Buenas tardes. Today’s headlines:
1. I won. But you already knew that.
2. Tomas lost. You probably knew that too. You really should have figured it out when I told you I’d won, at any rate.
3. It wasn’t a classic match. Not even that good a match. In fact, like Serena yesterday, I didn’t play my best tennis - not once over the entire two weeks. Surprised yet?
4. They let me bite on that silver gilt cup even though I only get a rather smaller replica to place on my mantelpiece. Spain should fly me out to bite on the world cup if they win it. Because that’s what I do.
5. I now own 8 Slams. Half as many as that other guy.
6. Some people think that puts his record in jeopardy. They figure I’ve got another four years at the absolute peak of my physical prowess.
I’ve no idea where they got that figure from, but during those four years they figure I should make four RG titles, a couple more Wimbys and at least one hard court Slam, which leaves me with a grand total of…..15 Slams.
Can we throw one more in….on the grounds that I’m something of a specimen and that weird sh*t sometimes happens? We can? Bueno. 16 it is then.
7. Tomas is going to be ok. He wasn’t able to “bring it” today. Not many people do in their first Slam final. I did at RG in 05. But I’m awesome. Tomas is awesome too. Just not quite enough.
8. If he’d come through today, he would have beaten the top three seeds in the QFs, SFs and Finals of a Slam – something that we’ll never tire of telling you hasn’t happened before.
Point is, that really would make him awesome. And we’d probably have to anoint him as some kind of Kraken or something.
9. That he didn’t come good here should not be held against him. It simply means he’s not a mythological sea monster just yet. Not even a mythological sea mobster.
But he’s well on his way to being awesome. If that counts for anything.
10. I don’t think he came enough to the net today. Neither did I, for that matter. Not normally a problem if you’re flat-lining every ball in the way he was against Federer for example. But if you’re unwilling or unable to do that, I’m probably the last guy in the world you should be playing.
11. I confess I’m rather proud of those two double faults and the rash of UFE I made in that first game of the second set. I’m guessing Tomas isn’t too pleased at not converting a single one of three break points. The rest of the media seem to think it should haunt him.
Get real. As shoddy a game as that was from me, did you not see what an absolute rock I was in defending those three break points? During one of them I probably served my best second serve of the Championships.
12. Tomas now forms one part of the triad that has Delpo and Sod as its other “angry young men”. Or “angry, young sea-mobsters”, even.
13. When Sod pulled off what he pulled off by beating me at RG last year, it came as a shock to everyone.
That he was able to come back 12 months later and repeat against Fed, a feat that was almost but perhaps not quite as seismic, should leave us in no doubt that he’s here to stay.
Delpo, you’ll remember put out Fed in the final of a Slam, the first guy besides me to be able to do that.
Both awesome achievements. Both, not quite yet matched by TBerd.
He’s done good, but needs to perform just as well over the course of the next year if he’s truly to be considered a part of that esteemed threesome.
14. Whatever the case, if TBerd were to feature in mythology, I’d say he’s rather closer to a Centaur than a Kraken anyway.
Kraken’s are big, burly beasts. Gigantic in fact. They brew up storms, overturn ships and tend to bellow quite loudly. Nasty and uncouth.
Centaurs, on the other hand, are quieter, sensitive types. They can be quite gruff, suspicious and tend to keep themselves to themselves.
Once you win their trust however, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone more loyal.
What they’re not that good at, is final end-of-days-style conflicts. The epic season ending face-off between good and evil.
They don’t believe in violence (except as a last resort) and despise it’s effects on society, even though they’ve been known to put down their lives for it’s greater good.
None of which should be that surprising, as they’re allied to the forces of good. But that’s no good to you if you’re looking to bring down an empire.
Lost? Need your sword sharpened? Or to be put in touch with a half-decent apothecary? Centaurs are your man…horse…thingy.
Armageddon, or a Grand Slam final even? Best to look elsewhere.
Which is why I think TBerd came unstuck today. They sent in a Centaur to fight a Krakens battle.
There’s no reason to think that TBerd won’t, at some point, graduate into a Kraken. But he’s not there just yet.
Big Rob’s a Kraken. TBerd, a “mere” Centaur.
Distinction clear I hope. I’m still working on what exact mythological order of being Delpo is.
15. In any event, I make sport of slaying Krakens. It’s why I stride on to court at every Wimbledon final carrying nothing other than a racquet. The way a Paladin might.
I see every Slam as “David and Goliath Reloaded”. Only in my retellings, I play the role of David and he tends to be bigger than Goliath. He hits a scary forehand too.
Anyone know if Babolat are doing a good deal on broadswords this summer?
16. All of that said and done, what Centaur achieved here, knocking off Fed in particular, is pretty darn exceptional and deserves recognition.
Instead, people have started calling him “The Berdman”.
Can we stop doing that?
Rafa will be back later in the week with a further review of the fortnight in it’s entirety.