Last night in Austrialian Open’s 2nd men’s semi final Rafael Nadal battled, served, and volleyed to the final shot against his Belgin opponent. It took 5 brutal sets for Nadal to break Gregor Dimitrov’s wicked serve leading toward another epic victory. The Spanish phenom is set to face his long time rival Roger Federer in the Aussie final. This will be the twenty first time Nadal has made a grand slam final apperance. As today went by I thought back to how much Rafael Nadal has impacted my life.
Back in late 2003 around 7 or 8 years old I was diagnosed with a very rare disorder. Since 2004 I’ve had infusions. I barely remember much of that time, yet I do remember what kept my focus off this daunting challenge at such a young age. One day in the summer of 2005, I woke from a short nap. When I came upstairs i remember finding my mom watching two dudes playing a sport with a bouncy green ball on a clay surface. I had never watched tennis before. I had no idea who Roger Federer was or this young teenager from Spain, but soon I found out. I sat and watched as the man in the capris defeated his future rival setting him up for his very first French Open final. Since then I’ve been hooked to tennis and been an epic fan of Rafael Nadal for about 13 years.
Rafael Nadal had a great impact on my childhood. I idolized him. The few times I played tennis in our front yard I’d mimic his tactics and determination. I’ve probably watched about 85 percent of his matches over the years. While getting infusions in the morning I try my best to watch every single French Open and Wimbldon match I can. Most days I get to finish the matches Rafael Nadal is a part of. I also remember my nurses staring at the TV screen, asking who is this good looking dude?
One of the major points to Nadal’s game is his confidence. He has his certain quirks which can really bring his level of play down at times, yet he also has this ability to overcome those obstacles. Rafa gives his all in every match. Whether he wins or loses he always brings his A game. He’s also an incredible humble person.
Nadal has not won a grand slam final since 2014. He had some difficult seasons lately, yet the king of Clay has officially returned. Roger Federer is also playing well. As a huge fan, I’m just really excited for him and Roger to be facing each other again in a grand slam final. Just like old times. Thank you Rafael Nadal for given me the confidence to face my fears. You will always be the champion in my heart.