You will be awestruck after you see Rafal Nadal play, especially at French open. It makes you realize what a perfectionist he is at what he does and the hard work he puts in. Nadal changed the face of Tennis with his rock star long hair and bandana, sleeveless tees top and long shorts but the epitome of his career was when he beat Rodger Federer for the French Open title in 2005 when he was only 17.
Once again from today Nadal will be the newly crowned world No.1 after he reached the Finals of China Open and with 10 trophies this year including 2 Grand Slams (French open & U.S Open) since taking the court in February, this year has mark the return of the famous Spaniard after his injury lay-off.
Nadal was a phenomenon that caught the attention of the world with his unconventional style of plays, long rally’s, unorthodox forehand, bulging biceps, stamina of a marathon runner and a strange habit of inappropriately pulling at his shorts before serving and most of all, his down to earth attitude has made him a role model for many who wants to pursue tennis.
With 13 Grand Slam titles, 20 odd ATP masters titles and addition to that a Olympic Gold Medal and four Davis Cup titles Nadal is arguably the best that the tennis world has seen and ranked high on the tennis hierarchy overtaking the John Mcenroe’s, Agassi’s and Sampras’s at only 27.
Nadal has won everything in his tennis career and achieved more than anyone at his age (Federer had 1 less grand slam title at 27) and if ever he decides to hang up his boots cause of his troublesome knee, Nadal will still be considered as the greatest, I am sure the French people will agree with me on this.
From a career threating injury to making history at US open Nadal in a span of 8 months, this year certainly was a roller coaster ride. His dismal performances at Wimbledon losing out in the first and second round in simultaneous years, his ever persisting knee injury and shoulder troubles made him withdraw from 2012 Olympics and Australian open in January 2013 made him forfeit his number 1 status.
When one declines, there is always someone to pounce to make it their advantage, in 2011 Novak Djokovic won everything that the Tennis world could offer, he was the crowd favorite and was given the title ‘the king’. He had clawed his way up the summit and was destined to be there for many years. With his famous antics and humorous mockery of his counterparts Djokovic was showing a new phase in tennis.
However, this year twice Nadal has got the better of Djokovic at French open and US open and questions are certainly being asked about Djokovic being Numero Uno. With only Australian open in 2013 and a straight set loss to Andy Murray at Wimbledon and 4 sets mulling by Nadal in the U.S open, the China master’s victory was still not enough to keep the No. 1 spot.
There are rumors that Nadal won’t be taking part at the Master’s to give his knees a rest and not overdo, which may lead to a relapse and him being out for a lengthy period again. However, he decided against it took part in the masters and regained his spot on top.
He also pulled out of Australian open to be fit for French open earlier this year. Nadal has always catered his tender knees and will never enter any competition when he is not 100 percent. This quality of nadal shows that he does not play tennis to be the number one or for the money or the fame that comes with it. He plays for his passion towards tennis and to mostly entertain his fans.
Nadal has certainly outlasted Federer even though he still considers him to be the number one in tennis; he has developed a fond profession relationship and friendship with Federer which is wonderful to hear when they speak about each other. Many others have risen from the Ashes to overtake Nadal and have never lasted long because this Spanish Matador from Malaga rightfully called as ‘The King of Clay’ always comes back with the hardest punch to secure his place at the summit.
Nadal is truly the best player the tennis world has seen not only in our generation but of all generations and my predictions is that he will win Calendar Grand Slam (winning all 4 grand slams in a single year) and continue winning the French open till he hangs up his boots.