Rafa Roundup: What do Ed Sheeran and Rafael Nadal have in common?


I don’t think God, on His best day, could have beaten Nadal Sunday at Roland Garros. (Of course He couldn’t because, as I recall, on the seventh day He rested.) Anyway, please change my GOAT vote (for now) to the Rafa.
Richard Des Ruisseaux, Louisville

Jon Wertheim: You guys know where I stand on the GOAT talk: it’s a fun discussion and we can always monitor the stock ticker. But let’s resist any declarative statements until all three careers are over. Winning an event 12 times doesn’t, de facto, make you the GOAT. It is, however, unquestionably a point in the plus category.

After Rafael Nadal won his 12th French Open in Paris, he ran over to the stands to say hola to some very famous fans. He reached up and clasped hands with the former King of Spain Juan Carlos, uniting two Richard Mille watches in the process like a real-life version of one those handshake memes.

The RM 27-03 is apparently not just for peak-of-their-powers athletes but also chart-topping crooners. Ed Sheeran played a concert in Madrid, Spain, this week while wearing the Nadal Richard Mille.

He is the ultimate fighter and an amazing example of what you can achieve if you have the will and the passion for what you do,” Sharapova said on Sunday.

I’ve always admired the way he has fought through all the injuries he’s had and he’s the greatest example of that. The sport is so physical, especially the way he plays, but brings an optimistic perspective on his work that he can come back and be a champion. He is extremely motivated.”

Last month, the US Open put forward plans to experiment with coaching from the stands – in which players can ask for advice between points as many times as they want – in main-draw matches at Flushing Meadows in August.

According to Henman, the time for coaches is before and after the players go on court, but never during. “I have spoken to 30 past players about the use of coaches during matches and none of them support it,” he told The Sunday Telegraph.

He is now 118-2 in best-of-five-set matches on clay. He is 318-37 in best-of-three-set matches on clay, an excellent .896 winning percentage; but in best of five on the dirt, he’s 118-2—or .983.

“His highest quality is the mentality, which must be inspired by the young generations,” McEnroe told AGI. “They have to work on their tennis, but above all on this mental ability of Nadal, the one he continually cites: passion. The one that allows him to play with an intensity I had never seen on a tennis court. Also because nobody maybe works as much as he does in training. And so he is a great athlete.”



  1. McEnroe can’t even speak correct English. He means Rafa’s mentality should be inspirational for the younger generation, NOT that it is inspired by them.

    If you’re going to be a tennis pundit, at least get your meaning across correctly.

    • MIchele, if you read the Spanish and Italian versions you will realize that the express’s is a poor translation. They rarely get things right.

      Correct translation:
      “His best quality is his mentality; the younger generation should be inspired by that.”

    • Yes, John McEnroe’s words must have been incorrectly translated as he wouldn’t have expressed himself as ineptly as that.

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