How about Rafael Nadal Parera instead? A fellow tennis fan friend of mine forwarded me a story from Deadspin with the headline: "The King of Clay is Looking a Little Wobbly." This after a tight first-round match in Monte Carlo and with Alexander Zverev on the horizon, this guy figured Rafa was done for. I told my friend then that the story was basically pablum and was utterly useless in a respectful way:
And then Rafael Nadal Parera kilt the rest of the field, even winning Monte Carlo. No, I haven't gotten my apology yet.
Nadal beat Zverev along the way. And then he went ahead the next week and won Barcelona, beating Kevin Anderson and Dominic Thiem in that process. And that three-set match against Kyle Edmund that prompted Deadspin to put on their genie hat? It's the only three-setter he's played since. I mean, damn, who consistently makes it to finals this year, losing mostly to Roger Federer for most of this year and still has to have folks questioning his career?
Hell, he's having a better year right now than three out of the four players ranked above him right now!
Speaking of, so Novak Djokovic! Djokovic has had some issues lately. He beat Andy Murray in a tournament final in January -- and hasn't sniffed the latter stages of a tournament since. The Australian Open didn't go well. He's taken a couple Ls to Nick Kyrgios, which are not bad losses. But Denis Istomin? David Goffin? So yeah, it's been tough. How tough? Welp, Novak answered that for us this week by DITCHING HIS ENTIRE TEAM. All. Of. Them. He revealed the news on his website and one line
kinda made me wonder if he wouldn't have wanted to quote that a little differently.
Seriously, this is a pretty dramatic move and of course, you wonder how amiable this is. You also wonder how long Djokovic will stay on his own. Especially with the French Open coming, and as Nadal and Federer are becoming more of a threat. So this will be interesting ...
|By the way, the current average age of the ATP's top 5 is 31.|