Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Mi amigo, El Rey Rafael Nadal...

I'm paying homage a mi amigo, Rafa. Rafael Nadal, that is.

His win last Sunday at Roland Garros, the French Open, and his unbeaten run at this year's clay season just cemented his title as one the king of clay, le roi de terre batteu.

I am paying homage to my favorite tennis player on earth, the new world Numero Uno!

There was a time when I just admired this Spanish leftie as he demolishes his opponents on clay, which is my favorite surface to play tennis on. (I like the sliding).

And there was a time when my favorite tennis player was his archrival, Roger Federer, who was in Seoul for an exhibition match with Pete Sampras in 2007. After the match,like most fans, I wanted to get closer to Federer and Sampras to get some photos, but some unreasonable Korean security personnel made sure that didn't happen. And then, I spotted Federer's girlfriend, Mirka (they weren't married then), who was walking towards me. When she got nearer, I asked her politely, "Mirka, can I have a photo with you please?" She half-smiled, perhaps too lazy to move the muscles in her mouth to show this fan she wasn't pleased with the question, and said, "Sorry, next time."

What next time? I asked myself. And that was the moment I decided being a Federer fan wasn't worth it. A tennis star with an unfriendly girlfriend.

So today, being a happy, loyal Rafael Nadal fan, I celebrate his return to the top of the world rankings!

Here are a few photos I took of him when I watched him play in Seoul and at his practice sessions at Melbourne Park during the Australian Open!

Vamos, Rafa!

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