It’s been a while since we’ve named a player of the month here at Tennis Perspective, mostly because since the July naming of John Isner and Nicolas Mahut it has been all one way traffic. One man has dominated tennis and claimed more titles than anyone on either the men’s or women’s circuit. One man has claimed three consecutive Grand Slam titles. Rafael Nadal has become not only the year end number one but indisputable player of the year.
After winning the US Open in a few weeks ago, Nadal became the youngest man in the Open Era to claim a career Grand Slam. He also became the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to win 3 consecutive Grand Slams in one calender year. The only set Rafa lost on route to the title was in the final against Novak Djokovic.
Since claiming the US Open Nadal has gone on holiday and made the semi’s in Thailand, won Toyko and has been plastered all over magazines and websites around the world while fans and viewer marvel at his recent form.
When asked if he agreed with the opinion that he was the best athlete in Spain, Nadal replied: “I really can’t say I’m the best, I don’t think so. Saying that would sound very arrogant from my behalf and there are tons of other athletes that are also very successful in their respective disciplines. There are guys like Alonso, Gason, then look at what Indurain did or what Contador has done. To be included in that group and be compared with them it’s a huge honour already.”
Rafa has also talked about the importance of his titles in while immersed in the recent media frenzy. “Each tournament is important in it’s own way depending on the timing. My first Wimbledon title was very special to me; firstly because of the match against Federer and secondly, because it was a huge dream of mine. My first Roland Garros title was very special because it was it was my first Grand Slam ever and that’s everyone’s dream. You work real hard to win your first Slam and when you finally get it it’s an indescribable feeling.
My first Australian Open was very exciting because I arrived to the final completely destroyed and now to complete the full cycle with the one title that I was never supposed to win and that has given me the most challenges all my life, it’s very special.”
There is simply no debate that Rafa has been the best of the bunch this month (and a few previously).