Rafael Nadal b. Roger Federer 81(82 balls).
Clean bowled if the scoreboard would allow it. Who cares though?!! It doesn't matter how you exit when you have set the stage on fire for the time you occupied it. Not often does an in individual dominate world sport in a manner that Fedex has. Well, what is a statement of praise for the swiss fizz doing in an article dedicated to Nadal. Simple, one cannot look at his domination of clay by isolating Federer's domination of the game. Sample this, today was the first time that Roger has beaten Nadal on clay, and he still has a losing record overall against Nadal.
My assurances, this is not going to peter out to a now much repeated and heated debate of who's the better of the two or anything of the ilk. This's just an attempt to put in words a mammoth achievement. Across sports you'd find winning streaks extend for a dozen games maybe a couple. But 81?? Staggering! Critics can claim it was his favourite surface and not the world number one's favourite either. Even if were to play our favourite games in our backyards against a four year old and set our own rules this is not a number we can dream of. What makes Nadal's achievement even more special is that he has in the course of this winning marathon, streak is too minuscule a word for this, beaten the past masters of clay. Players who would pride themselves on their ability to go on forever just to win a single point. Guys who's cabinets contain multiple French Opens, and even more Masters tournaments on clay. And ya, he's also beaten a player touted to be the all-time greatest, not just once but enough times to prove that each of the earlier victories were not of the flash in the pan kind, if at all anybody still harbored any doubts.
Now, we come to a pertinent question. Where does this place in history, a treasure trove and a labyrinth at the same time. No one who takes a journey back in history of any sport return disappointed nor can he come with a clear picture of what he wqas looking for. Every great achievement carries a unique weight of its own. With this in mind, the simplest thing to do is to cease to be the judge and just take in the moment and leave the tougher part to the generations to come. In the mean time let's just lift the glasses as high as we can and raise a real big toast to Rafa.