I think I lost around 10 years of my life watching this match yesterday - almost feel like I played the thing myself. Warrior moment for Rafa, holding on to his number 2 ranking in the face of some absolutely superb clay-court tennis by Djokovic. Great match from both guys, great last game (which went on for something like 20 minutes). Rafa meets Federer in the Hamburg final today, but I really don't care whether he wins or not. Yesterday was enough.
I spend a lot of my spare time on the Tennis World blog and it's been interesting to see how the arrival of Djokovic in the last few months seems to have united Federer and Nadal fans. Roger's groupies were actually cheering Rafa on yesterday (though that's partly because if Rafa had lost the number 2 spot, he might have been seeded to meet Roger in the French Open semi-final this year instead of the final, and that would have been frazzle-inducing for any Federer fan). The camaraderie between both groups of fans has been quite remarkable in recent months, especially given all the rancour that used to be directed at Rafa when he first came on to the scene. (More on that in these posts, about sports-fans and their perceptions.) A lot of that rancour is now being directed at Djokovic, who is seen as the cocky young upstart trying to overturn the established order, but I think he'll start building up goodwill for himself in the next few months. So it goes in sport.
P.S.: if none of this makes any sense to you, look away. I usually do a good job of keeping my very intense life as a tennis fanatic away from this blog, but have to unburden every once in a while.