On November 21, 2012, an article titled ‘5 Predictions for Rafael Nadal’s 2013 Season‘ was published by the Los Angeles Times/Bleacher Report. The article, written by contributor Jaime Heilbron, did not bode well with readers, as was apparent with the comments that followed. Here are condensed versions of the predictions. For the full article, please visit the website above.
1. Nadal Will Have a Strong Showing at the Australian Open: Given his talent and competition level, as well as the level of the tour beyond the big four, one should expect Nadal to make it to at least the semifinals of the Australian Open.
2. Nadal Will Dominate the Clay Masters: It is no secret that the red clay is where Nadal feels the most comfortable and that it usually serves as a springboard for the rest of the year. Nadal owns Monte Carlo, having won it each of the past eight years. Even if his beginning to the 2013 season is not as strong as it usually is, one should count on the clay master tournaments to give him the necessary momentum to have a successful campaign.
3. Nadal Will Win His 8th Roland Garros Title: It is unlikely that his campaign at Roland Garros will be as dominant as it was in 2008, 2010 and 2012, given that he only lost a single set in the three tournaments combined, but he will still prevail to raise his 8th trophy in 9 years.
If there is anything Rafael Nadal has taught the tennis world since he broke through, it’s that the last thing one should ever do is underestimate him.
4. Nadal Will Make a Deep Run at Wimbledon: A deep run would not necessarily constitute winning the tournament, but I do expect Nadal to make the final. If he does not, he will at least battle as hard as possible to make it happen. Going into the season the top two favorites to hoist the trophy at Wimbledon will most likely be defending and seven-time champion Roger Federer and current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
One of them will probably have to face Nadal in the semifinals, however, and he will be the toughest possible opponent at that stage. If one thing is certain, it is that Nadal will enter the third slam of the year with blood in his eyes and a thirst to prove something, not to tennis fans or the media, but to himself.
5. Nadal Will Win a Hard Court Tournament: It is possible…that if Nadal manages his schedule well, he could win one of the hard-court tournaments in the later part of the season. At the same time, it would not be surprising at all if he went on and raised the trophies at any of the hard court Masters 1000 at the beginning of the year or at either the Australian Open or the U.S. Open.
Amazing, isn’t it? What an insight. Perhaps it would have seemed absurd to think, at that time, that Rafa could accomplish all this and more as soon as he returned, but he has, and he will. We want your honest opinion. Did you think that Rafa would make such a comeback? Did you think that he would win so many tournaments? Which win was the most surprising? Comment below!