Nadal has begun his succession to Federer’s throne

Posted: July 6, 2010 in Tennis

The Wimbledon men’s final brought a new perspective as opposed to what we have become used to recently.

Having been spoilt by two consecutive five-set thrillers for the past two years, 2010 witnessed a three-set whitewash as Rafa Nadal hammered Thomas Berdych.

Gone were the impossibly long rallies. Gone were the seemingly impossible breaks of service. This wasn’t a match where you thought neither player deserved defeat, like Federer in 2008 or Roddick in 2009.

In fact, for the neutral, you could say it was boring. Perhaps we had been spoilt by two master-classes in the game full of twists and turns and worthy competitors.

Perhaps this match happened earlier on in the tournament, with Federer v Falla or Nadal v Haase. John Isner’s record-breaking victory over Nicholas Mahut also served up (no pun intended) an epic contest of guts, valour and endurance to whet our appetites for tennis.

The final however, was as one-sided as you could wish for. But instead of reflecting on an epic contest, we are talking about a man who has jumped to being far and away the best player in the men’s game.

For the past couple of years, Nadal had reached the standard of Roger Federer and we witnessed a battle between the two for overall supremacy. The pair exchanged majors like Christmas presents, as they dominated the game of tennis.

However, Nadal has now clearly gained top spot for his own. Federer seems to be depreciating now, which frankly can come as no surprise due to the emergence of other priorities in his life. Nadal is still young, with a like-minded girlfriend, whilst the Swiss is married and is a father to twins.

There is only so much time and effort he can dedicate to his game without neglecting his family duties.

One should never write off the great man, and it would be foolish to do so. But after two consecutive tournaments in which he has exited at the quarter-final stage, you have to wonder where his head is in regards to his tennis career.

That he was defeated by Berdych at Wimbledon in relatively comfortable fashion, it was possibly telling that his Spanish rival went on to completely control Berdych in the final, winning in straight sets without having to produce his best tennis.

Berdych definitely had an off day in the final, but there is a gap emerging at the top. Rafael Nadal is by far and away the best player in men’s singles action at this moment in time.

For Federer, it should be a pleasure that his place at the top has been taken by Nadal. The Spaniard combines some fantastic racquet-play with a general pleasant demeanour and is one of the more likeable men on tour.

It is amazing how much he has achieved without a notable serve. Whilst numerous other players can rely on a big serve to get them out of a spot of difficulty, the ace count always remains low in a Nadal match.

Instead, his raw pace to scramble across court, a never-say-die attitude and a massive forehand can help him out of any sticky situations he gets into. Whilst his serve is more fallible than the other top players, he is far more likely to break the service game of anyone else.

On top of that, he just comes across as a really nice guy. With a number of players (Federer excluded), their thanks to the fans comes across as rather forced. See Serena Williams’ acceptance speech this year for an example.

Whilst Nadal shies away from publicity, he seems to genuinely appreciate his fans. He values the support given to him and brings an air of humbleness despite his brilliance. It’s that genuine aspect to his personality that makes him a great and worthy champion.

Whilst Federer’s star may be on the wane, Nadal’s is on the rise. Long live King Rafa, a worthy heir to the throne of tennis.

  1. Chris Ross says:

    Great read, I really enjoyed this one! I thought that this year’s wimbledon was very exciting and was happy to see Rafael Nadal take home his second title. But you have wonder if his injuries are going to catch up to him. I’m worried for how his career is going to pan out because of the injury problems considering it could be an unbelievable career rather than just very good. I really msis those impossibly long rallies, especially those in the 2008 wimbleedon final against federer. Also, you think you could check out my blog? I really want to know what your opinion is on my thoughts.

  2. Tom Brown says:

    I am not a fan of Nadal, but I think he is about to take over the world of tennis like Federer did all them years ago. I cant see Murray winning LOADS, but he will grab the odd Grand Slam, same with Djokovic. But Nadal will take over the world. Good post

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