The Rafa Slam Was Within Reach
This Australian Open, Rafael Nadal was playing to complete the Rafa Slam. Winning the Grand Slam means winning all four Grand Slam tournaments in the same calendar year; Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
The Rafa Slam was Rafa’s chance to win all four tournaments in a row, starting with the French Open 2010, and finishing with the Australian Open 2011.
Now The Rafa Slam is Over
Unfortunately, during a quarter final match against David Ferrer, Rafa was hurt. He called the trainer really early in the first set and the word around Twitter was that the issue was muscle spasms in his back. Then, during the next change of ends we saw the huge bandage on his thigh as Rafa stretched out his left leg.
Rafa said in his press conference following the match that he had a problem in the beginning, after that the match was almost over.
But like a true champion, he didn’t withdraw. Rafa played on to finish the match, albeit nearly in tears at times, which bought many of his fans close to tears.
David Ferrer won in three sets. Fair play to him for playing a great match against his friend and Davis Cup team mate. In the post match interview with Jim Courier Ferrer spoke of what a gentleman Rafa is. That’s certainly true.
And now the reality sets in. The Rafa Slam is over. Imagine facing the thought of starting again and winning four more slams. In a row.
But Rafa can do it. Because he’s a true champion. And he loves playing tennis.
This is why I love tennis so much.
It’s about the games, the sets, the matches.
And it’s also about the players. As a fan, you feel like you know them.
Celebrate the wins. And when they hurt, everybody hurts.
On Twitter, tennis fans love to have a laugh and send out tweets about how much Rafa is sweating, and how big his T-Shirt is, but when it came to the crunch tonight, as soon as it was obvious that Rafa was injured, everyone was fully behind him.
That’s what I love about tennis. The players are good people. And the fans are good people too.
Rafa will be back.
There is no Rafa Slam for now, but Rafa is clearly a winner. He already has a huge amount of respect for his integrity and athletic ability, along with a massively loyal following. This quarter final match was a perfect demonstration of why.
Bounce back Rafa. Take as much time as you need to get fit and healthy. Then bounce back.
Grand Slam Gal
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