Sunday, June 11, 2017

King of Clay

A year ago at this time, I wrote a post about Novak Djokovic and whether he was the greatest tennis player of all time.

At that time, Novak held all four grand slam titles in a row. In what they call the "open era" that is an amazing thing.

But since then, Novak has had some troubles. He certainly looks fit, still plays with his customary gutsy brilliance most of the time. Those in the know say most of his troubles are between his ears. Maybe so. I have no doubt he'll be back.

In the meantime, can we talk about my favorite player, Rafa Nadal? He's called the King of Clay and with very good reason. Today he completed "la decima", his 10th French Open title.

10th. Unbelievable. Unheard of.

Nadal's greatness on clay is equaled by his humility. One never gets the sense that he believes in the hype around him. He always has respect for his opponent, whether that player is the number one seed or no seed at all.

He plays hard on every point, no matter the score. As far as his temperament on court, he is essentially unflappable.

In today's age of grandstanding super star athletes, Nadal is refreshing at the least. At the most, he is the ideal role model--a man deserving of his success achieved by hard work and dedication to his sport.

Nadal was always going to be in the running for the "GOAT" of tennis. His tenth French Open title today more than cements his position.

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