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Rafael Nadal (1986-), 14-Time Grand Slam Winner and Winner of 10 French Opens - From Manacor, Spain


DonRocks

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Steroids? Maybe.

A class act? Absolutely.

Rafael Nadal.

"It's very unlucky, very unusual," Nadal said. "Sorry for Kei, sorry for Tomas, and sorry for the tournament, especially sorry for the fans."

I am wondering if this is the first time on the entire internet that Nadal has been called a class act.

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I am wondering if this is the first time on the entire internet that Nadal has been called a class act.

Really? Why do you say this? I've followed him reasonably closely over the years (not *that* closely, but certainly more than most), and I've seen him be deferential to other players, time-and-time again. What am I missing?

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I thought it was pretty common knowledge he is a jerk and hated on tour, but puts on a nice face for the camera.  Regardless the (presumed fake) injury timeouts over the years DQ him from being a class act.

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I thought it was pretty common knowledge he is a jerk and hated on tour, but puts on a nice face for the camera.  Regardless the (presumed fake) injury timeouts over the years DQ him from being a class act.

Interesting. I have never heard anyone even mention Nadal and jerk in the same sentence. Frustrated Federer fans?

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It's possible that Nadal's early exit from Wimbledon will quiet the GOAT (Greatest Of All-Time) murmurings for a short while - this is the third year in a row he hasn't made the quarter-finals.

Remember, Federer made the finals in a Grand Slam (the four Grand Slam events being the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the U.S. Open) 18 out of 19 times in a row (this means he was in the finals of almost every Grand Slam for 5 years!) Also, the semi-finals 23 consecutive times with a total of 35. It's easy to look at these numbers on a page, but very difficult to actually comprehend just how amazing these stats are.

Both Nadal and Djokovic have legitimate claims as GOAT, but they're not there yet. Right now, if all three got struck by lightning, it would be Federer. That said, Nadal probably has more than one French Open title left in him; this, unless his body breaks down from his unprecedented physical style of play.

In case anyone can't tell, I love all three players, and consider this the greatest age of Men's Tennis in history (yes, the equipment is *much* better, the training regimen is better, the athletes are better, *everything* is better than it was a generation ago, but World #4 Andy Murray - who many readers here have probably never heard of - would have beaten the snot out of just about everyone else who ever played the game). I cannot over-emphasize just how much racket technology has changed tennis - go to a random spot of this Borg-McEnroe match, for example - it was physically impossible to do the things that new technology has allowed for (today's 110-mph forehands were yesterday's 70 mph forehands - both are nearly equal feats of athletic excellence, given what they had to work with).

Amazingly, Nadal is currently only in 11th place on the all-time clay-court wins list (but look at his winning percentage, and how is Bjorn Borg not on this list?)

My goodness, how did Vilas win 644 clay-court matches playing in the same era as Borg? On the other hand, his 163 losses indicates that he didn't win 163 clay-court tournaments he entered (assuming he didn't play any round-robin events).

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I know of Nadal through my friend's teenage daughters who follow him on twitter and Facebook.  One of them got his autograph at Wimbledon and during the exchange she found him to be incredibly polite and kind.  Immediately after Facebooking it, she melted into a pool of dreamboat-induced hormones. 

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