Sunday, September 12, 2010

Why Nadal Will Win

After winning the French Open, Rafael Nadal during his post match interview gave everyone that was watching what title he was zeroed in on after reclaiming his King of the Clay title. He told Johnny Mac that he wanted to add the US Open to his trophy case. What had hindered Nadal in the past was not that he was a poor hard court player, but after playing front loaded schedule his body simply could not withstand the hard courts. He was broken by the time September came around. Anyone that plays tennis knows that hard courts can be grueling on your body. Add that with Nadal's physically demanding style of play meant he was running on empty.

This year though he really cut down on the number of tournaments knowing that if he came in healthy he'd have a great shot. What you've seen is a fresh Nadal with an improved serve that gets him free points that he's never had before. Nadal has been a great player, but always lacked a serve that was a weapon, which only compounded the number of balls he would have to hit. Now, he's getting more free points, which keeps him fresher, longer. Not that conditioning has ever been an issue for Rafa, but I'll take an ace/service winner over a 15 stroke rally any day. I don't care who he's playing (props to Djokovic for a great semi-final), but he's winning this match. He'll have a career grand slam and a chance to have all 4 titles at the same time if he can win the Aussie Open-something Federer has yet to do.

Viva Rafa.


Jean Michelle said...

Personally I think that Juan Michael Porter II will win... he's got a pretty swing, whatever that means. Thank you for you informed reporting. I now actually understand what all the tennis fans are talking about.

MC ENTIRE said...

Jean Michelle,

thx for your comment. enjoy the match!

Ferris said...

I'm admittedly not a huge follower of tennis - enjoyed watching Wimbledon over summer vacations - and despite not being able to overhand serve I'm a beast on the court... what is the significance (to Rafa and tennis in general) of him winning this year's open?

Was it two years ago at Wimbledon that Nadal and Federer played an epic championship match? And when will the USA dominate tennis again? I was just reading about Johnny Mac's tennis academy...

MC ENTIRE said...

By winning the US Open Rafa now has a career grand slam title, which means he's won the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. It's quite an achievement to win all 4 majors on 4 different surfaces. Only 7 other players have done this in tennis history.

What makes it even more significant is that he's only 24 years old and has 9 Grand slams, which is more than Federer had at that time he was 24. Nadal now has the opportunity if he wins the Australian Open in 2011 to be the first tennis player since Rod Laver to hold all 4 titles at the same time. It's pretty special what he's been able to accomplish.

Yes, 3 years ago they played their epic match that ended basically in darkness. It's considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, championship finals ever.

USA tennis has struggled to produce elite players. On the men's side we have some young guys like John Isner and Sam Querry that are breaking into the the top 20, but don't look like the kind of players that will be consistently in the top 10. There are some young juniors-Jack Sock- just won the US Open Juniors title and played another American in the final so those types of wins are promising.

On the women's side there are not a lot of American women in the top 20 except for the Williams' sisters. They are dominate as ever, but getting up there in age. After that there is a huge drop off with no real legitimate contenders tweaking my brain.

I think one of the problems is that Americans are just spoiled. Tennis is a luxury for them. Maybe this will be my next I'll stop here :)