RAFAEL NADAL, despite losing at the Australian Open 2012 final, you will always be an aspiring champion….

The Australian Open Tennis 2012 Grand Slam has come to an end following a final match encounter that I could not simply put into words. As a matter of fact, the match might have been too intense and mind blowing. This latest final confrontation occured between current world no. 1, Novak Djokovic against world no.2 Rafael Nadal, in which “The Djoker” has prevailed. The match was so epic that it will surely be written down into history book alongside 2008 Wimbledon Final which was arguably the best tennis match ever! In the latest Austalian Open final edition, Djokovic beat Nadal in an epic 5 sets match lasting for 5 hours and 53 minutes, which is the longest final Grand Slam match ever with a score line of 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7(5), 7-5. The previous longest duration final GS match was just at 4h 54m which was almost an hour shorter. Doesn’t that along with the scoreline could tell you anything? Simply LEGENDARY!

The longest final match ever in 100 years of tennis history

I dare to say that these two players have elevate their game even beyond Roger Federer’s, and I too reluctantly have to believe that Novak has been one of the finest player in tennis history. Both have performed well throughout the tournament as Nadal beat Federer relatively easy in four, while Novak was tested by Murray and eventually succeeded in five sets match, both in semis. But, being Rafa’s fan, I was tremendously devastated, saddened by his lost in the final. This has been his best performance against “The Djoker” in recent years, as he has given everything he could, retaliating with all his might and fate still doesn’t lie with him, yet again. Despite trailing 1-2 coming into the fourth set while his body language and confidence never looked any worse with errors after errors, he somehow astonishingly got his composure back and regrouped to fight Djokovic neck to neck in the fourth, and eventually prevailed with a tight scoreline.

Roger's age is finally catching up, the focus is now on rivalry between Novak and Rafa

Mental prowess that Nadal showed really filled me with awe, looking at how he pushed himself hard to get back into the game, giving his best in everything that he could, and so close to winning the game. Mind you that Nadal has lost to Djokovic for 6 consecutive finals in 2011 which include 2 Grand Slams, and 4 ATP Masters, even in clay court where it was supposed to be his territory. And coming into the final match, while holding a psychological disadvantage against his opponent, I have to salute & respect on his resilience and mentally as well through out the match because he was not only battling Novak on the other half of the court, but inside his mind as well. The last set lost was just a matter of Nadal being unlucky. It was 50/50 in the end after Nadal did an impressive job to stay in the game.

Djokovic embraces Nadal after an epic match..

RAFAEL NADAL, even though you lost the Grand Slam, but you have definitely raise my respect towards you that has actually been sky high. You had produced so many legendary & memorable matches with whoever great players you were battling against; and that others wont be able to take that from you despite you winning or losing. You are my idol as a person and as a sports man. You showed to most ordinary people that with true, tremendous hard work, you can be a champion as well. You are an inspiration and despite losing again, you are still the winner in everybody’s heart. You have won so many titles, beat the so called “Greatest of All Time” in Federer too many times, been world No.1, and has achieved everything that other people wish to achieve, and despite all that, you behaviour & manner are too unbelievable to believe. Outrageously humble, your attachment towards parents & uncle, your respect towards opponents, hard worker, never give up attitude, well behave on courts, your guts, and a very nice guy as a whole. All these character of yours for me have made you the best, well deserved and most unique tennis champion the game will ever have.

Rafa plays his tennis like a warrior

Contrasting, other champions like Federer definitely has true quality & actual character as a champion, Djokovic has talents and resilience as world best. Even McEnroe in the past was a hot tempered genius and the great Borg was a cool, calm & collected champion. But the man called Rafael Nadal is not a genius player like Federer, or even Djokovic. Nadal is just an ordinary guy who work, work and work hard; improve, improve and improve on his game until he is able to adjust himself to suit the situation he has to face. Challenges that came as specific players, different court surfaces or different playing style, he conquered them all by training diligently. In many people’s eyes, they don’t see him as only a tennis player but also a fighter. Dubbed as a modern day gladiator, he gains respect and fear even from opponents and their supporters. I know that this recent Djokovic “jinx” has been deeply buried in his mind after so many losses, however I always believe and pray that he will be able to overcome this mountainous obstacle eventually as he had proved before. And for all that, you will always be an aspiring champion for everyone especially me. Rafael Nadal would be my inspiration even in matters beyond tennis, as in real life. A real role model & a true aspiring champion. VAMOS RAFA!

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