Admit it. Even if you're a die-hard fan of Novak Djokovic. Just go head and admit it. There was no way the Unbeatable One was going to get Rafael Nadal in back-to-back titles on clay, not in Rome, and certainly not after Andy Murray pushed him to the limit in a 3-hour match last night.
But the man with the momentum propelled himself to victory in two too-tight thrilling sets. As I just typed in the comments, I saw trigonometry. This from a guy who's not even a fan of tennis on clay. I saw both players hit more angles consistently, sometimes hard and flat, sometimes with vicious spins, than I've ever seen in any single best-of-three match that ended in two.
But they also catapulted themselves into every shot and struck the cover off the ball. Blood all over the place. It's why I like high-stakes tennis spectacles at the Foro Italico. It's cliche to mention the Colosseum, but I don't mind cliches every now and then.
Who would have imagined, after Rafa took Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, that he wouldn't win even a set in two finals against Djoke? Who?
But the indomitable Serb made the impossible possible with guts and glorious tennis across the net from the Spaniard who displayed guts and glorious tennis. As our own dapxin said the other day:
Its magical what confidence mixed with audacity can do.
When you have gone 30+ unbeaten, given your history as the one who is behind the 1st and the 2nd, I tell ya everyone in sight then becomes lightweight.
You start to actually disagree with the notion that you are beatable.
I'll let others prognosticate about where the Unbeatable One goes from here or if the Red Brick Wall can mend the big crack in his side at Roland Garros.
For now, I'll continue to digest what I've just witnessed. It was almost too much.
Maria Sharapova won her first title in Rome, her first premiere title in 20 months. Samantha Stosur really needs to evict the Russian from her head. Not that she would have won, mind you, but still. Good on Sharapova for making the best of such a great opportunity. Now she has confidence. Now I bet she believes she can win the next Slam. Surface be damned.