February 18, 2013, 5:54 PM
Before you read the highlights from this week in tennis, you need to watch this:
Okay, carry on. It will all make sense in just a couple of minutes.
It’s him! It’s really him!
Sure, Nadal has been back from injury for a couple weeks, but now we can say he’s really back — he won his first tournament in over seven months.
Nadal beat David Nalbandian 6-2, 6-3 to win the Brazil Open title.
When Nadal returned from injury, we all held our breath, hoping that the dominant 11-time Grand Slam champion would return to the court as his former self, as opposed to a broken down shadow of his past self.
No, Nadal hasn’t yet returned to perfect form, but he’s certainly headed in the right direction.
For the first time since 2009, Victoria Azarenka beat Serena Williams.
But in this week’s rankings, it was Serena who bumped Azarenka from the No. 1 ranking. At 31-years-old, Serena is the oldest woman to be the top-ranked player in the WTA.
Just two years ago, Williams was rushed to the hospital with a blood clot that threatened to end her career. Fast-forward two years and Serena has won Wimbledon, an Olympic gold and the U.S. Open. It’s simply amazing.
Juan Martin Del Potro
Juan Martin Del Potro had to stuff a tissue up his nose before winning the Rotterdam title. The poor guy got a nosebleed.
Luckily for Del Potro, he won the match. That would be kind of embarrassing if a nosebleed lost him the match.
Not sure I’ve seen this. As he is about to serve for the Rotterdam title, Juan Martin del Potro gets a bloody nose and has to sit down. #atp
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) February 17, 2013
What? How does Nadal have a good and a bad week?
Well, as Arnold Schwarzenegger said in Kindergarten Cop, “stop whining.”
This week, Nadal was whining. First, he complained that the Brazil courts were too fast for clay courts. That’s a fair complaint, until he said that they were “faster than the U.S. Open” courts. C’mon, seriously?
Come on, Rafa. RT @tennisnewstpn Nadal says São Paulo courts too fast to be considered clay. “Faster than the U.S. Open”, he says.
— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) February 16, 2013
Then, Nadal was complaining about the 25-second time violation rule between service points. I’m all for players voicing their concerns, but within reason.
Problem w/ Nadal saying all players want enforcement of 25 second rule stopped is ATP Player Council approved it & many like it
— Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) February 17, 2013
Finally, Nadal was upset about the grueling schedule and the amount of hard court tournaments on the tour.
I agree with him on one point — the tennis season is 11 months — it’s way too long. With a season that long it’s difficult for players to stay healthy. Nadal’s knees don’t do well on the hard courts and that’s why he’s complaining about the amount of hard court tournaments on the schedule.
Do you hear Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic asking for more clay tournaments and less hard court tournaments? No. But that’s because it’s not in their best interest.
Nadal is the King of Clay. Of course he’d want to play more matches on that surface, he’d win and he’d stay healthy.