Sunday, May 17, 2009

Federer responds to Sports Illustrated article with win

As a writer, it’s only human nature that any time you pen a story or column about an individual athlete or team you hope that it is immediately validated.

In other words, if you write something positive or negative about a player or team and they go out and continue to do something positive or negative, it supports your opinion or contention.

Thus, I wonder how S.L Price feels today. The brilliant Sports Illustrated writer authored an in-depth six-page article—titled “The Takedown”-- in the magazine’s current issue about how Rafael Nadal has humbled and perhaps passed Roger Federer as the No. 1 tennis player in the world. Price sought the opinion of players past and present and theorized that Nadal has adjusted his game, works harder and is more driven to improve than Federer. It suggests Nadal is in Federer’s head and Federer’s heart isn’t in the game or the rivalry that he and Nadal have developed. Price made a big to-do about Federer crying after Nadal beat him 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in the finals of the Australian Open.

Basically, it was not a flattering portrayal of Federer’s future in the game, as it pertains to Nadal, who had defeated Federer in five straight finals and 13 of their last 19 matches. All of this was teased on the cover of SI with this headline “How Nadal Broke Federer.”

Then, on Sunday in Madrid, Federer came out and beat Nadal in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 in the finals of the Madrid Open. It was the first time in almost two years Federer topped Nadal and only the second time Federer has beaten Nadal on clay, his favorite and best surface.

In other words, Federer broke back. Good win for him. Bad timing for Price.


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