Steve Tignor’s quarterly report is up and his Rafa love continues.
He’s extended his turf while tightening his grip on the top spot. As the champion in Melbourne and Indian Wells, Nadal is now the favorite to win any hard court tournament he plays. You might chalk this up to the sport’s long-running move toward slower surfaces. But I’m going to chalk it up to Nadal’s dogged expansion of his own game. By now, his rallies can consist of anything—drop shots, low chips, stealthy forays to the net, exclamatory overheads, and, of course, the meat and potatoes, uncannily accurate topspin drives. There’s something for any tennis fan to like, which is no more and no less than what we want from the new face of the sport. Rafa is taking No. 1 in stride; he’s comfortable there without acting entitled about it. Why would we have expected anything else? A+