It’s Madrid RafaLint time!
The Case of Rafael Nadal and the Missing Trophy – Tennistalk.com’c Cheryl Murray has an issue with plates and who the hell can blame her? I really wish they would have played Frisbee with them as she suggests.
Brothers to the Death – as usual, Tennis.com’s Steve Tignor “gets” Rafa…or at least, agrees with my vision of him.
I’ve always liked Nadal’s attitude: Go for the win every time you set foot on a court, give every fan in every venue a chance to see you put yourself on the line, and honor them by celebrating and being equally proud of every win, no matter where it takes place. This, no doubt, is not as practical in the long run as the dour old Lendl-Sampras mantra, “Only the majors matter.” But look at it from a fan’s perspective. For us, as viewers who like to watch tennis more than four times a year, Nadal’s passion for every match offers a lot more entertainment and satisfaction.
Satisfaction is often a word that comes to my mind when thinking about Rafa. Seriously, though, I often find myself wondering how someone can be motivated to work so hard to accomplish the same thing again and again – winning the same tournament year after year. Then I see the look on Rafa’s face when he wins. I still don’t fully understand it, but I embrace it because it’s a beautiful thing to see.
Why choose between them at this point? Here you had the greatest men’s Grand Slam winner in history next to the greatest Masters Series winner. Here you had two guys who keep coming back coming back coming back, even as the contenders/pretenders below them fade into the woodwork. If they’re starting to look more alike as time goes on, that may be because, as they continue to defy the odds of tennis gravity year after year, Federer and Nadal both keep looking better and better to us.
Rafa was “the next big thing” in 2005. He lived up to the burden of that title and then some – eventually pushing all others aside and standing at the top of the hill. How many have crumpled under that same pressure since him? How many have come close, but not quite made it there? How many have both admired and cursed the two men standing at the top of the hill calmly and benevolently surveying their kingdom? (Less beer. I should have less beer before posting. Beer leads to bad overwrought prose and bad analogies.)
rtves.es report on the record breaking match.
Match point from a fan’s perspective (a fan with excellent seats):
Posted by bichus.
Extended footage of Rafa’s pre-match prep:
Posted by vamosrafelnadal – a lot like a vid posted the other day, but with more footage of Rafa in the hallway. Including him scaring the heck out of one guy with his racket swing.