The New King of Tennis

By Chris Le

Until further notice, Rafael Nadal is the best tennis player in the world.

Call it a knee-jerk reaction, but what the 22-year-old Spaniard has done this year has been nothing short of dominant.

Consider this: Nadal steamrolled the French Open field, including Novak Djokovic, and handed Roger Federer the most lopsided defeat of his career. Rafa didn’t drop a set in his seven matches of the tournament.

Then he goes to the Swiss’ surface of choice, the swift grass of Wimbeldon, and deals Federer an emotionally crushing loss of a lifetime.

Even if Nadal performs poorly at the upcoming US Open—which I predict will happen since he holds a horrible track record at this hard-court major—and even if Federer is the No. 1 rated player in the world (he’s 545 points ahead in the ATP Rankings), Nadal is without a doubt the new ruler of the tennis landscape.

It was almost inevitable.

Nadal is young, entering his prime, and Federer, at 27, looks like his best days are behind him. Now, Nadal most assuredly has the psychological edge in the match up. Back-to-back losses in devastating fashion aren’t exactly easy to forget, especially after the years of utter dominance Federer has enjoyed.

But that’s not to say he’s going to stink it up from now on. Federer past his prime is still better than 99.9% of the earth’s population. It’s just that a select few, mainly Nadal and Djokovic, have caught up.

But in Nadal’s case, he hasn’t just pulled even, he’s slowly pulling away.

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4 responses to “The New King of Tennis

  1. Will this be the beginning of the end with Nadal’s knees, which forced him to pull out of the Mercedes Open? The way that he plays, at 22, it’s tough to say how much longer his knees can hold up.

  2. Did you see John McEnroe interview both players after the match? God, was he awkward and annoying. He was nut-hugging more than interviewing and asked for hugs from both players. If he wasn’t who he was…fuck it, this man is terrible. Get him away from the TV please.

  3. Oh GOD biting trophy again!!! Not at Wimbly please!!!

  4. I think Nadal’s knee will be fine. He’s young, is in impeccable condition, and might have a relatively early exit at the US Open, then take the rest of the year off if the knee still bothers him. He’ll be fully healthy for next year.

    And I missed the post-match interview. I DVRed the match and the following two hours after the scheduled time slot, just in case the it was extended. Good thing I did; I almost suffered the ultimate nightmare of missing the final stanza of an epic sporting event.

    And I might have to agree with ketji83. Biting trophies is just tacky now. Kissing trophies is barely acceptable. A quick peck is fine and almost natural, but holding the kiss for photographers is just cheesy.

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