The spirit of the sport

I am biased, but this quote from Nadal’s press conference following his loss in the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic is amazingly mature and well-adjusted, I think, given some of the prima donna behavior that fans often observe in professional athletes.

"He’s in the best moment of his career. I am in one of the best moments of my career. Still not enough for him. I have to play more aggressive. I have to have less mistakes. Yes, that’s what I have to do.

"He has good backhand, very good forehand, good serve. His movement is probably one of the best of the world of the moment.

"Seriously, I lose because I am playing against the best player of the world, and I am the second. And when you play against these players and they are playing unbelievable, the normal thing is: lose.

"My experience says this level [of Djokovic’s] is not forever. Even for me when I was last year winning three Grand Slams, my level of last year is not forever. Probably the level of Novak of today is not forever. I gonna be here fighting all the time, waiting for my moment. I don’t have to wait a lot, because I already won three tournaments this year and one Grand Slam. But waiting for my moment to beat him another time.

"I understand the sport like this. When one player is better than you, at this moment the only thing you can do is work, try to find solutions, and try to wait a little bit for your time.

"Last five times wasn’t my time. I gonna wait and I gonna try a sixth. And if the sixth doesn’t happen, to the seventh. It’s going to be like this. That’s the spirit of the sport."

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