Saturday, September 05, 2015

Rafael Nadal

The 14-time major champion was defeated in 5 sets at the US Open. His world ranking has dropped to 8, despite being considered one of the informal "Big Four" (Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and Nadal).

Before you get all misty about what he once was, consider that he owns a 33-10 head-to-head match record against Roger Federer, widely considered the greatest of all time. Nadal has won the French Open 9 times. 9. Nobody ever has won more than 7 at any major tournament. Stew on that for a moment.

Indeed, the 33rd-ranked male player in the world had to play the match of his life in order to prevail. That is greatness. At times, losing makes it easier to see than winning.

The time may be drawing to a close for he and other greats who came on the scene at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Yet I'm sure the victor would echo what another man said upon upsetting Federer some years ago, when asked about Federer's alleged decline: "I wish I could decline like that."

No comments: