Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rafael Nadal ATP Player of the Year

by Savannah

I don't think there's any question about who the ATP player of the year is. I'm sure some will make the case for Andy Murray due to his big turnaround at the end of the year. Some might argue for Novak Djokovic for holding onto his number three ranking or Gilles Simon who broke into the top ten and made a good run at the YEC and during the indoor season. As I've said many times tennis fans are like cats. Try to line us up behind one opinion and you get a hot mess.

And please I don't want to hear it about the "clay slow" grass at Wimbledon or the slowing down of hardcourts. That has more to do with technology than anything else and we all know it. Please get it through your heads that the age of wooden racquets is over and will not return. And whatever other agenda is swirling in your brain forget that as well. Let's not hide ethnocentrism behind a facade of words.

So why Rafael? Let's look at this information from the Official ATP Site

SINGLES

Won:
ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo
Barcelona
ATP Masters Series Hamburg,
Roland Garros
London / Queen's Club,
Wimbledon
ATP Masters Series Canada
Beijing Olympics

Final:
Chennai
ATP Masters Series Miami

Semi Final:
Australian Open
ATP Masters Series Indian Wells
ATP Masters Series Cincinnati
US Open
ATP Masters Series Madrid

Quarter Final:
Dubai
ATP Masters Series Paris

Doubles
ATP & Grand Slam
Won: ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo(w/Robredo)

Is it stats you want?

Singles Record:
82 - 11
Singles Titles:
8
Doubles Record:
11 - 7
Doubles Titles:
1

Rafael tops the list in the following categories:
  • Second Serve Points Won
  • Points Won Returning First Serve
  • Points Won Returning Second Serve
  • Return Games Won
He is in the top five in Break points converted, Break points saved, Service games won and First Serve percentage.

To achieve all of this in an Olympic year is nothing short of amazing. There are those who will whine about his "poor" year when the tour came to the States and during the European indoor season but let's not forget that he got his team mates to the Davis Cup final. Even though he didn't play the DC final he was the reason things went down as they did in Argentina regarding the venue and the court. And lets not forget that playing tired not only mentally but physically he made the semi finals of the US Open.

So if you're still whining here's some cheese to go with it. And when you get a chance look at that RG, Queens, Wimbledon, Canada run.
Congratulations Rafael. Vamos!

9 comments:

Craig Hickman said...

I love your tone when you let the fan out.

oddman said...

Damn straight! I love this guy - he is SO awesome. What an absolutely fabulous year he's had. And that FO-Wimby-Toronto run was fantastic - nobody can say Rafa's only good on clay anymore. If they do, then they're deliberately not seeing how great he is.

Fab post, Savannah!

tristann said...

Good post, Savannah. The ATP cannot not name Rafa ATP Player of the Year. We know it and they know it..and that is probably the reason for their lame-ass polls of late.

Well, this fan doesn't care if 'the fans' think that Rafa will lose the #1 sport next year or if 'the fans' think that he will not win another French Open title. Our boy had a fabulous year, better than even a die-hard fan could have imagined.

I watched parts of the Wimbledon final again yesterday. With all the emotions I went through in that match and with his subsequent victory, I forgot just how well he played. He was fabulous. And it fills me with high hopes that he can do it all again next year. People just forget how good this guy can be when healthy.

Savannah said...

Rafael comes from the wrong ethnic group. He's not coached by one of the anointed. He's not trying to be someone or something he isn't. He surrounds himself with family and relies on their counsel.

He also called bullshit on the ATP and led a player rebellion which is why I think Larry Scott's name keeps popping up to take DeVilliers place.

No they don't want to name him Player of the Year. I want to see them twist themselves into pretzels to explain why he's not when their own statistics show that he is.

Pamela said...

This is indisputable, as you said Savannah. There is no other alternative, no other cases to be made - zero. Nothing that Murray, Djokovic or Fed did that is in comparison to Rafa's year. 2 slams, semis at the AO and USO, a bunch of titles, a lot of repeats, serving a bagel in a slam final, winning Olympic Gold .. phenomenal year. I feel so strongly about this that if he doesn't win, I'd reconsider watching the ATP because of the sheer travesty of it. POY is a nice accolade, and I'd rather Rafa win slams - but if he's overlooked for a second half of the season performer .... I have no words.

rabbit said...

No dispute from me. I don't think anyone reasonable can disagree. Rafa is the player of the year! Congrats to him and to his ardent fans :)

rabbit said...

To be fair to the ATP site, there is also this very nice video celebrating Rafa's year: http://www.atptennis.com/en/multimedia/default_video.asp?videoid=911

Brooke said...

Great post Savannah!!

Beth said...

Go Savannah! You called it from every and it was great to see the stats you presented. Rafa had a completely phenomenal year. It was such a pleasure to witness his performances and I hope he has healed and is really ready for '09. Thanks for a great post!