Final Review: What the papers are saying

Roger Federer beat his greatest rival, Rafael Nadal, 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 for the 66th title of his illustrious career at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday. reviews Monday’s newspapers in England and Spain, after another successful staging of the prestigious season finale in London.

The Sun’s writer, Steve Brenner, set the tone for another chapter in Federer and Nadal’s legendary rivalry, writing, “This showdown of two sporting giants took a while to get going. Maybe an audience including the likes of Diego Maradona, Thierry Henry, Kevin Spacey, Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood and Princess Beatrice caused a few nerves.”

Ian Chadband, the chief sports correspondent of The Daily Telegraph, writes, “The greatest rivalries in sporting history have thrived on the highs and lows, the to’s and the fro’s, but they fade away when inevitability strikes.

“The theory is that if ‘hate sells’, Rafa v Roger just does not possess the ingredients of the tastiest sporting feuds. They’re just too damn nice, killing each other with politeness.”

In its headline, “El Clasico Goes The Way Of Sir Federer”, Marca likens the Federer-Nadal rivalry to another massive sporting contest, that of Barcelona vs. Real Madrid in La Liga, which will take place on Monday evening in Spain.

In summarising the match, David Menayo writes, “Roger Federer won his fifth Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title after crushing Rafael Nadal in an intense three-set final. It was a match in which the powerful serve of the Swiss, his potency on break points and a fresher pair of legs were key to helping the Basel native notch his 66th career title.

The Spanish sports newspaper also noted that RTVE reported that an audience of 3,917,000 watched the final on TVE.

The Times tennis correspondent, Neil Harman, writes, “As the dessert course for 2010, it was as satisfying an end to an evening as we could have wanted for Roger Federer, a splendid dinner table companion, who left the party with a million pounds, the salutations and everyone’s thanks for being the man that he is.

“Nadal will never match him for aesthetics but his warrior heart beats as powerfully as ever and Federer knows that one man more than any other will be the one he has to beat if he wants to pen more chapters of Grand Slam glory next year.”

Paul Newman, the chief sports feature writer and tennis correspondent of The Independent, states, “Rafael Nadal will end the year as World No. 1 and holder of three Grand Slam titles, but if the Spaniard needed any reminder that his greatest rival is far from a spent force, it came last night at the [Barclays] ATP World Tour Finals.

“Federer joins Pete Sampras and Ivan Lendl as the only players to have won this title five times. You would not bet against him returning next year to claim the record for himself.”

Mike Dickson, the tennis correspondent of The Daily Mail, believes Federer can add to his Grand Slam championship haul of 16 titles. “As he heads into [the] winter break he can be warmed by the thought that Nadal is not invincible, and that his relative shortfall in the Grand Slams since Melbourne may not be part of a longer-term trend.”

The Guardian’s writer, Kevin Mitchell, states, “Victory, in front of 17,500 fans split roughly down the middle in their allegiances, delivered the most unambiguous messages to [Roger] Federer's peers and doubters: Roger is going nowhere for a little while yet.”

The Daily Mirror goes with "‘Fed’s still the best of the best – Battered Nadal hails genius rival ‘unplayable and unbelievable.'"

Writing for El Pais, Andy Murray’s coach Alex Corretja believes it was Nadal’s marathon semi-final clash with the British No. 1 that cost him the title.

“At the end, Rafa Nadal was completely out of gas. [After the match with Murray] the consequences were clear: he didn’t need a miracle to have the chance to win the final, but he did need time. And that was just what he didn’t have. The semi-final was draining and it had taken its toll. However, all credit to Roger Federer. He played the way he did. There are no excuses. The final is Sunday, not Monday and I am sure Nadal would see it the same way.

“That Rafa reached the final is already a great achievement. I think it is just a matter of time before he wins the title. At least he has left himself something to do for the future!”

Date: 30.11.2010, Source: ATP


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