Folks... Have you been watching this man, Federer lately? 4 straight Wimbledons!!! ... daeeemmnnn! How does he do that, so consistently? I used to ask myself the exact same question, when it was Pistol Petes' era. I see a ton of similarities between 'em - Roger & Pete ... very blunt expressions on the court, very few pumping fists, no major involvement with the crowd, intense concenteration even when they are walking all over the opponent ... to name a few. Maybe, these are a great players' signature patterns. Now, with these positive signs listed, would I be wrong if I say that even these supermen have problems with the cyptonite .... CLAY (geee ... watched superman last weekend, I just had to bring cryptonite somewhere..LOL). Sampras... 11 appearances on french clay and just 1 semi-finals! duh!!?! Federer... master of grass/hard courts and jack on clay. I've not seen Federer submit to anyone like that ever before. He appeared lost in the french open finals. I expected a little more from this lad ... for his calibre and the way he started off in the finals (6-1 mate!).
On the other hand, Rafael 'Vamos' Nadal ... people compared him (and still do) to Kuerten, Bruguera, Berasategui, Muster and so on ... for his amazing clay court long patient wins. And also, many were sure that even he will fade away after a couple of clay court grand slams. I guess, he proved them all wrong after his emphatic route all the way to the grass slammy final. To me, this spaniard seems comfortable (should improve a little more on grass) on all surfaces and might join Agassi in the elite club of grabbing all the 4 different grand titles (I know, I know... I hear ya, but... its MY opinion... damn you, this is my space). Nadal has a very unique skill to intimidate opponents... 'never say give up' attitude. There was a time when I thought no one would ever be born to beat the comeback king Agassi, but I think I'll stand corrected if Nadal continues to perform similarly.
Watching Federer and Nadal play reminds me of Sampras and Agassi in their primes. I am a die-hard fan of Andre Agassi, not that I don't like Sampras... but when its either Agassi or Sampras, it has always been Agassi. Going on similar lines, I support Nadal. :-)
I wish Federer proves himself on clay too and join the all-4-slammer club pretty soon.
And as Sue Barker said after the Wimbledon finals to Federer, "We’re loving this rivalry, I guess you’re not".
Long live the rivalry! Long live tennis!