King of the Court - Macleans.ca

King of the Court

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I had a feeling Nadal was going to bite down on that trophy when they finally gave it to him. Not just a mild kiss or subtle chomp, he likes to sink his teeth in for so long and hard that he probably dents the bloody thing.

But he should feel somewhat blessed to have escaped with a victory. A short rain delay early in the final set gave the Spaniard a much needed respite after making a huge error in the previous set. With Championship point on the line in the fourth, Nadal missed an opportunity at ending the match when he came to the net and hammered a forehand directly at Federer. He easily could have just plopped it in another direction and won, but instead Federer hit a backhand winner down the line and eventually won the set in a tiebreaker.

Yet Nadal recovered and used the fifth and deciding set to demonstrate why he might now be considered the world’s No. 1 male tennis player. It wasn’t any single part of his game so much as his sheer determination to return everything Federer could muster and throw at him. His prowess and ability to win can be attributed to his unbelievable creativity and raw athletic talent. Get ready to see some more trophy munching because he’s still a puppy at 22 years old.