Friday, January 30, 2009

Some friendships are more important than others

Yesterday, I was watching a repeat of an Australian Open match on Tennis Channel, and the subject of the Nadal-Federer relationship was discussed. Federer and Nadal are friends. They sends text messages to each other, Rafa flew Roger to a match once when Roger couldn't get a flight, they watch each other's matches, etc.

The Nadal-Federer story is a good one, but the commentator's telling of it turned sour when he remarked that never before in the history of tennis was there such a friendship between the two top players in the world. Now, I appreciate the Rafa-Roger relationship as much as anyone, but it pales to almost nothing when compared with the friendship between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, who were also the two top players in the world. Their decades-long close friendship, which has had its share of drama, is unique not only in tennis, but in all of sports.

But some friendships are more important than others.


Todd Spiker said...

Even if one day someone DOES write a book about the Federer/Nadal rivalry, it just could never be deemed nearly as "important" as the Evert/Navratilova one was.

American "sweetheart" vs. defector from a Communist country. Muscle vs. grace. Gay vs. straight. Perception vs. reality. Etc., etc.

As great as Federer-Nadal is, Chrissie-Martina existed on an entirely different level in an entirely different era when just the idea of the two of them facing off changed the sport and how people viewed female athletes. Federer vs. Nadal is a great SPORTS rivalry. Evert vs. Navratilova was, in some ways, a life lesson when all was said and done.

Still, I AM looking forward to the Roger/Rafa final. :D

Diane said...

I'm looking forward to it, too, though I kind of wanted a Roger/Fernando final. I like Rafa--I just wanted to see Hot Sauce go all the way to the final. He might have, too, if he hadn't suddenly realized he was about to.

Todd Spiker said...

Get this, SportsCenter at 6pm actually led off the telecast with highlights of Nadal/Verdasco. A true rarity -- tennis getting center stage on ESPN (and we didn't have to wait until a blowout college basketball game ran off the final 45 seconds from the clock, either). It was nice to hear the hosts talk about the great contest between Rafael Nadal and Hector Verdasco.

Yep, that's what Verdasco was referred to as -- Hector! I'm sure you've heard of him. He's Fernando's long lost twin, and they were apparently separated at birth. At least that would explain why the announcers talked about how well Hector played... yet he oddly resembled Fernando. "Weird."

(rolls eyes)

I tell you. You just can't make this stuff up. I actually had to go back and re-watch the open to see if I'd really heard it correctly. Unfortunately, I had.

Diane said...

Fernando could have used Hector in that last game...