Rafael Nadal. One of the all-time legends of the game, along with of course, Roger Federer.
He won the Barcelona Open for the 10th time yesterday, and looking at the way he’s playing at the moment, it’s rather tough to argue that he is ‘past’ his prime isn’t it?
Well, he’d rather ask you to differ. An Australian Open final in which he narrowly lost out to Federer, winning the Monte Carlo Masters for the tenth time and then again, winning the Barcelona Open for the tenth time, people, Rafa is back, and how.
The almighty superathlete traits of his are again looking to be back to that crazy level where the massive forehand lob and the scary endurance levels are on show once again, for us, the audience to cherish.
He is also now looking to just use his strengths cleverly, and adapt to the changing fitness levels, as we can now increasingly witness from his down-the-line winners, compared to his previous strategy of wearing opponents down pretty quickly through long rallies, one after the another.
We are stargazing, so to speak, at a new Rafael Nadal, who has still got that extraordinary mettle to just never give up.
So, it’s no longer the Renaissance folks. It’s the new. Nouveau. Rafael Nadal. Rank no. 5, but now, with a tenth French Open in sight. Imperiously yours on clay.