Friday, September 30, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
it’s been a year of thrilling tennis so far (with inspired writing, always as the accompaniment). but there has been been one sort of disappointing thread for me, and other nadal fans, throughout the season. an irksome (now 0-6) record against djokovic in finals.
before yesterday’s early evening match, a few friends extended me notes of support (loved that) and a few asked me if i was nervous. was i ever! i know some deeply devoted fans who wouldn’t have watched it live, to avoid witnessing and experiencing a potential disappointment. my line on monday had been, i have to believe. if he believes, I have to. which maybe sounds a little corny to say out loud. but if I didn’t believe he could win, well then what would be the point of watching?
and watching nadal fight—and then get pushed back—and fight again—and then get pushed back, that wasn’t easy. i was cursing, jumping, pacing around my apartment. by the middle of the third set, i’d given myself a headache. by the end of the third, my voice was hoarse. i’d hoped i’d be gargling champagne (or at least, white wine) in celebration. after the loss, i drank, but without the same gusto. i wondered for a moment if it was all worth it, to be so crazy about a sport.
but I wouldn’t have given up those hours—witnessing that inconceivable toughness, physical and mental, from both players. i would have hated to miss all those exhilarating moments, even if in the end they added up to a “loss” for my favorite player.
one of the reasons I love sports, especially tennis, is at the best or most dramatic of times, it's like "life" (i'll leave it to the real writers to plumb that more eloquently) and with the best athletes, you're reminded how you want to conduct yourself in it. (one of my favorite quick rafa-isms after last night's match: accept the challenge, and work.)
and in some funny way, this particular rivalry is to me, is a bit like love and relationships--the way i (like to, try to) do them, anyway... believing always (though occasionally hearing the doubts of others, and sometimes getting set back on my heels). knowing, as nice as the other guy is, he has the power to crush. understanding that maybe i don’t have the right "strategy," or don’t know what one should be. but i’m there, always “with great illusion,” and enjoying the moments that are brilliant and beautiful and fun. never really sure of the outcome--i can't know or control the other guy, only me and what i do--but knowing that I’ve helped make those good moments happen before... well...again, believing always in just being there and trying my best at that moment…
we will see what's gonna happen, no?
Monday, September 12, 2011