Just a day before being crowned No. 1 in Men’s professional tennis, Rafael Nadal stamped his authority at the Beijing Olympics by clinching the gold beating Fernando Gonzales of Chile in what was a flawless performance by the Spaniard. Nadal seeded 2 at the Beijing Olympics overcame the challenge of Gonzales by beating him in straight sets 6-3, 7-6 and 6-3.
He had a stiff opponent in the form of Gonzales who notched up nine aces through the course of the game, but Nadal’s powerful forehands down the baseline were a treat to watch for the hundreds who had gathered to watch the finals match and Nadal didn’t disappoint any of them. It has been a great year for Nadal after he had begun at auspicious note by winning his favourite French Open beating Roger Federer in the final. But the shot in the arm came from the Wimbledon victory when Nadal went on to beat his Swiss rival in a humdinger of a match stretching into 5 sets and two days. This was the first Wimbledon triumph for Nadal after having lost the last two consecutive finals in London to Roger Federer.
For more than two years, Nadal had been ranked two and was in hot pursuit of the Swiss prodigy. This year, he won two major Grand slams on clay as well as grass. The Beijing triumph will surely sky rocket the confidence of the Spaniard; the Olympics come only once in every four years. And it is a special moment to be winning gold for your country. A feeling that transcends all other Grand Slam wins. The Olympics would also turn out to be a confidence booster for the Spaniard as he sets out to play the US Open starting in a few days time after the Beijing Olympics.
Tennis lovers who were waiting to see their dream Olympic final of Nadal vs Federer had their hopes dashed once Federer was knocked out of the tournament at the hands of James Blake of the United States of America. Federer had lost out on the number 1 ranking and this seems to have psychologically affected his performance at Beijing Though the Swiss did make up for it by winning the doubles gold at the Beijing Olympics.
As Rafael Nadal is set to take up the Number ranking in tennis after being second for a record time, this will be the dawn of a new chapter in tennis. The Federer-Nadal rivalry is something that all tennis lovers have cherished over the years but it waits to be seen whether Federer has it in him to bounce back at the US open this year. For now, this has entirely been Nadal’s year as he has gone from strength to strength and his Olympics Gold medal win will surely set the ball rolling for the No. 1 ranked tennis player in the World.