My word is my bond. We’re back with The Rondo. There’s a lot to discuss in the sports world. A lot of interesting things happening. You already know how much I like tennis, I love it, I play when I can, and I always try to watch it. This week in Arabia, I had the opportunity to play a match. Obviously, I can’t stop talking about the Australian Open, the first Major of the season, first major event where all the big players come face to face.
We saw an incredible match in the round of 16 between Rafa Nadal and Nick Kyrgios. Rafa, as always, fighting to the death, a tough match because Nick always plays well, and against Rafa even better. Kyrgios is an incredible tennis player, even though off the court when all is said and done, he may not be who people had hoped he’d be, but on the court, it’s evident what tremendous potential he has, and it’s what everyone says, he’d have the talent to be Number 1 in the world if his head were in the right place.
A shame what happened in the quarter finals against Dominic Thiem. The Austrian is a fantastic tennis player, he plays really well, he’s very intense and very tough, and he played at a very high level. A shame that those three tie breaks fell through, which doesn’t usually happen with him. Rafa was also very intense, a fighter as always, and he fought up until the very last breath, the very last drop of sweat. It’s true that the ‘warning’ they gave him in the second set seemed to affect him more than usual. He looked uncomfortable. Even so, an extraordinary sight to see him on the court, to see how he fights, up until the bitter end. He’s an exemplary player, both in the wins and in the losses. It appears as though the Australian Open is the major championship he struggles the most with, but he’ll come out swinging next year for sure, looking for that win.
Evidently, speaking of the Australian Open, I can’t overlook Garbiñe Muguruza. Outstanding. She went into the finals with her head held high. It looks like it’s her week, and we already know that when she feels good and in the zone, it’s very difficult to stop her. Hopefully she’ll be victorious in her third major. It would be incredible, and just another demonstration that we’ve got one of the most talented women’s tennis players in the world, although it doesn’t always show.
I’ll give you the scoop on Real Madrid now, which you know I follow as much as I can, no matter where I am. They won the Spanish Super Cup, played in a different format, with four teams, and strangely enough, the two that shouldn’t have been playing in theory were those who made it to the finals, Atlético and Madrid. An intense game, as always in the derbies. In the end, Madrid, with a little bit of luck, and proving that when it comes time to play in the finals, they are a one-of-a-kind team, managed to win in the penalties, and now on top of that, they are leaders in La Liga, and they made their mark on the Cup as well, after beating Zaragoza 0-4. A more difficult game than many may think, where Madrid proved to be strong and capable.
The team is improving little by little, and does things better and better every time. Defensively they are very solid, and that’s the good thing about it, it’s not necessary to score a lot of goals to win games. I like their game more and more. I love how they come out pressuring on defense right off the bat, and how eager they are to handle the ball and play a good game of football. Zidane’s influence is becoming quite evident.
And of course, how could I forget the Dakar and Carlos Sainz’s incredible victory, at 57 years old, it’s pretty brilliant. And having that happen for someone like Carlos is fantastic. He’s such a great person. It was very, very wonderful to witness, with an outstanding performance by Fernando Alonso in his first Dakar. Such a shame the problems he had with his car in the beginning, but in general very good. I’m really happy for Carlos, he deserves it. We enjoyed it to the fullest.
Finally, although you know I don’t talk much about golf here, I would like to comment on the solid performances from the Spanish golfers this week. Among those, Adri Arnaus in Dubai, on a course that was much more complicated this year, very firm greens, fast, and a very thick rough, with two windy days. Ending up tying for third is very good. He continues to demonstrate how much he’s been improving, day by day. A great present day and up-and-coming prospect for Spanish golf. Such a shame in the US that Jon didn’t win. He was so close to taking home the Farmers. Marc Leishman had a spectacular round, and Jon Rahm fought up until the very end, although he got off to a slow start. He had a stellar final nine holes, left on the brink of victory in the end, but nonetheless another great week for Jon, who came out strong, just like almost every week.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of the Rondo. We’ll see you again here soon.