Has Rafael Nadal got the best Tennis Brain ever…?

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Our Live Coverage of the final: Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic Live US Open 2013

Writing sports articles can be a funny process. In truth there’s a limit to how much actual news there is out there, family and friends pictures fill our screens Television and computes but rarely say much about their roles in the lives of the sports stars they support. Coaches know better than to be drawn into debates about their role, the legacy of being a wise owl…or not if your name is Glenn Hoddle. Babe Ruth was confounding logical thinkers before Tennis court roofs were a figment of out imagination. These days though it’s often it’s left to commentators to set the tone.

Sports journos screens went into overload this week when John McEnroe came out with what maybe considered as one of the most unusual analogies ever, certainly one that was a bit off the wall even by his standards. Subsequent to a three set, nil, two and two demolition of Robredo in the previous round McEnroe was quoted as stating the Nadal was the “Albert Einstein, Leonardo de Vinci of Tennis”. I have to say I am fascinated at what McEnroe was getting at here and I think it’s worth considering for a while longer, however your thoughts are very welcome on the subject.

Clearly we are not dealing with a trivial throw away remark here. As one of the all time greats he has shown great longevity in the game, loved on both sides of the Atlantic and indeed by Tennis fans everywhere for his energetic style inside the commentary box. See our site highlights feature on all time great US Open Match ups to listen to comparatives of commentary styles old and new. Witness the leftie serve of Laver that Mac took on a step, Vitas Gerulaitis (Vytautas Kevin Gerulaitis) who surely fits the tale of Cane and Able when compared to James Hunt (his biopic Rush I’m very much looking forward to seeing).

Human too as Mac is he perhaps could not resist a smirk recently seeing long time rival Jimmy Connors lose a potentially Prince Charming/Cinderella coaching pairing with Sharapova. Or is that Sugarpova these days? We are dealing with the son of a lawyer in Mac, one of the all time greats at on court mind games. However on reading your tales and ideas about what’s going on here I look forward to sharing one of my own most damning on-court memories, and how Mac’s recent remarks brought these thoughts flooding back. More to follow!

One final aside. There was wide spread disappointment in Serena Williams’ duck-egg demolition of Carla Suarez Navarro earlier in the week. It was the first time since 1989 that a Woman’s Quarter Finalist was dispatched at the US Open without a game to their name (Navratilova Vs Maleeva, 1989). The articles I read stated that patrons’ were none too happy to be paying upwards of two hundred dollars to see a no contest on Arthur Ashe show court. Yes Tennis is supposed to be entertainment. It’s fair though to say that wherever they achieve the Williams sisters are never going to be an easy sell in the US, where it has been said that it’s national sport Baseball is the only place where a black person dare wave a stick at white folk. Did you read anywhere that Nadal’s demolition on Robredo was poor value to watch?

Fourteen time Grand Slam winner Serena goes into tomorrow’s final with Azarenka with a 12-3 career record against her opponent. It’s 3-3 in finals that have paired the two. Will it be a classic? If neither of today’s matchups lives up to expectations, and you’re at a loose end please drop us a line. Any emails with the heading Theory of Relativity will be deleted though!

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2 comments
Triplett
Triplett

Yes, in the sense that he not just listens to his Uncle Toni, but he's willing to do it with wholehearted effort.  Prime example of this is when Uncle Toni changed his past 95 to a 100sq. inch frame.  "You're probably wrong, but I'll do it," was the only response and he parley that decision into a undefeated hard court record, his eighth French Open title and on the verge of another US Open Singles title.

jimster365
jimster365

@Triplett  When did he make that change? thought he still had 98inch?  I knew he added extra weight..