An animal on the court, the GOAT?

Rafael Nadal's driveOne of my passions looks like a good topic for my very first post, tennis.

Few days after his victory at the Toronto Rogers Cup tournament, defeating one of the most prominent members of the next-gen, I can’t help thinking about these so called tennis fans that state that Rafa Nadal is only good on clay.

I shouldn’t worry about it because I’m quite positive that those saying that, don’t really know that tennis is that sport played with a racket and a small yellow ball and a score of 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 is not read 636 to 465.  I’m sure that those among my readers with some knowledge of tennis will agree that a player that has won 3 US open, 2 Wimbledon, 1 Australian Open (so 6 GS), plus 9 M1000 out of the clay, cannot be considered “only good on clay”.

This is the power of suggestion. Rafa is so overwhelmingly superior on clay, that it makes his results on hard and grass look small. We tend to compare his results on clay to his results on other surfaces, instead of comparing his results to other players’ results. I mean how many players have won 6 GS and 9 M1000 overall? Not so many. Well, these are the credentials of Rafa Nadal out of the clay!

The truth is that Rafa Nadal is considered by many the GOAT (Greatest of all times). I’m not one of them because between two legends like Roger Federer and Rafa himself, there’s no way you can actually decide who is the greatest of all times.

Roger still has more GS, but is that enough to consider him the best? I don’t think so. For starters, in the H2H, Rafa is well above. Then Rafa Has incredible records like having won some tournaments 10 times or more. His amazing 11 titles at Roland Garros will hardly be beaten by anybody already born. Rafa is the player with the most M1000, nearly as important as the GS and where all other good players also are, or is it easier to beat Roger in Cincinnati than in Flushing Meadows? I actually think that his clear dominance on one surface makes him a good candidate for the goat title. Besides, We can say that Roger is better than Rafa on hard and grass, but not only Rafa’s dominance over him on clay is clearly superior, Roger’s overall performance on clay is rather poor. Why should he be the goat if he’s done so poorly on such an important surface?

Roger could also deserve this title. he has more GS, he has won the masters cup several times, whereas Rafa has not made it once. Well, there’s not many more reasons to grant him the goat title, but those are valid.

Well, the more I speak, the more it looks like Rafa is to me, the goat, but no, I’m sticking to thinking the title should be shared. And maybe in the future we should count also on a 3rd contestant. Novak Djokovic might catch them soon. He’s just below them on the race, but way above the rest.

Anyways we will see a change at some point. Roger is already 37. The difference of age can play a role in this competition. But Rafa is also 32, not a kid anymore. Roger has managed his longevity really well. He is extending his career at levels rarely seen in the history of sport.

If Rafa masters this issue the same way, he will probably surpass Roger in all records, but will he or will his body say “that’s it” just like most athletes’ bodies , long before turning 35? I guess we’ll see.

And please, I’ve seen comments hurting my eyes, like Rafa retires when he’s losing, like to make excuses. If you have no idea about tennis, please don’t embarass yourself and don’t comment, here or on the papers.

Thank you for reading my first post.

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