James and I watched part of the match, as no. 1 tennis player Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2 to become 2009 Australian open singles champion, in a contest that lasted four hours and 23 minutes. But we went to bed long before the match ended.
I’m ignorant of the finer points of tennis, but the endurance and stamina of the players is astonishing—especially Nadal, who had played another 5-setter in his semi-final. I cannot think of another sport that pits just two players against each other in such a long, gladiatorial, contest. (Except the looser lives to fight another day.)
Mr Nadal’s long locks gave him the look of a gladiator. And as a left-handed player, he has more muscle on the left side.