Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gale Wins


Getty


Getty

With gusts up to 50 mph, the tennis was iffy. But Vera Zvonareva and Rafael Nadal handled the conditions much better than Ana Ivanovic and Andy Murray. In Rafa's case, it didn't seem like there was any wind at all. He simply played the ball and used the wind to his advantage. 6-1, 6-2. Talk about gone with the wind. (I couldn't resist.)

This is Rafa's 33rd title. As many as the great Arthur Ashe and the not-so-great Mats Wilander. And with his 13th shield, he's only four shy of record-holder Andre Agassi.

Astounding.

Vera is the first player since Lindsay Davenport to take both the singles and doubles titles in Indian Wells.

Nice work if you can get it.

15 comments:

pompelmo said...

7 wins in 11 Grand Slam Finals? What is "not so great" about Mats? That is more than twice Ashe has achieved. This is an actual question since I have never watched Arthur Ashe and was just a little kid when Wilander was at his peak.

Pamela said...

Yay!!! I'm so happy for Rafa. The conditions were definitely not ideal, but he made the best of the situation and played each point.

The reason I used to dislike Murray was the whiny attitude. The whine returned today. We get it, it was windy - we could see it. Did he happen to realize that his opponent was dealing with the same wind?

Craig Hickman said...

pompelmo, I didn't like Wilander's tennis.

Not. At. All.

Yes, he's one of the greats, but I remain irreverent.

Beth said...

I love your commentary Craig.... nothing wrong with being irreverent. I am... a lot. ;-)

Mad Professah said...

Ouch. Rafa put a beatdown on Murray. I guess that will show him where he is in the potential Top 4 in men's tennis.

And it doesn't bespeak well for Raja's chances either.

I presume everyone is playing in Miami?

Karen said...

I watched the match and I am one happy Fed fan. Why you ask? Because Murray has built his whole game around beating Roger, Rafa,s friend. I like to thing that Rafa did not like that and went out and beat Murray. It was also good to hear someone shut up that idiot Gimelslob

ceruleanxstar said...

"It was also good to hear someone shut up that idiot Gimelslob"

seriously, could they not get ANYONE better?

MJ said...

What a great picture of Rafa!

Graf_sampras said...

Today...MURRAY's YOGA didn't work....it was blasted away by the Rafa Swooping in on the Wind..lol.

rabbit said...

Congrats Rafa and his fans!

And an absolutely beautiful article about Rafa here.

rabbit said...

Sorry, this is the link!

oddman said...

It is a lovely article, rabbit. I came by it earlier. Sums up what I feel about Rafa, how his approach to tennis, life, pression is focused on the positive, not the negative.

I was working and couldn't watch or post anything. So glad to hear Rafa prevailed. I was worried about AndyM, as he'd gotten the better of Rafa the last 3 times they'd met.

WOW! What an amazing last 12 months Rafa's had - 13 Master Shields? 6 slam titles at age 22? And on ALL surfaces. Let me repeat that - ON ALL SURFACES.

Boy, when he told Carlos all those years ago that he aspired to more, he really meant it.

Vamos, baby bull - you are smokin' right now!!!!

vmw3 said...

Murray was forced to eat humble pie.
Congrats Nadal.

Johnny Cuk said...

Why the unnecessary bashing of my beloved countryman Mats Wilander?
nahh just kidding... I still like your blog

MMT said...

Pompelmo: Wilander is one of the most underrated champions in the history of the game. Along with Connors, Agassi and Rafa, he is one of the few player who won slams on all 3 surfaces. He had one of the best years in the history of the game in 1988, winning everything but Wimbledon, and in that same year he finally reached the #1 ranking. He played in 6 Davis Cup finals, winning 3 of them, and had a 36-16 record in singles and a 7-2 record in doubles.

There are, in my opinion, 4 reasons that Wilander is not considered one of the greatest players in the history of the game - he was Swedish, but wasn't as good as Borg, he never won Wimbledon, he played in the eras of dominance of McEnroe and Lendl and he (supposedly) had no real "weapon".

But if ever there were a thinking man's champion it was Mats Wilander. He was versatile, committed, thoroughly strategic, and a perfect gentleman on court.

Hats off to you for recognizing it.