhh, i was sooo envious :))

  4. Robert? Who’s Robert? That’s my husband’s name! *lol*

    I agree, I think Robin was a bit over-confident coming to RG – and to the finals – because of that one and only match where he beat Rafa. Not to sound repetitious but Robin was only able to do so because Rafa was having problems with his knee and he’s dealing with his parents’ separation at that time. But this year, he was able to wrestle these demons with the help of Uncle Tony, he played better than ever, even completing the Clay slam! With Rafa winning the three masters prior to RG should’ve been a warning sign for Robin. Honestly, he didn’t stand a chance at all in the finals. Did you notice how Rafa’s grunts were sounding more like growls? hahaha.

    I think it was also a good gesture on Rafa’s part to address the French crowd in French language. Remember the report about how some crowd booed Rafa and how they cheered for Robin? Well, I think Rafa won them over by saying more than bon jour and merci beaucoup! You know how the French are, they don’t really like people who speak English but they are friendly and accomodating to those who at least try. Good on you, Rafa!

    Wimbledon – this is going to be really interesting and thrilling. Rafa has nothing to defend and I think he will simply charge and go for it! Can’t wait 🙂

  5. Agree! Rafa has nothing to defend at Wimbledon, but FEDERER does! So since there would be no pressure upon him, he can play in a more relaxed manner, unlike Fed, who didnt manage to defend RG. I sound evil, i know, but im really curious to see how all that would unfold…
    And regarding the French people…Ive had the chance to feel it on my own skin how misanthropic they can be if you dont speak French….and end up in a situation where I ask in English and get my replies or whatever it was in French…so Rafa pulled a great Ace there 😛

    hehehe, yeah, im still more than thrilled with all this :)))

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