Tuesday, July 8, 2008

No 1 in the waiting?

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer
In an ad last year Tiger Woods joked with Federer that while 10 Major titles was a great achievement, he had 12 titles. A year on, Woods has 14 and Fed only 12. He still hasn’t passed Sampras’ total (14) that until recently everyone assumed was his for the taking and soon he may lose his No 1 ranking – The horror! the horror!

Where did it all go wrong for this strapping young lad from Basel? Is Nadal really better or has Roger lost focus. Is it still possible to be the ‘man’ time after time, to be the gunslinger that all the young guns want to beat? Can you keep it all together for so long? Maybe this is just a small blip in the continuum. The acknowledgement that to maintain your place at the top you can’t stay still you have to keep working, harder and harder as the game continuously changes. Lleyton Hewitt is a better player now than when he held the top ranking, but the level necessary to dominate has lifted as he knows.

The Pirate King owns a 12-6 record against TMF (including 3-3 off clay). With youth on his side will he continue to get better and surpass Fed or will he too be overtaken?

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