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It Is Slam Time, but Let's Not Slam Each Other Now

CINCINNATI - AUGUST 22:  Rafael Nadal of Spain reacts to a missed shot against Novak Djokovic of Serbia in their semi final during day six of the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters on August 22, 2009 at the Lindner Family Tennis Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
antiMatterSenior Analyst IAugust 30, 2009

Yeah, this is Slam time. The time when fans slam the door on each other's faces.

Apparently, articles on Rafael Nadal's achievements or his game recaps should carry comments on Roger Federer's achievements and why Nadal having a favourable head-to-head doesn't matter in any manner to Federer...or something.

Anything written on Federer's prospects at the US Open and restricted to that, carrying no Greatest of All Time debate or anything, should contain something on Pete Sampras' achievements and why Federer has not yet gotten to this or that record.

Apparently, when tennis is being staged—of the highest quality at the highest level—it is not about tennis anymore.

Why, me hearties? Is this really about two (or more) great champions? Really?

Or is it just you and me squaring off and throwing heated words and profanities against each other, trying at all costs to prove one's own pointless point? Perhaps it gives the sense that you are a Butch Cassidy and I am the Sundance Kid. A duel is fun, no?

Or maybe it is the pent-up anger at the bloke that double bageled you when you were in college. Or perhaps it is the anger that rises up on reminiscing the fact that you were not allowed to play tennis when you should have, and missed the chance.

You and me—both of us know that this is a game and it ought to be played for fun and watched for fun (well, "the played for fun" only to us non-pros). But we still fight; only if it were a fun fight. Yeah, maybe it is, maybe in some cultures throwing the "F" word at strangers is fun (fun starts with "F" of course).

You love Nadal, you say. Oh yeah, love him. But why should it concern you that I love Federer more, or I love tennis more? Does it diminish your love in any manner?

Or even the fact that that other bloke did a game recap on one of Nadal's victories over Federer? Maybe after you trade all the bullets you may find out to your (un)pleasant surprise that he was a more a fan of Federer than of Nadal, only he is not as obsessed.

Yeah, so that I sound unprejudiced, I may as well state that you can reverse any pair of names and get the same intended meaning here.

When something is stated within a certain bound, there is no justification for considering it insulting. Otherwise you are curtailing someone's freedom, or trying to—yeah, you cannot curtail his/her freedom unless he/she doesn't care what you have to say.

But that is not how a "society" is. People do care what others say about them. What is the meaning in coming together and being together, otherwise?

Perhaps it is all for better that a bit of restraint be exercised, and a bit of freedom be earned in the process. The game was made and intended to be bigger than the individual.

It is a forest—not just some trees.

So, it is Slam time. The time when fans are happy watching tennis of the highest quality. Savvy?

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