Today since its nearing Christmas they are showing great tennis matches from the near past, today’s match was Nadal Soderling, in the final of the French this year. At the time Nadal was going for his fifth French title in six years, he had only ever lost once at Roland Garros, and that was against his final opponent Soderling. But Nadal knew this year was not going to be like the year previous, and Nadal annihilated Soderling in straight sets. Nadal was now the only player to go a full clay season without losing, quite incredible. And so it got me thinking what must it feel like to know you are invincible, so far above everyone else, that it seems like you are from a different planet. How does Nadal feel knowing this, knowing when he plays his best, he is likely not to lose. Is this how Federer felt before Nadal burst on the scene, no one could beat him, and it took another fantastic genius it brings him back down to Earth.
What does it feel like to be Michael Jordan, 30 seconds on the clock in final game of a best of seven series to win the NBA? How does it feel to be Maradona as he dribbled his way past the whole English football team and into the history books, with one of the greatest goals ever scored. Or Donald Bradman when he hit 300 runs in a day, or Shane Warne bowled that ball at Mike Gatting. Then there is Tiger Woods winning his first major, The Masters, in his first major, at Augusta, Georgia. And finally Usain Bolt, obliterating every sprint record by miles.
What does it feel like to be invincible, to know categorically that no one is your equal; you are so far above everyone, virtually untouchable at least for a few short years. Certain sportsmen and women, transcend their sports, they are the special ones, the ones above all others we try in some small way to emulate.