In the current World of Mens tennis,Rafael Nadal is seen as the undisputed World number 1 and the tennis equivalent of Superman.Though every Superman has their kryptonite,so who might be Rafa’s nemesis?
People will point to Roger Federer on the back of him defeating Nadal at the season ending Masters Championship.Though,granted this result had merit,but this tournament has been symbolised in the past by upset results.Plus it was over 3 sets and not 5,so Federer didn’t have to sustain excellence. As he would have had too in a Grand Slam.
So I can’t see,Federer challenging Nadal at the slams…
What of Andy Murray-Mental Midget
Novak Djokovic-great player and much improved,but as we saw at the US Open.Where he played unbelievable tennis,but could only get a set off Nadal in the final
Though there is one convalescing somewhere in Argentina from a wrist injury that wrecked his 2010.That could and most probably will give Rafa Nadal a few sleepless nights.
The man is of course Juan Martin Del Potro,who is the only man to have defeated both Nadal and Federer in a Grand Slam.In his 2009 US Open triumph.
This 6’6 built like Adonis right hander is the perfect tennis player for the power age.He reminds me of Marat Safin in regards to having such power, but great court coverage too.Though unlike Safin,he hasn’t got any of Marat’s mental demons and other eccentricities.
He has such a power game generated from his huge serve and then backed by his lethal forehand.That hasn’t got the variety and sublime class of Nadal’s genius forehand,but it has it covered for brute power.Then his two handed backhand,though not as strong as his forehand wing.Still is one of the best back hands in the game.
Though he is more than just a power guy.His mind is very strong and thus in the crucial mental aspect of the game he is very adept.He tried in vain to return in late 2010,but knew he wasn’t up to it and duly retreated to get his wrist and body right for a full blooded assault on 2011.
Symbolically,he is one of the few players who have a very good record against Rafael Nadal,which currently of their 7 meetings Rafa shades it 4-3.
In truth these two in playing styles remind me of another iconic rivalry from a bygone era in Pete Sampras (Del Potro) and Andre Agassi (Nadal).
I have a feeling these might be trading a few ‘Vamos’s’ across the net in the years to come!