The Times Online has posted a wonderful article about Sunday’s “rare accident.”
Some will take Nadal’s defeat as eloquent testimony to sport’s infinite capacity to spring surprises, to keep us guessing, to ravish us with its glorious capriciousness. And there is something in that. But Nadal took a different lesson, a subtler lesson, dare I say it, a more philosophical lesson. In his defeat, Nadal told us that he had glimpsed the meaning of victory.
It was a crowded press conference after the match. Neil Harman, the tennis correspondent of The Times (a man who, if you ask me, has one of the most wondrous jobs on the planet), wrote that it was stuffy and airless, the room so full of people and curiosity, so weighed down with disbelief, that it was difficult to breathe. Nadal came in with his boyish face and sculpted biceps and, sensing the tumult, raised an eyebrow.
Then came his quote, one of the more revelatory to emerge from a post-match press conference, occasions that typically incubate soulless banalities: “Defeats never make you grow, but you also realise how difficult what I achieved up until today was, and this is something you need sometimes. You need a defeat to give the value to your victories.”
(patzin posted this in the comments area and johanne sent it in via the contact form – thanks to both of you.)