Nalbandian nails it, finally!
My friend and fellow blogmember Biswa missed the Masters final and was shocked to know Roger Federer was beaten, for it was but a foregone conclusion following all the withdrawals the tournament had to endure. Not that it would have made any difference to the odds, but at least there would have been some prospect of a serious challenge. Ironically, the only current pro with a positive head-to-head record against the undisputed monarch of men's tennis was not thought to be good enough to pull it off. Admittedly, Nalbandian had won the last of his five against Federer in the US Open in 2003, when he also famously choked in the semi-final against Andy Roddick. The larger issue here was not Nalbandian's talent or form, for he looked in good touch in this edition, and of course has oodles of talent and stamina to boot. It was whether he quite believed in himself. For a player of his talent, Nalbandian has only won three tour titles and that is too few. Not unlike that US Open encounter two years ago, he couldn't quite pull it off against Lleyton Hewitt in this year's Australian Open. But one thought his Davis Cup performance Down Under on grass in Sydney would be a turning point in his career. If it wasn't, this win should do wonders for him. As for Federer, Biswa, an unabashed John McEnroe fan (who isn't?), was quite happy that the staggering 1984 record of 82-3 has remained. I'm somewhat ambivalent about it, though somehow in my mind McEnroe stands out as a greater genius. It's impossible not to gush about Federer's talents, but may be it's just that we grew up in awe of Mac.