Rafael Nadal: GOAT?
There’s been a lot of talk about Rafael Nadal being the GOAT of tennis. GOAT, of course, standing for Greatest of All Time. However, I think that this is a wildly ignorant, as much of the assumptions made contemporarily, assumption about the history of tennis. Really, have we already forgotten about Pete Sampras and Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe and Rod Laver? These four men changed the game of tennis in their time and shouldn’t be leveraged from history by the likes of a young Spaniard.
Pete Sampras turned pro at the age of 17 and immediately won a Grand Slam at the US Open. Over the span of his career, Sampras won 14 Grand Slam titles and maintained a number-one ranking for 6 straight years. Also, he married an ex-Miss Teen USA, which I think gives him some serious props.
Bjorn Borg, in addition to having the coolest name in the history of tennis, is also one of the greatest tennis players the world of men’s tennis has seen. He won nearly half of every Grand Slam tournament that he entered and won nearly 90 percent of the matches he played in those tournaments. He has won the French Open 6 times, and won Wimbledon 5 times in a row (and during his 1976 road to victory didn’t lose a single set). Moreover, his story is compelling. He didn’t marry any young teen pageant winners, but married a few ladies and bought a penthouse in Monte Carlo and a Swedish island. The concept of his coming out of retirement should be wiped from the public’s collective memory, though the way he did it should not. Confronted with new, state of the art racquets, Bjorn strapped his sweatband on and played with wooden ones. It’s doesn’t matter that he failed. You’ve got to respect the man’s hustle.Continued on the next page