Nadal emerging as the most level headed and mature of all the jokers on the circuit?
Still 21-years of age, he appears to tower over even the veterans when it comes to handling himself and others on and off the court.
He turns a snide remark by an opponent into an arrow that blows over his head, thereby not only taking the sting out of the hit but in a weird way endears the shooter. Remember when Ljubicic made an unfriendly remark after a match. Nadalís reply? ďI have a very good relationship with Ljubicic. I donít want to lose it because of thisĒ.
You think Ljubicic felt stupid for even saying it? You bet!!!! That incident bonded the two even more instead of tearing them apart, as it would have happened had it been any one else on the receiving end of that barb.
Nadal never responded to Federerís open and public attack on him about him being Ďone-dimensionalí. Since it was just the opposite of what Federer expected coupled with his friendly and respectful attitude when they met next after that incident, Federer just couldnít help but fall for Nadalís charm and big heartedness.
And then when everyone was piling on Federer for his poor showing, Nadal stood up for Federer and supported his friend in his time of need. You think that will remain with Federer for sometime? You bet!!!!!
Contrary to usual belief, the real man is the one who forgives and who controls his anger.
Despite being provoked by even Djokovic in his pressers, Nadal has refused to take the bait. Instead he has showered Djokovic with praise for his recent success, bewildering Djokovic out of his mind. You think Djokovic likes Nadal more than Federer. You can freaking bet your wallet on that!!!
Nadal has addressed all his press conferences after every loss in a matter of fact way that displays his exemplary maturity and respect for his fellow players, fans and the sport of tennis. Is there any doubt who must be the most popular guy in the locker room. All that despite not being anywhere close to being fluent in English, first language of most players today.
He could have been excused for any outburst after the heart breaking loss at the Wimbledon finals last year in five sets to Federer. He had reached there by virtually scaling Mount Everest in his previous matches. In all he played three five setters in that tournament, one of them lasting over a year against Soderling.
Rumors about how he cried incessantly after he reached home after that loss, confirms how deep a dagger it was for him to come so close from so far and still not carry the prize home.
But he never let his emotions come in his way of praising Federer and everyone else for their support. That undoubtedly endeared him to fans and players alike in a way thatís special and to be proud of. His never say die attitude did the rest to propel him as one of the most likable player on the tour.
He has faced many adversities in his young career, but has never relinquished his fighting spirit on the court much to the delight and gratitude of tennis fans worldwide.
But through all that we have seen of Nadal in the years he has been on the tour, the one quality that shines above everything else is his sportsmanship. He truly respects his opponent, and makes an extra effort to ensure he does step on anyoneís toes. Remember when Soderling imitated him at last yearís Wimbledon after Nadal raised the ball in his hand to signal new balls?
Most people think, based on his track record, that Nadal didnít mean to demean or irritate Soderling with that gesture. He was just following the rules. But did Nadal respond even then? No. He looked at Aunt Tony and zipped it.
However, the wrath did come out through his racket, which is where it should be limited to if you are a true sportsman.
Like I have said before, everyone can be a sportsman when things are all rosy and dandy. Whatís the big deal in that? Even my goat or even I can do that. The real test is when you are being irritated and called out in a humiliating manner by others and you not only just restrain yourself, but you say things that makes the other person feel shameful and remorseful for even having said something like that.
Itís called class. You freaks will not understand.
I hope he is rewarded for his understanding and incredible degree of restraint in a way that is good for him. You see, we as mortals donít know if getting to No. 1 in the world is good for him. Only our Creator knows that.
Despite all his handicaps, Nadal is emerging as the most human players of them all.
Great job, Nadal, we are proud of you.