I was at legal clinics so I didn't get to watch the match, but post-match comments by both players and fans alike indicate that he was injured. In all honesty, I'm inclined to say that that's what he always says whenever he loses in a shocking manner, like this loss to Ferrer; I'm also inclined to think that he's just making excuses because he declared himself healthy after beating Marin Cilic in the previous round.
But then, I don't know if the injury wasn't something he picked up during the match. Neither am I particularly partial to the very biased and partisan commentary on Nadal, his injuries, and his medical time-outs that goes on in the world of Federer fans on his official website.
No, what I want to say, the point that I want to make, is this: It's no small achievement to win 3 Slams in a year (and in a row), but it can't compare to winning 3 Slams in a year, over a span of 3 years. People were hailing Nadal as the new Greatest of All-Time ("GOAT") after he won the US Open last year, blithely brushing his nemesis, Roger Federer, aside, conveniently forgetting that what Nadal is seeking to achieve, Roger has already done most of it before. Maybe the two of them will end their careers with Nadal having more Slams than Roger (I doubt that); but it's disrespectful to all that Roger has achieved to start the conversation this early.
Nadal's loss tonight simply highlights the near-impossibility of what Roger did when he completely dominated the sport rom 2004-2007. It's so conceptually difficult to imagine on so many levels: the intensity of your passion, the extent of your motivation, the strength of your focus, and the tenancity of your character.
But beyond that, tennis is still a sport. It's a physical game before it is a mental game. Nadal's career has been marred by injuries after injuries; Roger's career has remained surprisingly free of injuries.
Chalk it down to the difference in their playing styles if you will; but you live by the sword, die by the sword. Nadal's playing style is demanding on his body, but that's the style that's got him to where he is today. Roger, on the other hand, glides across the court and makes tennis look absolutely effortless; perhaps that's why he has been largely injury-free throughout his career. That's also partly why he reached 10 Slam finals in a row, 23 Slam semi-finals in a row.
Will we ever see such complete dominance and consistency similar to what Roger did in 2004-2007 in tennis ever again? I think that's a rhetorical question. Playing styles may be a question of taste, but Roger's effortless grace on the court may very well cement him as the greatest man to ever play the game of tennis.
Legal clinics was very nerve-wrecking at first - that is, the thought of going there and giving free legal advice to ordinary citizens, when I did not feel vaguely qualified to do so.
But it went better than I expected. Although I wasn't super helpful, I probably tried harder during those 45 minutes to help those people than the 7 months I've tried at work combined. They were really grateful too, even if I basically said that there was no chance.
I hardly ever feel a sense of purpose when I do what I do for a living. Today was one of the rare times that I felt like I did not make the wrong decision when I went to law school. Juxtapose this evening with the lunchtime seminar that the firm made me sit through - ordinary citizens, clueless about their legal rights, versus commercial viability, clients that want lawyers to think commercially for them.
I think the fact that I will always, always say "fuck you" and "fuck off" to the latter shows that I'm in the wrong place. If a miracle happens and I remain in this profession, a small firm is probably the best way to go.
That said, it gets emotionally tiring to bear other people's burdens on your shoulders. I have a client, a foreigner, who is charged for overstaying in Singapore, which shockingly (actually, nothing about the illiberal tendencies of this country shock me much anymore) carries a penalty of fucking caning, what the fuck, and I'm beginning to get a bit emotionally invested. He's my age and has an ailing mother back in his country, and he's just a dude that came here to work but who just overstayed his pass.
I don't see myself doing this in the long run because I can't get past the crushing disappointment that I know will be coming my way really soon. I can't see myself working in a big firm anyway because I can't get past the utter irrelevance and unimportance to which I attribute these commercial cases and issues and clients. I mean, objectively I see the point; but subjectively, it's just not the shit that I'd like to throw myself into. I just can't get past the fact that there are so many more important things to do in life than...this.
Well, anyway, I'm glad that today wasn't that bad a day, but still, being the pessimistic person that I am, I'm just waiting for the day when I'm overwhelmed with so much hate at my present situation that I become all morose and depressed again.
Speaking of depression, I concluded two nights ago that my snap decision to diet tends to come when I'm depressed. My first real dieting attempt came when I experienced the lowest low I'd ever felt in my life, courtesy of NEB, and it was a runaway success. Since then, I hadn't quite needed to diet as much as I did...well, now.
Controlling my diet is the easiest way to maintain control over my life when I feel like everything is spiralling out of control. Daniel Johns of silverchair said this when he talked about his anorexia and I actually see the logic in this kind of thinking. I feel like I've accomplished something by effectively controlling what I eat, which makes up for the lack of accomplishments in my life.
I think this probably means I'm actually kind of depressed. It sucks. Sometimes I legitimately worry for my own mental health and emotional well-being; there are days when I sincerely, genuinely believe that life is utterly pointless and that there is nothing to look forward to, and even tennis tournaments don't matter (you know something is seriously wrong when I think that the Australian Open is pointless). I don't think that all the time, but it comes back often enough to me when I'm in a dark place, mostly because of my job, that I can't help but wonder if there will come a day when I wouldn't be able to snap out of it.
In any event, I'm taking this damn job the same way Roger approaches tournaments: one match at a time. In my case, one fucking day at a time.
Lastly, I had yeast infection and mild UTI and it was really fucking bad, so much so that I was squirming my ass off during the lunchtime seminar.