Monday, July 07, 2008

Where were you...

Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes Benz headquarters i...Image via WikipediaIdeally I would have liked to have posted yesterday about the sporting achievements of Rafa Nadal and Lewis Hamilton. Instead I have waited so that I had time to digest what was an epic afternoon and performances from exceptional athletes at the top of their game!

Lewis Hamilton silenced his critics with a stunning victory at Silverstone, the heat was on after high profile mistakes in Canada and France but he showed no signs of the pressure affecting him. The conditions were difficult as the expected rain made it's impact, Hamilton kept his cool and finished 68.5 seconds ahead of Heidfeld in second. This wasn't just a great performance it was a masterclass in the rain and has opened up the drivers championship.

It could have been so different as Raikkonen was catching Hamilton before the first pitt stop but a bad decision from the Ferrari mechanics left him with the wrong tires when the rain started. It was definitely a day to forget for Ferrari as Massa had a nightmare, spinning his car five times to eventually finish in last place. Taking absolutely nothing away from Hamilton though as to build up such a lead in the conditions surely must give him the confidence and momentum now to push for the title.

Next up was the Men's Wimbledon Final and it had the potential to be a classic and it definitely lived up to expectations. Normally with any final you have a favourite but I rate both Nadal and Federer so I didn't have a preference of who I would want to win more. Federer has been unplayable over the last few years, playing on a different level to everyone else. Nadal has worked on his overall game and is immense with his strength. They both have amazing attributes and their rivalry is already legendary and I am sure there will be many more classic matches. The quality on display in this final will take some beating though as there were some amazing shots, returns and just when you thought there was a winner the other player would return the ball. This was Tennis at it's breath taking best and from the non believers to the previous champions they all knew they had just witnessed something special between two legends!

The match itself lasted four hours and 48 minutes, there were rain delays and luckily for me these delays made it possible for me to catch most of the action. This was due to me driving in the car but I still followed the action on the radio and you could feel every shot from the excitement of the commentators voice. Nadal moved into a two set advantage before rain signalled a break in the third set. When the match resumed Federer showed his class and came back to level the sets taking the action into the fifth and deciding set. It was gripping viewing and I watched in amazement as they showed why they are the best in the business.

The match finished 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (7-5), 6-7 (10-8), 9-7 and you could see how much it meant to Nadal as he was climbing the walls literally. He even ended up in the Royal box to celebrate, it's definitely been a good month to be Spanish. In fact this year has been good for sport so far, I am now looking forward to the start of the Premiership and also hoping that Nadal and Federer will meet again in the US Open...

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