The Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters Clay Court Tournament - what a great week of tennis!
Rafa Nadal won his 5th consecutive championship title at Monte Carlo in a match-up today against Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Before that Nadal won a blistering match yesterday against Andy Murray. Both of these matches were real showmanship and true demonstrations of mental and physical challenges and skill of tennis.
Generally, I am not able to watch most of any given tournament and find myself watching only the semi-final and final matches. Well, fortunately, beat up by some "flu" something or other, I used that as my excuse to watch each and every match that I could watch.
I had fun as a true pro-tennis junkie: sleeping in my living room with my travel clock set for 4:30AM - you could not depend on the reruns. No, I wanted to watch the matches "live." And watch them I did.
I wanted to watch to see the heavy-hitters and also to watch the new up and comers on the circuit, the players I don't usually see.
I had the chance to watch Nadal, Djokovic, Murray, Federer, of course - the heavy hitters. But then there were also the next tier breathing down the leaders' necks. Some playing well and some not so well.
The ones I liked especially are Fernando Verdasco, Fabio Fognini, Nikolay Davydenko (have watched him before), Stanislas Wawrinka who won the Gold in Doubles with Federer in China but won over Federer at Monte Carlo, Marin Cilic, and Gilles Simon.
Several of my favorites who did not go very far in this tournament - getting their "clay court" legs back are: my man, Juan Martin Del Potro of Argentina - wow! - and Gael Monfils of France. The only major heavy-hitter missing was America's Andy Roddick. His absence was the tournament's loss.
There is no question that Rafael Nadal is the "King of the Clay Court", at least for now. But to watch him is to watch a Spaniard in battle. Oh, the majesty that flows through the blood.
I watched these men and came to the conclusion that these would be men to have on your side in battle - all of them. In the world of rodeo cowboys, its "cowboy up." I don't know the terms in pro-tennis but these men are extraordinary. Just consider the hours of time they have spent on tennis courts and in other physical training.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic did themselves proud in their matches against Nadal. And Rafa Nadal was the man. Whoo hoo!