The 2013 French Open ended with Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal taking home the trophies in the women’s and men’s events, respectively.

I am completely thrilled to have Rafa bag it for the eighth time in his career. Prior to the finals, the media and tennis observers noted that, should he win it, the championship would be sweeter for David Ferrer who made it to his first ever grand slam final in his tennis career.

I did not expect that Rafa would wax emotional with this win. He was in tears after the match. At the awarding ceremonies, as the Spanish national anthem played, he shed tears again.

Meantime, Serena was the toast of the press because of her exceptional tennis at 31 years old and also for the on-court interviews she conducted in French. Such was her determination to display her newly acquired language skills that she no longer bothered to speak in English for the benefit of her English-speaking fans and her own mother, no less. As Serena thanked her mother (in French), her mother had to be told that her daughter was referring to her.

It’s always impressive when someone knows a foreign language. But isn’t Rafa a Spaniard who speaks French and English, (with English being a late addition to his linguistic repertoire)? Likewise, Maria Sharapova, the other finalist in the 2013 French Open, is Russian who speaks English quite well. Funny that when English-speakers learn a foreign language, it’s NEWS. However, when Europeans can speak in English, it doesn’t make the headlines.

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