Since 2004, there have been two men, and two men only, in the conversation for the title of best men’s pro tennis player in the world.
One was Roger Federer. The other was Rafael Nadal. For seven years they towered over everyone else in the sport, leaving precious little crumbs for others to snack on.
As of 12:30 Eastern time Sunday afternoon, there officially is a third member of the exclusive club.
Novak Djokovic, in a blistering and breathtaking takedown of Nadal, won his first Wimbledon title Sunday, and becomes the new No. 1 player in the world.
I’ve written about Djokovic a few times this year already, because the dude has been playing out of his mind for six months now. He’s lost one match this year, and he’s beaten Nadal, unquestionably the best player in the world coming into 2011, five times in a row this calendar year.
Sunday, Djokovic stuck to his script against Nadal: Pin him against the baseline, force him to constantly scramble to get balls back, and play fantastic defense against him, keeping his winner total low and making Rafa earn every point.
It was stunning to see it in Miami and Madrid this year, but to see it on Centre Court was more astonishing.
And if you’re just learning about Djokovic today, a couple quick points: He grew up in war-torn Serbia, he’s got a fabulous personality, and his parents were so financially desperate to help him achieve success as a kid that his father Sirjan went to loan sharks for money to help pay for Novak’s training.
It’s a wonderful story, this Djokovic rise, and I hope it continues, because as Federer fades a bit, a Djokovic-Nadal rivalry could be awesome.
Click here for S.L. Price’s terrific profile of Djokovic from a few months ago.
**Silly me. I thought by leaving Florida a few days ago I might get away from the Casey Anthony trial.
Ha. It’s everywhere, on every station, still. I’ve tried my best not to follow it, but living near Orlando the last three years so much of it has seeped into my brain.
Sunday were closing arguments in the case, and as usual, Casey cried when prosecutors accused her of murdering her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.
Here’s what I think: She’s guilty. Guilty as all can be. But the defense has thrown so much mud at the wall, hoping something will stick (how bizarre is George Anthony, Casey’s father, by the way? Am I the only one who sees a reality TV show in his future?) that I’m not sure she’ll be convicted.
If she gets off, every good mother in America ought to riot. Because Casey might not have been the worst Mom ever, but she’s in the photo.
**Focus on the effort here, not the actual dancing. Here’s a guy who wanted to get his girlfriend something different for her birthday. So he choreographed a pole dance to music, and, well, he learned how hard and exhausting pole dancing is.
I loved it, though.