But it's what Nadal chooses to use instead of the word "dream", which I highly suspect is what he is trying to convey, so I'll just go with it. Although, upon reflection, I'm actually not too sure what he means by illusion.
Last night's tennis match was one of the most heartbreaking and awe-inspiring I have seen. Awe-wise, it would probably be when Nadal actually lifted the Norman Brookes challenge cup, in 2009, fighting through ten hours, give or take, of tennis to win. Sadness-wise, although I didn't see this, was when he lost Roland Garros. Followed by pulling out of Wimbledon, although I guess that technically wasn't a match.
But what a legend. Refusing to retire, refusing to go down without a fight. And then afterwards, refusing to blame injury for his loss.
It was terrible. That building sense of dread and disappointment as you watched Ferrer take him out, yet he was still able to play amazingly. Still able to pull off the crazy winners. But he carried himself differently. I only saw one fist pump during the whole match, and that was mixed in with a grimace. He didn't look scary and ridiculously energised, like he usually does. He looked tired, and incredibly sad, resigned to the fact he was going to lose. But he still played, and fought.
Watching the press conference after, he showed the humility, respect and sportsmanship that I've always, always admired him for. It wasn't the injury which beat him, it was Ferrer, and it would be disrespect to him and his friend to say otherwise.
My expectations, I said before the tournament, I said before the year start, is enjoy every day and practice hard every day with same illusion, humble and motivation that I did all my career. So that's my principal goal, in general, no?And then he basically plagiarised Rudyard Kipling's line, which is used for Wimbledon:
But remain a lot, and remain a lot to have hopefully really good moments, and at the same time, too, really negative moments.
So this is one of bad ones, one of negative moments. That's part of the sport. I think I am very, very lucky sportsman about what happened in my career. And I have to accept the fantastic moments that I had during a lot of years with the same calm that when I have problems. And if I am ready to accept both things with I think let's say everything the same, I going to be able to come back and play my best tennis another time.Kipling's poem, which I have posted before cause it's just awesome, runs like this:
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two imposters just the sameNadal is a legend, and the first of two celebrities who inspire me greatly.