An honest take on Nadal’s comeback, RG, and the GOAT race - from a Nadal fan

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
Three years ago, Djokovic finally beat Nadal at Roland Garros and it sparked a revolution that changed the course of professional tennis history. The GOAT race was over. In the words of Jose Aldo, Federer was King, Djokovic was Prince, and Nadal was the jester who provided comedy to viewers every other week by getting destroyed by some random journeyman. But a lot has changed since then. Nadal reclaimed his standing as #2 and rebooted his campaign for the slam record while Novak is the one who has been getting routinely beaten by nobodies. I think I speak for most people here, excluding of course myself, when I quote Rocky by saying - how did everything that was so good get so bad?

How did Nadal turn it around? By finally hiring a real coach? Did Carl Weathers, I mean Moya, watch his matches and tell Nadal that he isn’t the same guy who used to beat him? That he is losing for all the wrong reasons and that he has lost that edge? Did he run sprints with him through the Mallorcan beach and teach him how to get back the eye of the tiger? I doubt it. Nadal’s backhand is better than ever. He gets free points off his serve now. It's as if the mad scientist Dr. Eufemanio Fuentes activated some hidden power within Nadal, providing him with abilities he never before had. Like what happened to Deadpool.

People love to compare tennis players to comic book characters. Djokovic, for example, is often referred to as Ultron. I never saw the second Avengers movie, but to me, considering his manueverability and well-roundedness, he seems most like Spider-Man. But Novak has looked like anything but a superhero lately and, somewhat coincidentally, his decline has coincided directly with Nadal's resurgence. Novak lost his aura of invincibility at Wimbledon in 2016 immediately before Nadal started to regain his form at the Olympics in Rio. It was as if Nadal sucked the life right out of Djokovic as he regrew much of his hair and appeared several years younger while Novak strangely became emaciated and decrepit.

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This sudden role reversal reminds me of something that once even happened to Spider-Man. Adrian Toomes AKA 'The Vulture’ got hold of an experimental medical device called the juvenator and, with it, was able to transfer Spider-Man's youth and vitality into himself.

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The Vulture, originally elderly and bald, reversed his aging and absorbed much of Spider-Man’s power while Spider-Man became grey-haired, wrinkled, and scrawny and couldn’t defeat a common street thug, let alone a supervillain.

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“Spidey - Drained of his youth! And look who’s got it: The Vulture!”

By getting the better of Spider-Man, The Vulture may have accomplished something that few others ever did, but it wasn’t really by his own merit. More like luck. The juvenator just happened to be recently invented by medical researchers at Empire State University in the very city The Vulture lived. The Vulture had just been in the right place at the right time.

Like The Vulture, Nadal has often found himself in the right place at the right time with the right technology. When Nadal turned pro in 2001, polyester strings just happened to be recently invented by Luxilon, which was convenient since he relies on topspin more than any other player in history. Shortly afterward, the ATP and ITF just happened to decide to make every court on tour slower and higher bouncing, making his topspin game viable on all surfaces. With hard courts having become the standard to learn and play on, players who prefer clay just happened to go nearly extinct, and, relatively frequently throughout his career, the competition on tour has just happened to evaporate, leaving Nadal with a vacuum to take advantage of.

Nadal hadn’t won a hard court title since the Qatar Open back in January 2014. With Novak washed up and taking time off, Federer playing with a back injury, Murray getting a hip replacement, Wawrinka getting knee surgery, and most of the rest of the former top 15 injured and close to retirement, the 2017 US Open seemed like the perfect time for a changing of the guard. But instead, Kevin Anderson, a 32 year old best known for his 0-12 record with Tomas Berdych, made his first slam final and Nadal took the title of what was probably the most absurd event in the sport’s history.

It seems like a foregone conclusion that Nadal will win his 11th French Open title in a few days and bring his slam total to within 3 of Federer’s for the 4th time. But, back in 2009, no one would’ve guessed that Soderling, a guy who had just lost to Nadal 6-1 6-0 in Rome, would be the one to end his undefeated streak in Paris. A Swede of Viking descent, it’s like he was swinging Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer, every time he blasted a winner past Nadal.

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In Marvel Comics, not just anyone can wield the hammer. It was enchanted by Odin, possesses a sort of sentience, and must be considered worthy by the hammer itself to lift it. But it is said that “whoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.”

Rocky used to say that it isn't about how hard you can hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. And, well, he was wrong. It is about how hard you can hit. If Del Potro, Thiem, or, hell, Cecchinato is going to beat Nadal at this year’s French Open, he will need to do as Soderling did. He will need to have the courage to swing at every ball as hard as he can and maybe, just maybe, the hammer will consider him worthy.

But, if no one is up to the challenge, what then? Is anyone really excited to see Nadal lift the French Open trophy for the 11th time in 14 years? Is it time for Roland Garros to start making some changes?

Both clay and grass could be considered archaic surfaces, but Wimbledon has done much to get with the times and keep the tournament relevant in the modern age. With the development of powerful modern graphite frames, Wimbledon slowed down its grass to prevent one-dimensional serve-bots from dominating. But what has Roland Garros done to prevent a one-dimensional topspin-bot from dominating after the introduction of poly strings?

Nadal may have improved his backhand and serve, but topspin to the backhand is still and always will be his bread and butter. And, for him, the effect is compounded since his opponents are less used to dealing with left-handed players. Are us Nadal fans really still happy to see someone with such a cheat code beat up on a non-existent clay field 13 years later just because it gets him closer to Federer’s record? Have tennis fans in general become too obsessed with slam count?

Federer wasn't anointed GOAT back in 2006 because people necessarily thought he would go on to claim every important record in the sport. It wasn’t just a numbers game. People simply saw greatness. He was Borg without the coke habit. McEnroe without the attitude. Lendl with a personality. Sampras with a ground game. He was Superman on the tennis court. The GOAT they needed and the GOAT they deserved.

What started as a tactic to hype Pete Sampras as he approached Emerson’s previously not that important slam record has become a monster. It no longer matters what you do or don’t do outside of slams. It doesn’t matter if your reliance on high bounce and cakewalks is exposed year after year at the WTF. If doesn’t matter if you win 70% of your slam titles at a tournament so backwards that it hasn’t installed a roof and uses a surface that most other players no longer care about. Only the almighty slam count matters.

Nadal seems determined to take full advantage of his career’s revival and surpass Federer’s slam record, but if he does so by winning 5 more French Open’s, would we really be satisfied with that? What if he won 5 more slams without beating a single top 25 player in any of them? Would that make him the “GOAT?”

In the Spider-Man comics, the effects of the juvenator on Adrian Toomes were temporary. Before long, he went bald again and lost the powers he had gained. He never took over the world; he went down in history for what he was - an opportunist who merely benefited from external circumstances.

Being one of Nadal’s few fans, I would love to see him break Federer’s slam record and go down as the greatest before he, like Toomes, succumbs to age for good. But not like this. Not like The Vulture. To the victor goes the spoils, but a scavenger isn’t really a victor. It doesn’t really count.
 

Raining hopes

Hall of Fame
I love how everyone here will end up saying that they don't have time to waste by reading that.( Will take less than 5 minutes But no that is too much for their busy schedule no?)But spend hours surfing the net aimlessly, reading and posting(mostly useless)stuff on here.


This is humorous ,creative and decent read.Will not make you fall of your chair, laughing but still amusing.
 
D

Deleted member 688153

Guest
This is so sad in so many ways. Also, aren't you the same guy who had U20PEN as his avatar? :D
No it was AO20PEN or something.
OP is a hater sure but they were ridiculed for that pic late last year and it ended up being epic :D
 

ghostofMecir

Hall of Fame
I love how everyone here will end up saying that they don't have time to waste by reading that.( Will take less than 5 minutes But no that is too much for their busy schedule no?)But spend hours surfing the net aimlessly, reading and posting(mostly useless)stuff on here.


This is humorous ,creative and decent read.Will not make you fall of your chair, laughing but still amusing.

True, but did you read all that ****? If so, you’re the only one.
 
D

Deleted member 688153

Guest
What's the story? If u don't mind me asking
No problem.
WhiskeyEE (OP) apparently made a profile avatar pic after Fed won Wimbledon last year that showed Federer celebrating and the word "U20PEN" or something, presumably predicting that Fed was going to get #20 at last year's US Open.

After that didn't happen he made another similar one saying AO20PEN (or something like that, I forget) predicting the same thing for this year's Australian Open, which I remember him being heavily ridiculed for as surely Fed couldn't repeat his AO miracle, right? :D
So OP (a veteran Fed fan and Nadal hater on here) ended up having the last laugh for once.

I don't remember the U20PEN one myself though.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
No problem.
WhiskeyEE (OP) apparently made a profile avatar pic after Fed won Wimbledon last year that showed Federer celebrating and the word "U20PEN" or something, presumably predicting that Fed was going to get #20 at last year's US Open.

After that didn't happen he made another similar one saying AO20PEN (or something like that, I forget) predicting the same thing for this year's Australian Open, which I remember him being heavily ridiculed for as surely Fed couldn't repeat his AO miracle, right? :D
So OP (a veteran Fed fan and Nadal hater on here) ended up having the last laugh for once.

I don't remember the U20PEN one myself though.
Redeemed. Have a drink on me.
 
RG not going the "tiger-proofed" route with Nadal goes hand in hand with homogenization. The casual viewer wants to see the same players over and over. Also Nadal has shone light on the "forgotten slam" for the US market. $
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
I did, found it amusing too but I did it mostly for OPs effort.See I am a part time writer in my native language.I know how it feels when you write something with all your heart(in this case malice and heart) and the reader just gives up after the first page.

The people saying they didn't read it did read it. They are busy posting in here with their panties in a knot. Typical.

I wrote it because this forum is so dead the night before the semis of a grand slam that it's depressing. It's also true.
 

AlexanderTheGreat08

Hall of Fame
The people saying they didn't read it did read it. They are busy posting in here with their panties in a knot. Typical.

I wrote it because this forum is so dead the night before the semis of a grand slam that it's depressing. It's also true.
After reading a bit, Not everything cause life , It doesn’t seem like you’re a Nadal fan at all and the roof will be ready in 2020
 

kishnabe

Talk Tennis Guru
Stop reading after WhiskeyEE= Longtime Nadal fan....

Remember you as a Fedfan for many many years and a Nadhater.
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
This is brilliant stuff man, you’d think people who watch and love tennis would have a longer attention span but I guess people get distracted really easil..oh look a squirrel!

The first posts were made by butt hurt Nadal fans. I mean fellow Nadal fans. From the get-go they attempted to ridicule anyone who might speak positively about it and people's emotions respond to that.

Look at ADuck for example. Rofl. What a dork.
 
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AlexanderTheGreat08

Hall of Fame
Unfortunately, Nadal doesn't seem to be good at causing life. That's the problem. Should have written about Federer instead.
I don’t see how bashing Clay , RG and Nadal was necessary, Talking about Nadal like The Vulture like if Federer won all of his slams against Prime Top players multiple GS Champions
 

AlexanderTheGreat08

Hall of Fame
I am a Federer fan and I dislike Nadal (Used to Hate him, but tolerate him now).

That avatar is the most embarrassing moment for Nadal. Begging for a point....when the ball was imo out of play after Djokovic hit the net.
Just saw the point again , The ball has to touch the ground twice and nope Djokovic touches the net before
 

ADuck

Legend
The first posts were made by butt hurt Nadal fans. I mean fellow Nadal fans. From the get-go they attempted to ridicule anyone who might speak positively about it and people's emotions respond to that.

Look at ADuck for example. Rofl. What a dork.
You just wrote a 1000-word post on Nadal, and you hate him! If that's not sad, I don't know what is. Find me a Nadal fan who does the same with Federer and I'd say the same thing.
 

WhiskeyEE

G.O.A.T.
You just wrote a 1000-word post on Nadal, and you hate him! If that's not sad, I don't know what is. Find me a Nadal fan who does the same with Federer and I'd say the same thing.

I didn't really think it was that long. If you really think it is, maybe that says more about you than me. Maybe you're having flashbacks to those 800 word high school essays that took you 30 hours to write.

I mean, It apparently takes you a pretty long time to read.
 

The Green Mile

Bionic Poster
I would like to see a new comic, that AO 14 strip is a classic. First time I saw it, the Wawrinka win was still pretty fresh in my mind, plus all that drama... Funniest moment on TW.
 
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