This thread is looking at both sides of the potential Nadal Clay Sweep of it happens this year. This is the way I see it. Pro – Nadal doing a clay court sweep this year is nothing short of legendary, not only in tennis, but in sports history. He is already cemented as one of the greatest players to have ever played this game, and certainly one of the greatest clay courters we have had the privilege of watching (I don’t believe in a GOAT, but that is not what this topic is about). Sports aficionados, sports historians would already know about what Nadal has done during his incredible meteoric ascension to the top of the world, however a clay sweep now would truly echo in the annuals of time. Whether you love him, hate him, or are indifferent to him, I think it would be difficult to argue against the statement that a player like Nadal does not come around every year. He is almost half way through a clay sweep again for 2011, having won a seventh straight title in Monte Carlo, and a sixth title in Barcelona....He has not lost at those events since 2003, and even then it took some reputable names on the circuit to beat him at those events. Yet to come are Madrid, Rome, and the FO. If he walks out of Roland Garros with the title, having gone undefeated throughout the clay, he would have back to back Madrid titles, a sixth title in Rome, and most importantly, a sixth RG title. He would have completed back to back clay seasons, and would have swept up an unprecedented six straight Masters 1000 on clay, plus a Barcelona title from this year, and two FO’s. The sixth RG would be the biggest of them of all, equalling the haul of Borg, the legend whom he is most often compared to...and have equalled, and in some instances has surpassed in many ways results wise (AO, USO). Having won two FO’s without dropping a set, and having won MC and Barcelona with arguably his B or even C games at times, it is possible that the clay court juggernaut can continue to gain momentum, and may even possibly win the FO again without dropping a set. He has done it twice before, so the realms of possibly doing it again, are not too hard to imagine. A domination on clay that has almost be picturesque since he stepped foot onto the clay courts of Monte Carlo back in 2005, Nadal has shown incredible will, desire, motivation, passion and drive to excel and conquer all adversaries on this surface for a remarkable 7 years! We’ve seen him mature from a teenager into a man, who has dealt with success and everything that comes with it incredibly well, and yet still step onto the court with the hunger and desire to win. For an individual who has accomplished so much on that surface, to push yourself over seven years, on the most demanding of surfaces, and going through the war of attrition, not only against your opponents (Coria –Rome05, Federer – Rome06, Djokovic –Hamburg08, Djokovic –Madrid09), but also battling your own body (The well documented injuries over the years). His mental application is something all players, not only in tennis, but other sports can learn from. I have no doubt in my mind, that Nadal would have probably excelled in any sport he played. A champion who truly defines that word in every way. Con – As remarkable, impressive, and downright mindboggling at times Nadal’s reign for the past seven years has been...it has been seven years. In all this time, we have seen a few players go toe to toe with Nadal in a match, but no one has truly been an authentic challenge and a truly formidable opponent for him. Yes, Federer played Nadal a few times that were competitive, however Nadal has always been in the driver’s seat in their clay court encounters. Djokovic has yet to beat Nadal. Coria was beaten by teenage Nadal, and has since vanished. The question is, does Nadal really have ANY competition at all? Yes, it can easily be said that he is just too good, and that may likely be the case...the man is just too good. What can you do? But in seven years, the argument can also be made that there has not been anyone who has stepped up and really took it to him. Is this Nadal’s fault? No. Is this Nadal’s problem? No. The problem lies with the field that he has crushed with his iron fist for the past seven years. It is possible that the players are fantastic clay courters, with the potential to beat the clay court Sabre tooth (he does sink his canines into his trophies) but a lot just don’t have the belief in them to go out and win. This could be the Nadal effect, the guy is just so good, so consistent, and so rock solid, that no matter how well I play, he will beat me...so I should be lucky to even win a few games. Maybe this is the case, but Nadal’s superior athletic ability and dynamic court coverage may force players to increase the margin for error, and play outside their comfort zones also. Is the same guy winning over and over and over again good for tennis? Maybe it is, for all the reasons that I described in the pro section. But the flip side is, the predictability of what is likely to happen, especially after seven years is difficult to deny. It is fantastic if you love Nadal, but some fans want to see new stories develop, new players challenging for trophies, battling for Masters and even the FO final. I guess to put it bluntly, some fans are bored. Again, this is not a knock on Nadal, he has to do what he has to do, and it is up to the players to rise up. As some fans get excited about the clay season starting, and the end of hard season, since it is fresh and new...I also think many fans are also looking for new results and players on the clay, so that it remains fresh and exciting for them also. Is this a weak era? I think we can debate this forever. Maybe it is, and Nadal benefited from it, since he can play a C game and still only lose one set in a whole tournament. Maybe it is not, and Nadal was just too damn good. One thing is for sure, we are witnessing a player like no other.