International tennis Rome: the 2013 final between Nadal and Federer

At the end of one of the most disappointing games you can remember, among the thousands of federer, I went rummaging through the bin to try and find my notes on female single and double endings. Unfortunately they had already been thrown away, which, like in Naples, prevents recycling. I was already depressed enough by the defeat of the Sisters of Italy Errani-Vinci for the two chinese girls Peng Hsiehone from the Empire, the other from Taiwan, confirms not exquisitely tennis but, at least, politically comforting.

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So I was very bored because of one’s modesty Azarenka which well represents the current average level of recent years, missing the great generation of retired tennis players, the Henin, Cljster, Davenport, Capriati, Mauresmo. An Azarenka who had never bothered a Serena, so light-hearted that she finally spoke to the audience in Italian. And then I headed back to the Centrale, in the certainty of seeing the usual show between Roger Federer Y Rafael Nadal.

Now a classic, now in its thirtieth repetition, with nineteen wins to ten for the inventor of a new tennis, thanks to those gestures that have allowed hitherto unknown explosions. I didn’t even think that my Swiss would be able to reverse the typical trend of the red fields, on which he led the direct clashes by twelve to two. But he had recovered, thanks to contemporary technology, the story of one of the most famous events of the past, that of 2006, in which Rafa had survived the end of a real marathon, even saving two match points. To think that such an event could somehow be repeated was certainly excessive, also because, outside of the Grand Slams, the finals are now played with the short formula. But the premises seemed encouraging.

Supported by less muscular knees and calves than ever, Rafa had not always convinced me, except for the game against a Berdych on a doubtful day. As for Federer, I was happily fooled by his daily late-night performances, in which he hadn’t really had to fight that much. Although I considered Nadal to be the favorite in perpetual convalescence, the odds of the bookmakers had seemed excessive to me, which gave him the victory at 1.25, compared to Federer’s five to one. In short, I was expecting a victory from Nadal which was certainly not easy, but an exciting match. As often happens to me, I was completely wrong, and unfortunately I realized it from the first ten minutes.

It was obvious that Federer would prepare an attacking match, less obvious that he would try for the winning point at every opportunity, like some blind and furious players. Thus he won a first game of applause, but as soon as Rafa stretched the ball and raised his explosive parabolas, Roger insisted on prohibitive solutions, also because of his talent. Such a beginning would have been a foretaste of the end.

It seems incredible that, for an hour and ten minutes, a champion like Roger has continued to rage in search of a single objective, the victory point. He thus committed masses of errors, dice, irrationality. I remember once asking him if his relationship with Nadal was not disturbed by Freudian implications. He calmly replied that he did not know Freud. Perhaps it lies precisely in this, the explanation of today’s game.

by Gianni Clerici

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