Victims of a Sad Blood Sport
It's a sad truth that even the most savage masters of blood sport
know that one day they'll encounter an enemy they cannot thwart.
And so the dulled champion knelt, in his darkest close of day —
In the fall of Rome, in rueful repose, Rafa left crying on his clay.
As the bull's blood stained the red dirt a deeper shade of red
Came Rafa's death-bed whisper: "Why do I not play Fed?"
But it was Nole that day with sword a'sway, inflicting boundless hurt,
A few break points convert and topple the Spaniard's empire of dirt.
And, too, it was true that Rafa fell on asphalt, Rafa fell on grass.
Like Gandalf crowding at the net: Rafa, you shall not pass!
No matter the surface, it's the bull who's lain slain upon the floor.
Nole says: "Lay out a carpet, sir, and I'll beat you here once more.
And by the end of the season, you'll even be losing again to Fed.
But look on the bright side, friend, at least you can still eat bread!
No number of water bottles can save you, so retire with your knees,
And savor only thoughts of doctors bequeathing you some disease."
Yet, Rafa's death came only on the inside; still his heart kept beating,
His mind an ocean of anguish, of losses vivid and repeating.
At first, the hells of Indian Wells seemed of anguish Hades-sent.
In Miami, his heart was rent. But Madrid: What sorrowful lament!
How could Uncle Toni let him lose in Spain, no wound to feign?
Just a brain to blame. Surely his legs and soul held equal pain.
Rome felt like a harbinger of the biggest stage to embarrass.
But a raging Roger raptly told Rafa: "Babe, we'll always have Paris!"
Alas, fate can only wait a fortnight or two to catch up to you.
So, on Centre Court, came time for Rafa and Novak's pas de deux.
And, watching the score, ever heartsore, Rafa's emotions outpouring,
but maybe that's just the price you pay for calling Pete Sampras boring.
Novak dressed up as Shakira to make fun of Rafa? Sure, it was clever.
But the demolition at Wimbledon was Nole's greatest mockery ever.
Perhaps being the butt of that joke has Rafa grasping at his behind.
But, please, show some couth, man: The troubles are in your mind.
The rest of the season's cast in a pall now that the bull fears the ball.
There will be no friendly doubles pairing this summer in Montreal.
And so every match feels funereal upon the sepulchral court
until that longest of all MTOs can end this sad blood sport.