Rafael Nadal has been my favorite player for a long time. He did not let me down at the 2010 U. S. Open Tennis Matches. From his first game here, it was obvious that Rafa is in the best physical condition of his career. He had to overcome serious knee problems this past year in order to achieve this outcome.
The U. S. Open title has eluded him in the past. The hard court is not favorable for his type of game where the ball bounces higher than it does on clay or grass. Hard work has enabled him to overcome this disadvantage. Also, his serve has not always been part of his ammunition. In the U. S. Open this year, he has achieved a speed of 136 on his serve, demonstrating the work he has put into improving that part of his game.
With this win at the U. S. Open, Nadal has won nine major titles in comparison to the sixteen won by his major rival Roger Federer, and he has accomplished this at the age of 24. I believe Commentator John McEnroe referred to the fact that Rafael Nadal, at age 24, has won three more Grand Slams than Roger Federer had won by the time he was 24. If he continues to maintain his good health, he could possibly overcome Roger Federer’s list of Grand Slam titles. Critics, however, have noted that Rafa’s aggressive hard-fought game can make him subject to injury.
Nadal and Federer have faced each other in seven Grand Slam finals, with Nadal winning five of the seven matches. Their 2008 Wimbledon final has been called the greatest match of all time by critics who follow tennis closely.
His Grand Slam titles include:
Australian Open – 1
French Open – 5
Wimbledon – 2
U. S. Open – 1
He has also won the Olympic Gold Medal in 2008, the same year he had back-to-back wins at the French Open and Wimbledon.
This year, 2010, Nadal won three straight Grand Slam titles – the French Open, Wimbledon and the U. S. Open. This feat has not been accomplished since Rod Laver did it in 1969. I might add that Jimmy Connors and Mats Wilander also won three Grand Slam titles in a single year in the Open Era; however, their wins were not consecutive wins.
Rafa’s uncle, Toni Nadal, a former professional tennis player, is credited with outstanding coaching, having worked with Rafa since he was three years old. He also encouraged the right-handed Rafa to play left-handed tennis, which has resulted in his superior play over his competitors.
Rafael Nadal will always be my favorite player. I wish him many more years of success on the tennis courts where he brings to his fans so much pleasure.