If tenacity were to cause obesity, Rafael Nadal would be the fattest person in the world. This person just doesn’t know to give up. At 26, with an injury that could probably eat up his career and gazing at the trophy cabinet, any player would’ve thought that they were his last, at least the majors. But he is unlike any player. He thought, ‘What if I get injured? It’s not like I would be injured for life, is it?’ Such was his nerve.
He not only lost the opportunity to defend his Gold medal at the London Olympics and the chance to fight for the US Open last year but also the opportunity to have a go at the Australian Open earlier this year. Not many but all would’ve given up their hopes of claiming a
major after that. But the man in question is Rafael Nadal. Inarguably, the strongest player(mentally) the sport has ever seen. He came back, not just with a bang but with the biggest bang ever witnessed. His record after the 7 month break is inexplicable.
Starting with the clay court which rightfully is HIS, he played like a legend. He was not at his best, he was better than that! He was not rejuvenated, he has reinvented himself. With the vigour that has never been displayed before, he marched on to win a record 8th Roland Garros. Then came the shocking 1st round defeat at Wimbledon which was probably the lowest point in his career. Now, many would’ve reconsidered their stand after that. But again, we’re talking about the Bull. He never accepts defeat, more so he emerges a victor from that. From that defeat, to win all the masters on Hard Court, which was regarded as one of the two saboteur’s ( the other being
injuries ) in his otherwise flourishing career and more importantly not to lose on it this year, Nadal has made quite a turn-around. He was 21-0 on hard courts this year coming into the USO final. It was a record 37th time that he was playing Novak Djokovic, one of the finest ever.
The stage was set and zillions of eyes waiting to witness a spectacle. What they got was a tad bit above that. Nadal won after putting in an awe inspiring effort dispatching the ‘Djoker’ in 4 sets in a tie that lasted just under 4 hours. He did it, he won his 13th Grand Slam and now is 1 shy of Pete Sampras’s record and 4 of his compatriot, Roger Federer’s. He has staged a remarkable comeback indeed. A great philosopher once said, Character is destiny. I guess he was referring to a man like Rafael Nadal. If it wasn’t for his character, then he wouldn’t have made it this far. Winning the USO not only regained his supremacy lost due to inadvertent injury breaks but stirred the never ending debate as to who is the GOAT. Well, going by his words Roger Federer still is. But the truth cannot be dubbed by his humility, can it? There’s no doubt as to his legendary status. He is a Legend, but the question is will he become THE Legend. That, only time can tell. Or, from what we know of Nadal only his determination could tell. If he continues to play at this level for atleast a year, there’s
no doubt that he would surpass the record set by Roger Federer. Now if he continues to play like that, then there’d be innumerable ‘Eye-gasms’ for his fans ( including me) apart from the pride that their idol will soon be the GOAT.
- Can Rafael Nadal finish the year as No. 1? (rafaelnadalfans.com)
- US Open: Nadal tops Djokovic for 13th major title (bigstory.ap.org)
- Rafael Nadal continues to be on top of ATP rankings (dnaindia.com)