Sunday, July 6, 2008

Who says "a sport is just a sport"?

Yesterday's match between Federer and Nadal was an awesome commentary of the mental dynamics at play in sports. I thought, the real game was entirely being played in the minds of the two players.

Federer is a tennis legend and somebody who played like God, till recently. He is past his 'God-days' but obviously has not come to terms with it yet. But somewhere in his mind, he knows he is past his prime, Nadal is the new kid on the block and the closest to usurping the numero-uno position he held so majestically over the last few years. But he was so ahead of the other fellow-players in others' mind and in his own mind that he still does not want to give it away. Yesterday, Federer was doing just that; trying to somehow hold on to the crown that he thinks is (was) so much his.

On the other hand, Nadal had a worthy goal to pursue; defeat Federer, the legend, in his backyard. Being the underdog really helped him. He is not a bit distracted, just had to prove to himself and others that he can be a Federer-beater. Still, when he gets so close to the goal he is pursing, he seems to get a bit nerved thinking about what he is going to accomplish. He should have immese respect for Federer and needed several 'preparatory' championship-points before really clinching it.

Once Federer is unseated, Nadal may not have really anything to go after in his mind vis-a-vis tennis. When Federer was at his best, the guy in the opposite court seemed to be only an excuse for the match to be played. So with Federer slowing going away, Nadal may cease to matter!

5 comments:

Jayadeep(JDP) said...

For the good of the game, the monopolies should fail, i am looking for the day when microsoft is smothered from the planet!

Vimal said...

Federer may have lost and Nadal may be on the seventh heaven, but unseating the current tennis king in his own backyard may not last more than a year. That does not mean the current prince, Nadal, cannot become king - but he has to wait till the current king officially retires. It is actually great that the current king got a blow as it would make the current prince into a better player, and probably a future legend. Nadal has found a way to attain immortality in tennis with the help of another immortal named Federer.

Rahul said...

Thanks, JDP for your comments.

I do not think, the business monopoly logic necessarily extend itself to sports. In case of a corporate too, it is not monopoly that is the real issue. Issue is the mis-use of that monopoly to further one's interests in an un-fair manner. With business, very little of a company's real-actions are in the public domain and that leaves room for a lot of doubt/apprehensions on potential monopolistic practices. In sports, the game is very much played out in the eyes of the public and not sure whether there are things that a mopolistic team or player to take un-fair advantage of.

Rahul said...

Thanks, Vimal for your comments.

It will be a good thing if Nadal can graduate from the great player he is today to the-legend-league that Federer belongs to. Tennis (and we as followers of the game) will only be richer by that. Nadal may well be remembered for his great exploits of the game, but a legend? Hmmmm, I have my doubts on that. Let us wait and watch...

Jaganathan said...

I do not think Federer has lost any of his Godliness in general. He still retains and displays it to good measure against all other lowly opponents. Nadal seems to have attained a fair degree of elevated status himself, thereby making Federer look ordinary in front of him. I do agree that the final of the Wimbledon this year was more mind game than physical sport. How long Nadal stays in an exalted orbit remains to be seen.