Let Me Finish Rafa

Too much delay in writing, especially when I return to talk again of Nadal.  My job has kept me more than enough busy though I have been reading, of course, and as far as Nadal goes, I’ve had it.  Do you know that expression?  It might be quite American, more a dialect of sorts.  It means enough is enough.  Rafael Nadal needs to go away now.

I wrote about his H2H with Federer, how big of a piece of bullshit that remains. The comments and other discussions on the matter, to go along with what is happening in our current time and place, make quite clear that he’s a genuine fraud and has utterly made a mess of professional men’s tennis.  It’s too much.  There’s too much similarity in terms of sport impact between what he’s done to the numbers and statistics in tennis and what steroids have done to baseball in America. The numbers no longer have the same meaning.  Roger Maris’ 61 homerun season and Hank Aaron’s 755 career homerun mark were sport royalty.  That is a sport that revolves around such benchmarks.  Baseball is notoriously built on those kinds of records.  Steroids (Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds, to name ONLY a few) have lit a kind of dumpster fire around baseball and its historically meaningful numbers.

Tennis is similar, in a way.  And what Nadal did was blasphemous.  A clay court schmuck in the tradition of Gaston Gaudio, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Albert Costa and Carlos Moya has won nine French Opens and was able to make similar impact on other clay courts, as well as wreak havoc on other major surfaces.  It’s all been a sham.  He’s a fraud.

I presented some perspective on the H2H with Roger.  Others offered additional insight in the comments and, of course, this is not the only realism on Nadal to be found.

But what I did not address is his current tennis.  Indeed, most of us look only at his past and attempt to make sense of that.  We can go blow by blow, so to speak, with that 23-10 and see more evidence of fraud.

They start off 1-1 on HC (Miami) but Nadal beats him in the SF of FO.  The following year Nadal beat him in 3 clay court finals and Roger beat him at Wimby and the year end Masters Cup.  Record is 6-3, Nadal.  The following year, 3-2 Roger, where he beat him at Hamburg, Wimbledon and Masters Cup, again.  The H2H is 8-6.  And SEVEN of the matches were on clay.  2008 was tough on Roger as Nadal won all three clay court meetings and overcame Roger at Wimby.

12-6 is the record at this point, yet 10 of the matches were on clay.  That’s just to reiterate the heavy discrepancy of said joke of a H2H.

Roger routinely cleared draws no matter the surface, no matter the season.  Nadal failing to advance in other tournaments, on other surfaces somehow escapes the discussion.  Hell, even Nadal acknowledged Roger’s clay prowess: “He’s (Federer) a fantastic player, claycourt player,” Nadal said. “You know, a player who was able to play 2006, 2007, 2008, rafael-nadalfinals, then winning 2009, and then playing the final again 2011, semifinals 2005, you know, I don’t see a lot of players that have been in all that final rounds of French Open in a row, so that says that Roger is one of the best claycourt players of the history probably.”

But people, supposed learned tennis fans, only see Nadal’s dominance (of Roger).  And, yes, we’re not even going to talk about the other surfaces, I promise (oh, I did?  My bad).

Nadal’s current demise is just icing on the cake.  Have you any idea of where his tennis stands at this point?  Sure it’s pretty impressive (ly bad), but are people talking about it enough? I’m not so sure.  Some astute fans have pointed to the blood passport as having a significant impact on drug use in many sports, including professional tennis.  This seems to almost coincide with the Spaniard’s tennis court difficulties that have progressed pretty severely. His 2015 has been awful and his recent Thai exhibition with Novak only highlights how fundamentally flawed is his game (along with how sharp Djokovic is at this point).  He’s 29 and looks just terrible.

I see a recent article that talks of a potential coaching change for Nadal.  This quote is quite tonal in terms of the Nadal patriarchy: “I think you need to ask Rafael,” Toni Nadal told AFP about the prospect of hiring another coach. “But we have a group and I’m the coach of Rafael forever, since Rafael was three years old… and things were always good for us. It’s true that this year he’s going a little down but I am sure the comeback of Rafael is coming soon. Maybe if next year Rafael is playing not too good, then I think he can think about some changes in his game or in his team.”

I think you have to ask Rafael speaks volumes if you ask me.  I almost feel bad for the over-rated #7 in the world.

This brings us to this final HC season leading to the WTF in London.  Some big tournaments are underway (can’t wait to see how the big hitting Canadian Vasek Pospisil challenges Nadal in the 2R in China).

Djokovic and Federer should, again, lead the ATP parade as the men finish a great year.  But please keep your eyes on the Spaniard.  His flounder needs multiple opinions.  And any resurgence must be viewed under intense scrutiny. Please use all manners and resources of common sense to calculate a more equitable H2H if Nadal happens to continue his premature departures from these highly competitive and meaningful tournaments.  Remember, this has been happening for years.

If he can survive some of these early matches and lay claim to a spot in London, he will have a tough time fixing draws, avoiding early threats, or continuing to farcically build any legacy.  Looking forward to some hard, clean tennis.

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