Today was the final match day at The Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon (otherwise known as Wimbledon or The Championships) for 2006. The traditional showpiece match on this day is the Gentlemen's Singles - Finals, contested between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Roger Federer won this match in four sets (6-0, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-3). Federer has now won the last four men's singles titles, matching the likes of Laver, Sampras and Borg as a four (or more) time winners of the Wimbledon Men's singles title.
Very recently, former player Mats Wilander recorded a few insightful commentaries during the French Open that were posted on the internet. In a commentary recorded after the Men's French Open finals, where Federer lost to Nadal, Wilander said the following:
Nadal has the one thing Roger doesn't: balls. ... Sports is about balls and about heart and you don't find too many champions in any sport in the world without heart or balls. He might have them, but against Nadal they shrink to a very small size and it's not once, it's every time.
Federer wasn't too happy upon hearing about this, and said the following in response:
Look. There's many former players, many experts, who think they know everything. Sometimes they're right, but they can also be wrong. You can't always listen to them, especially as a player. From a former top player -- almost a legend of the game -- to hear stuff like this is obviously very disappointing. I thought I got along well with him; I probably still am, because he never told these things to my face. Next time I see him, maybe I'll say something. Or maybe he's not a man to be around for me. Because if you say stuff like this? There's professional and there's friendship, but if you cross the line too many times eventually you're going to lose your friends. That's maybe what he's doing.
I have attached links to a few commentaries that were produced during the French Open. In all three commentaries, Mats talking with a reporter from L'Equipe about something that struck him in the day's events.
- 2006 French Open - Women's Semi-finals (video)
- 2006 French Open - Women's Finals (audio)
- 2006 French Open - Men's Finals (video)
After Federer's performance today, I wonder if what Mats will have to say.