Those who follow tennis would that Alexander Zverev has made his way to the fourth spot in the ATP rankings, owing to how the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal had been going through their own injury scares. When you take this into perspective, the fourth spot does not appear to do justice to Zverev’s caliber, considering how he should be featuring much, much lower on the rankings, especially in light of his latest statement.
According to Alexander Zverev, he was glad to not have been drawn in the same group as Rafael Nadal, in the Monte Carlo Masters, considering how he had been defeated by Nadal in the Davis Cup. The reason that Zverev gave to back his statement comprises of how he believes Nadal to be the best tennis player to ever grace the clay court. With such an attitude, it’s no surprise that Zverev has lost the final in Rome in the manner that he has—straight sets.
If Nadal was in his usual fire breathing, a case COULD have been made for backing Zverev’s claim of fear. However, when you consider that Nadal had been out of the court since his hip injury in October, you have got to say that Zverev should have been begging the stars to let him come up against Nadal as early in the competition as possible.
If Zverev is afraid of a Nadal who is just returning from a serious injury, you have got to say that he does not deserve the title of the world’s fourth ranked tennis player, at all. Moreover, Zverev felt that he and Nadal will meet in the finals. Well, we all saw what happened in Rome, didn’t we? Zverev was out of his depth when in the same court as Nadal. Fortune certainly never favors the fearful and those who CHOOSE live under someone’s shadow, even if that someone is as great as Rafael Nadal!
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gry5A8a5ajU
We all know how Roger Federer recently decided to bow out of the clay court season, hoping to make up at the Wimbledon, right? The step would have been understandable if Federer had an injury scare, but when you consider how Federer is only ditching the clay court for the sake of “self-preservation”, it has got to raise a few eye-brows, especially when you consider his age. What Roger Federer needs to realize is that he is not getting any younger, meaning that he needs to win as many titles as possible, before his illustrious career comes to a close.
Federer, in this regard, needs to learn a trick or two from Rafael Nadal. Nadal recently participated in the Monte Carlo Masters, which is a tournament that he has already won ten times. Nadal has, freshly, recovered from an injury, yet he is determined to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the eleventh time. It would have been much easier for Nadal to sit this one out and target the Wimbledon, similar to Federer, but he refrained from doing it, regardless of how lacking in glamor his possible win at the Monte Carlo Masters might be.
It is true that Rafael Nadal has had to deal with a fair share of injuries, throughout his career, but the fact remains that Nadal is nothing short of an example when it comes to self-motivation, determination and heart. Federer, especially at the twilight of his career, needs to borrow a little heart from his adversary if he is to make his last years on the tennis count memorable for not only himself but his entire fan base, around the world, as well. The world wants MORE of Roger Federer!
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97AIaeE1WAQ
We all have been told, time and again, that passing comments on something you know little of is nothing short of a sin. However, the captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Virat Kohli, appears to be oblivious to this simple word of advice. If he wasn’t, then he would not have made the kind of a comment that he has made recently.
According to Virat Kohli, Roger Federer has been defying logic by remaining on the top of the world of tennis, in spite of his age. Virat Kohli, who is perhaps the best batsman in the modern era, did not fall short of making a claim that reeks of favoritism but lacks substance. If you peer at the claim closely, you will realize that it portrays Federer to still be as good on the court as he was back in the old days. True tennis fanatics—unlike Virat Kohli—will know, however, that such is not the case.
If it was, Federer would not have lost the number 1 world spot in the tennis rankings, recently, to a player—Rafael Nadal—who hasn’t stepped into the court in months. On top of that, when you consider how the recent victories of Federer have come at a time when Murray, Nadal and Djokovic were out of competition due to injuries, caution has to be exercised before making exuberant claims of Federer’s greatness.
Regardless of how surreal Federer’s legacy might be, it is a fact that he is a mere shadow of the player he once was. To say that Federer is still the kind of a player he was back in his prime would, actually, be a disgrace to Federer, considering how his prime years were unlike anything that has ever been witnessed in the world of tennis. But you can’t explain that to a cricketer, or can you?
The usage of the word “fitness” in a sentence involving the name of Rafael Nadal is a bit too familiar for tennis fanatics, considering how the Spaniard is always in the news, not only for his magnificent performances but injury scares as well. Nadal, recently, fell prey to another injury that has kept him out of the tennis court for quite a few months. Regardless of how he might be ranked number one in the sport, in spite of not having hit a ball in months, it is a fact that Nadal’s career is going downhill.
Bearing all of this in mind, the fact that Rafael Nadal will be headlining a video game should not be a surprise for anyone, considering how he is still one of the most beloved icons of the game. However, the question arises: would the current “world number one” not prolong his career by focusing more on his fitness on the “real” tennis court, rather than choosing to headline video games? Nadal is 31 years old, and if he is to challenge Roger Federer’s tally of Grand Slam titles, he is going to have to get a hold of his fitness…fast!
While Nadal will always be fully fit in the video game, it is a fact that the feat won’t be repeatable in the world that matters, especially when you consider how the player is unable to go even a few months without catching a niggle, here or there. Taking this into perspective, it has to be said that Nadal should quit worrying about being remembered because of a video game and get running on the path of ensuring that he is remembered as the player with the most Grand Slam title. All he needs to do is take a page from the book of his biggest adversary: Roger Federer!
Gone are the days when tennis stars looked for fame and publicity only when they were on the court by their performances. With the recent surge in television shows that comprise of experts commenting on current players, the former stars have found a way of lingering in the limelight as well.
However, the limelight would be well deserved if they presented such insights which were not already understood by the common following of tennis. It, certainly, is a sorry sight when a former tennis icon tries to stay relevant by merely stating the obvious.
Former British female number one, Annabel Croft, recently said on Sky Sports that the era of the domination of the “Big Four” on men’s tennis appears to be over. According to her, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray are no longer the only fancied men to win the grand slam titles. If you think about how long these four men have ruled over the tennis courts around the world, you have got to say that it is no wonder that this is the case. Roger Federer, for instance, has turned 36 and to say that he is no longer on the top of his game is not, at all, insightful, or is it?
On the flip side, Croft’s case doesn’t appear to be right either. When you consider the current scenario of men’s tennis, Nadal tops the ATP rankings, in spite of not hitting a ball in more than three months. And which star has he overtaken? Well, it is the 36 year old veteran, Roger Federer. Bearing the scenario in mind, to say that the “Big Four” are no longer on the top of the world appears to be nothing short of a foolhardy claim, hoped to bring publicity, owing to how their domination of the ATP rankings continue!