Nadal proves he’s the best 2

Rafael paints himself a big victory

So with World #2 Roger Federer out of the way, World #1 Rafael Nadal confirmed his status as the Best Player in the World in defeating World #3 Novak Djokovic to win the 2010 US Open. (Click here for outstanding video and Greg Garber piece on ESPN’s site.)

How did Nadal do it? With a 66% first-serve percentage, crazy accurate crosscourt backhand winners that “didn’t seem geometrically possible” (Garber), and overall, riding a sense of destiny that was clearly too much for opponents to handle. At 24, Nadal has put it all together – and in the last 3 months has won Grand Slams on clay (French Open), grass (Wimbledon), and now hard court.

How’d he get here? No doubt like any other Best Player: great genes, practice, passion, practice, athleticism, practice, focus. And practice. Here’s a little video montage of very young Rafa to not-that-long-ago Rafa. Turn down the sound after you click play to spare yourself having to listen to the unforgivably lame musical soundtrack – but check out Nadal’s incredible quickness and ability to change direction even as a teenager.

To this day, Nadal sounds completely committed to constantly improving his game – which cannot be good news for any other male tennis player on the ATP circuit.

Congratulations, Rafael. Are you the best ever?

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2 thoughts on “Nadal proves he’s the best

  • Super Scout

    Glad to see we finally added Nadal to the Best Player Ever poll. What were we thinking omitting him? I guess I’m still stuck in the 70s, still in love with Bjorn Borg; or a slave to the recent past when Federer reigned. I still can’t believe that Nadal did those Slams on clay, grass and hard court. My oh my – that’s good. That’s great. That’s the best. That’s the best ever? Hmm – maybe it’s all happened too quickly for me. Maybe I want more from him , expect more from him, and therefore can’t use the word “ever” just yet. And maybe I’m wondering if we’ll see one last gasp from Federer?…

  • Shorty

    As in most sports, it’s obviously hard to compare the achievements of players from much earlier times to what guys like Nadal and Federer are doing. Who can say whether Rod Laver would have beaten Borg, or Borg could have topped Nadal? I suspect that in tennis, as everywhere else, superior training, nutrition, and technology – as well as the academies that Agassi describes as “prison camps” – are producing quicker, stronger, and better prepared athletes than what we saw a generation ago.

    I agree with you, SS: I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Roger Federer. Lots of guys have been at the top of their game at his age, and he’s the consummate pro. Rafa’s tops today but who knows, tomorrow?