Sunday, June 5, 2011
Rock, Paper, Scissors in Mens Tennis
2011 French Open champ Raphael Nadal is ranked #1 in the world, but he cant beat the #2 ranked player. The #2 ranked player, Novak Djokovich, just lost in the semifinals to the #3 player, Roger Federer - who hasnt beat Nadal in a big spot in 5 years. Its a game of rock, paper, scissors which is going back and forth each tournament. The game of tennis is being played in an incredibly high level by these 3 players - had any of them played in another era they might have won 20 grand slams.
That sounds like an insane exaggeration, but does anyone really think Pistol Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors or Ivan Lendl in their prime could take even a set off either of these 3 guys right now? In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, let alone before then, players just were not hitting the ball as hard or with the same level of spin as players like Rafa, Fed, and The Djoker do now. The court has gotten smaller as a result. Could a counter puncher like early 1990s Michael Chang even crack the top 10 in todays game? I dont know, but its a great time to be a tennis fan.