Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A king is a king anywhere!!

It was early March this year, the last of the financial months.But in the language of tennis, it is the time when the first of the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments, the "Fifth Grand Slam", the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells is played. More importantly, this year it was the event in which Rafael Nadal after an injury which kept him away from Tennis for around eight months( of course he won two small events before this but this is a Masters 1000!!). And he has been undefeated on hard courts ever since, winning five out of the seven Masters 1000 tournaments played so far this year three of them being on hard courts. His win-loss is 52-3. Out of these three loses, two came on clay courts and one on grass court.
I think it is time we take back the title, "Clay Court Specialist" we have given him.
A deeper look into his statistics.
Nadal after winning US Open 2010 

Nadal has played in 17 Grand Slam finals so far out of which he has won 12 with eight of them being on a clay court. Fine. This makes 47 percent of his finals. He is yet to lose a grand slam final on clay. So more than 50 percent of his grand slam finals have been played on a non-clay court. The rest of the 9 finals, 56 percent were played on grass court and the rest 44 percent on hard courts.
It has been 9 years since Nadal won his first grand slam. Let us divide the nine years into two halves. First: 2005-2008 and the second: 2009-2013. In the first half, his clay court grand slam finals share is 57 and in the second half it drops down to 40 percent. From 2009 to present he has won seven grand slams, 58 percent of his total grand slams.
In the ATP Masters 1000 tournaments too he has an impressive record of reaching 14 finals on non-clay courts winning 8 of them. And wait, his olympic gold was on a hard court!! And please do not ask about grass courts. Only one major event is played every year on that surface and there is no Masters 1000 played on a grass court!
His achievements on clay surface undoubtedly makes him the greatest clay court player in history. He has 42 titles overall on clay courts and 8 grand slams on clay court and at a single grand slam, a feat which no one even dream of. However, he also has 14 titles on hard courts and 3 on grass courts. He also holds many other records which prove his quality of tennis on any surface.
While Nadal is not at all a contender in the GOAT race compared to Federer according to me, he has however, definitely proven himself a very good player on any surface.
He is called "The King of Clay". Now, he is off to show that a king is a king anywhere and everywhere!!
Vamos Rafa!