Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Nadal still at #1

This is very late but as a Nadal fan, I still have to congratulate him for winning the 2017 US Open. That win gave Nadal his 16th Grand Slam event trophy, his 3rd US Open championship, and his 5th title this year. It also ensured that Rafa would continue to be ranked #1. And here I was worried that he would lose the ATP top ranking after the US Open.

This Nadal win means that he and Roger Federer have split the 4 major tournaments this year. Considering that many people have felt that Rafa and Roger were way past their primes and may never return to the pinnacle of the sport, this resurgence of both athletes is a testament to how astounding and legendary they are, both physically and mentally. They are both pretty much a lock to end the year #1 and #2. While Rafa has the advantage right now, the remainder of the year will be played on hard courts, a surface that favors Roger so it will be interesting to see how this all pans out.

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine recently who was wondering why the up-and-coming men can't seem to break through. I told her that in my opinion, it was not because they weren't great; it was just because they were playing in the era of three of greatest players of all time. Over the last decade and a half, you would normally have to beat at least two of the three (Roger, Rafa and Novak Djokovic) to win a tournament. It doesn't help that usually, one or two of them are playing at the top of their game. And if they aren't, then Andy Murray is. All four of these players have had a lock on the #1 ranking since 2004! Novak and Andy have been practically absent this year due to injury challenges. It will be very interesting to see what happens next year when both return and with Rafa and Roger also at the top. It also makes me wonder who the next player is to achieve the #1 ranking in the ATP outside the Big Four.

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