Jenson Button and Rafeal NadalJune 15, 2011
Jenson Button was racing at 21st place in the rain hit Canadian Grand Prix on lap 40 and Nadal was stretched to 5 sets in the first round of his favourite Grand Slam, The French Open, but at the end of the day both won the respective titles. It is an unbelievable story of Grit and Mental strength and gives us an insight into what Champions are made off.
Canadian Grand Prix definitely made Formula 1 a lot more popular and grab Headlines across the Globe. It was the longest race in history and also having had the maximum number of times when the safety car was deployed and was also Red flagged for almost 2 hours due to torrential rains. Jenson Button in McLaren made 6 pit stops, either to get his car repaired due to minor collisions on the track or to change tyres from wet to intermediaries, and he also served a drive through penalty which saw him dropped to 16th Place and also was racing at 21st place on lap 40 but at the end of the day won the race by overtaking Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel on the last lap. This was one of the most dramatic races in Formula 1 history and certainly so for Jenson Button for whom it was his 10th Grand Prix victory and first since China last year.
Jenson Button drove incredibely well to finish on top. Safety cars did help him recover some lost time due to all the action he faced while racing but after being 21st on lap 40 and from thereon forcing an error from Vettel on the last lap and finishing on top of the heap means that Button still has an outside chance of pipping Vettel on Driver’s Championship Table. This showed 2 things, First, Vettel is human and can make errors, and Second, if a driver keeps pushing the pedal, luck and faith then any result is possible.
Vettel did no harm to his chances of winning the second successive title and he is 60 points clear of Button at this stage and should feel comfortable with such a huge lead. The only way Vettel can blow away this lead is by coming in the second half of the points table or by not at all finishing couple of races and at the same time Button wins them which seems to be unlikely the way Vettel is driving. But as they say anything is possible in Formula 1 where one race can turn the fortunes. McLaren may not have the best of the machine but they do have drivers like Button & Hamilton who can turn things around, Button by his mental strength and Hamilton by his sheer talent, if not in Driver’s tally then certainly McLaren can have a good shot at Constructor’s Championship.
On the Tennis courts Novak Djokovic was literally breathing down the neck of Nadal and was in form of his lifetime. The Serb had defeated Rafa twice in run up to French Open, in Madrid & Rome Final, and that too on clay where Rafa is supposed to be the King. Coming into the French Open the only way Nadal could hold on to his number one position was to win the title and hope that he does not face Djokovic in the final. This meant that after a long time spotlight was not on Great Federer and he could work his way up to Semi final before anyone noticed. And then he produced the match of the tournament by beating Djokovic at his own game of precision in ground strokes and by showing his sublime touch. On the other hand Rafa was made to work hard in initial rounds but was slowly and surely finding his feet on Red clay. This meant that for the first time since 2009 Australian Open final it was Rafa vs. Federer in a Grand Slam Final. A mouth watering contest and a match not to mss at any cost and so did it proved.
Nadal started poorly and 2-5 down but recovered fast and well to win first set and then going 2 set up. First set was important for Federer as it would have given that confidence and boost to him that he can beat Rafa at his own backyard as Rafa has done to Federer by beating him at Wimbeldon. But Rafa being Rafa he upped the ante at right moment and played bigger points better and wrapped up the match in four sets quashing a late fightback by Federer. Nadal considers Federer the best player in the history of Tennis and that is a quite a compliment coming from the man who enjoys a 17-8 head-to-head record against Federer. Though by putting p a scintillating show at French Open this year Federer has proved that he still has a lot of Tennis left and no one can write him off as yet and if he starts taking few more chances he is still one of the best players on the circuit. Nadal showed his mental strength and fighting spirit to capture 6 French Open title and equal record of great Bjorn Borg’s record. This was his 10th grand Slam and he certainly has the capability of winning many more which he shyly agreed to at the post match press conference and may even overtake Federer who is 4 years senior to him.
Both Button & Nadal showed great courage, mental strength and never-say-die attitude to come back from behind to have one of the most satisfying victories of their career. Button was not having the best of the times this year and with Vettel dominating the first half of the season and Button’s teammate Hamilton hogging all the headlines due to his controversial on & off field antics Button was under pressure to perform and get McLaren headlines for the right reasons which he emphatically did. Nadal was not having the best time this season and Djokivic had beaten him twice and was not giving an inch to any player. Federer had also started well in French Open and was threatening to derail Nadal express at French Open but Nadal successfully overcame all this to win his 6th French Open.
Tennis scene shifts to Wimbeldon, favourite surface of Federer and where Nadal is seeded 1. Federer would be still licking his wounds of French Open and would like to give Nadal taste of his own medicine at a place where he has enjoyed most of his Grand Slam success and djokovic will try to get back at Federer. We are also in for an exciting season of Formula One 2011 when it is also set to debut in India, Vettel will like to forget his error on last lap at Canada and would like to come back to winning ways as soon as possible.
Sports lovers are in for some exciting action very soon.
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