I didn’t think it remotely possible that Djokovic could follow up on his achievements of last year. To say that he had a banner 2011 is a gross understatement. He had a career defining run. Beating the seemingly indomitable Nadal in six finals last year still seems unimaginable. But he did and he beat him for the 7th time in a final in the first slam of this year. Its mind boggling. How is it possible?
I have the answer. Novak Djokovic isn’t human. He’s a hybrid. Oh sure, he has the basic human traits, two eyes and ears, a nose, hair, feet, hands, all the stuff humans generally have. But there is something different about him. Have you ever watched him stretch for a ball that is impossibly out of reach for 99% of the human population but he still gets it? And have you looked at some of the slow motion footage of him sliding on hard courts, legs splayed, with his leg bones (tibia and fibula) at the ankle joint at a right angle to his foot? That’s just not right!
I think Novak’s joints are made of rubber, flubber, silly putty or some unknown polymer genetically passed to him by his parents. He simply can’t have just normal tendons and ligaments tying his joints and muscles together. You ever watch him stretch? He’s like a freaking cat. If he were ever jailed for anything, I think he could just slink through the bars and walk away.
The awards ceremony was agonizing to watch. Someone connected should have had enough sense to tell each speaker to cut his allotted speaking time by 50%. It was the longest final in grand slam history. Just a glance at the players told the story. Their faces were twisted in agony while both were near collapse. Nadal had to sit on the net to remain in a semi standing position. Kudos to whoever came to the rescue by providing chairs for them to crumple onto while the long winded suits puffed on.
The slug fest waged between the top two players in the world was more than just a tennis match. It was a war of attrition. Of all the great matches I’ve seen, I’ve never seen one as grueling as this final. A man could easily have expired out there. Neither was willing to concede. It was either win or die trying.