Monday, November 22, 2010

ATP World Tour Finals: Rafa finally wins a set - and then a match!

(Purple Shirt, Yellow-Orange Bandana and Wrist bands, Grey Shorts. Rafa never met a color combo he didn't like.)

It's been a while since I last posted about Our Hero, Rafael Nadal. There hasn't been a ton of tennis news. But now we've finally made it to the ATP World Tour Finals, the end of year tournament featuring the Top 8 men's players on Tour. The first part of the tourney is 2 groups of 4 playing against each other Round Robin style. Then the top 2 from each group play against each other in a single elimination semifinal, and those winners go on to the final.

Rafa had a terrible tournament here last year. He went 0-3 in round robin play. He didn't even win a set. Poor, Rafa. He was having a rough time physically last year. Obviously he's doing better this year, having won 3 Grand Slams in a row. Still, this is a tough tourney for Nadal. It's an indoor court and it's very fast which doesn't play well to Rafa's game. Plus, you know, it's November. And the season started way back in JANUARY. And Nadal has been winning and winning this year. So he's kinda tired. But you know, he's number one in the world, so he's there and ready to play! Having not won a set or a match, he can't really get any worse!

And lo and behold, things have already gotten better. Nadal rallied back from a set down to beat Andy Roddick 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 today. It's a very good sign that Rafa could get over a shaky start to fight back against tough serving Roddick and get the win. That will be great for his confidence. I would love for Rafa to win the ATP Finals, but he still has a tough road ahead of him. Up next is Djokovic and that should be a very hard fought match as well. Vamos Rafa!

Also, I should take a moment to congratulate Rafa on winning the ATP Tour’s Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award for the first time in his career. The award is voted on by tour players. Roger Federer had won the last six years in a row. Quite a nice honor. Congrats, Rafa!

Added Bonus: Here's a little promo reel for Rafa at the tour finals. It's hilarious when his head starts bouncing around in front of the starry sky. LOL

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