OK ... I've not gone completely mad, and I know that's an odd post title, but I feel like I have to ask that burning question ...
Because the match was delayed a bit today, we were subjected to the blah, blah, blah of the Sky Sports commies, and the subject of Rafa's impending loss in a final at Roland Garros and Djokovic - seemingly being the one to do it - were tirelessly discussed. Feds' 2009 victory was glossed over because he didn't go through Rafa to win it, but a Rafa defeat seems to be the thing met with tireless anticipation in commentator and forum world.
I ask why because when Rafael Nadal's achievements as a tennis player are discussed, so often you will see his records caveated with, "aah ... but most of his Slam titles were won at the French Open", or "the vast majority of his Masters titles are clay court titles", and of course that clown Bodo branded him "lucky" that three of the nine Masters were played on clay. So in other words, his achievements are often denigrated because they're won on a sub-standard, skill-less surface where his particular "physical" style of tennis has dominated, and basically, they count for nothing in overall tennis achievements. Remember I wrote my "Why don't clay court titles count?" post discussing that very subject.
So if - in the grand scheme of things - winning on a specialist surface like clay isn't anything to write home about, why does it become so damned important to beat the dominator on that very same surface?? If they're a bunch of lesser titles to win, why would it be considered such an achievement to put an end to the reign of the very player who's proved himself to be probably the greatest advisory on it?? If winning 7 French Open titles and being a clay court specialist is not considered as good as say, winning 7 Wimbledon titles and being a grass court specialist ... why does anyone give a fig about someone other than Rafa winning a paltry clay court Slam anyway?? Do you see the dichotomy? Do you see why I struggle to understand why winning the French Open multiple times is caveated because Rafa is the surface specialist, yet the person defeating him will be lauded like he's achieved something tantamount to discovering the Holy Grail??
The defeat of Rafa on clay is greater than Rafa's combined achievements on clay?? It's just plain weird.
And because of Rafa's Monte Carlo loss today, over the next few weeks we will be subjected to endless copy of what is about to become at this year's French Open. I hope you're ready for it.
And my conclusions. Well ... it's personal, personal to Rafa, and not in a good way. It would be a very brave broadcasting station that started it's coverage of the lead up to the French Open and the actual tournament itself by saying let's cheer Rafa on to an unprecedented No. 8. Let's celebrate what he's achieved to date, let's champion how better he might make that achievement, and let's celebrate how we've been lucky enough to see this very special record in our lifetime. But that will never happen.
Because just like in certain quarters his Slam tally is scoffed at because it's largely built up via clay court wins, and that even though he's won 2 Wimbledon titles and been to another 3 finals, and he's won 2 hardcourt titles and been to another 2 finals ... it's always pointed out that he's yet to repeat his Slam success at both Australia and the US Open, blimey ... you'd think the guy was a failure.
Has there ever been one player who is so divisive? And why should it be that defeating Rafa on clay is a bigger story than any of his fantastic victories upon it?
Well I cherish the moments that I've witnessed Rafa's remarkable history making records since 2005 ... and for whatever obvious excitement a victory in a Masters final might be met with today ... the King is most certainly not dead, Mrs Djokovic ...
"Of course, I want to win Roland Garros. That's no secret ... "
It isn't Rafa ... it isn't ... and you winning it might not be the story everyone's looking for, but there's still plenty of us who will cheer you on your way.