Rafa Roundup: “Let’s not be like Rafa Nadal, let’s be Rafa Nadal”


No. 1 is No. 1: Nadal needs to win only one more match to clinch his fourth year-end finish atop the Emirates ATP Rankings (also 2008, 2010, 2013 ). No. 2 is No. 31: The number of ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles Nadal will have – which would be a record – if he wins the Rolex Paris Masters this week. He is currently tied with Serbian Novak Djokovic for the all-time lead at 30.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer are both up for two player-voted categories: the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award and Comeback Player of the Year. Federer has won the Sportsmanship award every year since 2004, with the exception of 2010, when the honours went to Nadal. Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro round out the nominees in this category.

I want to join Andre Agassi and so many others in having Rafa as our role model and let me insist: let’s not be like Rafa Nadal, let’s be Rafa Nadal. Let’s be this person that gives his or her best in every little thing that we do. Doing this, who knows if one day we will outpace our role models, like Rafa did with his childhood hero Carlos Moya. Isn’t that what evolution is about?

Before addressing this question directly, let’s pause, put partisan politics on hold, and acknowledge your first paragraph. Here we are in 2017 and Federer and Nadal—their combined age approaching 70, their career head-to-head encounters approaching 40—are still ruling the roost. All hail the greatest rivalry in sports.

As for your GOAT/GOTY point, after Federer beat Nadal in Shanghai a lot of you brought up this up. I have a number of thoughts—some of which I have shared—but here’s the beauty: we don’t have to decide. Sometimes tennis presents counterfactuals that will never be answered with any certainty. (“How many Grand Slams would Monica Seles have won, were it not for Hamburg 1993?”) In this case, why not wait until after the World Tour Finals event in London—when we have a full complement of data points—and we can reassess.



  1. OMG, Good old Aunty Maria is at it again!!!!

    Well, i was at her place over the weekend and she looked at me laconically shaking her head, ”Well, i cant help it, can I?” She bellowed out dejectedly as she slumped into a nearby couch, Ali the cat jumping onto her laps and licking her old hands.

    She continued, ”Maria, I mean, people actually think I’m anti – Nadal, but I’d keep saying it as it is. At times, and most times, I’m correct. Well, the Paris Masters, well forget it Maria. Nadal will be out before you say open sesame”

    I’m still in shock over this nasty prediction from good, old Aunty Maria. I mean, Nadal has a cup cake draw and the icing on the cake is Roger not playing Paris! Infact, if it were possible, the trophy should just be handed over to Rafa without playing ‘cos his draw is so eeeeasssssssyyy! Very easy, especially now that Roger has opted out?

    Gosh, I’m so gutted over this news from good, old Aunty Maria!

    But as always, we’d see…………………hmmnn

  2. Rafa should be given the best player of the year award for 2017 not only because he won two slams, among other tournaments but because, unlike Federer, Rafa played all the clay court seasons tournaments and all the other major tournaments during the year. Giving this award to Fed in 2017 would therefore be unfair. Vamos Rafa!

    • I would usually agree, being clearly in camp Nadal. However, as it stands right now, Federer has the best papers to get this title. Also two majors wins, better win-loss, better planning, more titles (in less attempts), more masters titles, and a stunning 4-0 against Nadal. Only if Rafa wins the WTF, with a win against Roger, he can have a claim on this one. If Roger wins the WTF, he’s the player of the year for sure. Rafa’s best case is winning Paris, and winning the WTF beating Roger very hard in the process. A long shot!

      • It’s not only about who beats who when it comes to Fed and Rafa. Player of the year is about who has the best season, in this case is Rafa, because he has better results at the slams – 2 wins, 1 final vs Fed’s 2 wins, 1QF. Also, Rafa plays all four slams, so where ITF is concerned, Rafa is better at the slams so he should be the player of the year where ITF is concerned.

        Remember 2013 when Rafa finished the year as no.1? He wasn’t the Player of the year given by ITF, Djoko won that title because Djoko played all four slams, played the DCs too (slams plus DC are under the control of ITF, the rest of the Masters, 500, 250 are under the ATP).

        Where ATP is concerned, whoever finishes the season as no.1, ie having the most ranking points, will be the Player of the Year, I believe.

      • Indeed, Jean Sober, indeed.

        But as always, we’d see……………hmmnn

  3. Go Rafa Go. God bless n be with you. Vamos Rafael in Paris! Your Aussie Abuela Nan Shirley.🐂🏆👑⛵️💥💥💥💥

  4. Rafa all the best for Paris.

    I am hoping to see you in Melbourne at the Australian Open.

    God Bless,


  5. Rafa get Well and rest you are playing to much tennis this Year .vamosssssssssssssssssss champ.🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🎾🇺🇸❤️

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