Sunday, 22 June, 2008

Something I wanted to post a while back- A tribute to Nadal

This is an unfinished article which I wanted to publish a while back,but never got around to doing so. I thought this would serve as a reminder to me that I should post regularly. Hope you enjoy this one.....


Ever heard the story of the bully who arm wrestled fourth graders and threatened to eat them for dinner?That is how one can describe Rafa Nadal's brutal tennis.I started writing this blog fresh from the Nadal-Hewitt french open clash.Nadal simply bulldozed the stylish Australian in the first two sets and had yet another French open victory in his kitty,despite facing some typical Hewittian resilience. The Aussie fought his heart out in the third set but the damage had already been done.Hewitt was sent packing after the round of 16 for the second straight year and at the hands of the same opponent.And this is a guy who has featured in the ATP top 10 consistently over the past few years.

18 nil. That’s how Nadal’s record reads,on the clay of Roland Garros.The muscular Mallorcan lad made history when he held aloft,the trophy,two years ago as a 19 year old.Since then, Nadal s dominance on clay has grown to such an extent that he seemed to literally own every tournament he played on the slow red surface.But all great things must come to an end.And end,it did, fittingly at the hands of another great,Roger Federer, who seemed to have finally solved the riddle that was Nadal, or are we speculating too soon? We’ ll know the answer when the French Open culminates in the inevitable final between the two giants of contemporary tennis.

But the Nadal machine is not perfect as yet. His first serve is nothing to be proud of. His approach play and volleying are not the sharpest. But Nadal more than compensates for these minor flaws, thanks to his powerhouse forehand and that wicked two fisted backhand. He can place the ball seemingly anywhere on the court, to suit his whims and fancies. And he has a lot of mental strength and aggression, which are characteristic to his game style.

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