51-1 match record at French Open.
6 French Open titles out of 7 appearances.
As I watched Nadal play his match today, all I could think of how can one grind out again and again point after point without making any errors?
In words of Darren Cahill, his biggest fear in tennis life is if pitched against Nadal in a match, how can he win a game against Nadal?
Nadal makes the game look so easy on clay court. Whereas everyone has lost a set in FO, he has only lost one service game till now. People will say he has got easy draw, or maybe some other reason but winning 6 titles in presence of Federer, Djokovic , Murray etc. can be no fluke. 6 times in his life, he has lifted the French Open trophy and that cannot be just mere luck.
As a neutral tennis fan, what it shows me is the hard work Nadal has put in his life to reach this stage. If he wins French Open this time, it will not only earn him his 7th title but also the title of the greatest clay court player in the history of tennis. Pause for a second and think GREATEST? Wow!
One quality which I have really come to admire is the way Nadal gives his 100% in EVERY point of the match. Never once I have seen him take the easy way out no matter how tiring the previous point was. Even when he is playing the first round against a qualifier, he will still try to win every point.
Not only this, the biggest quality of this champion is that he becomes the most dangerous when he is down a break or facing a break point or is playing a tie break. You know for sure that Nadal will pounce upon you with double intensity . Normally players if they lose a tough set , they come up deflated in the next set but not Rafa. In him, I see the ferociousness of a tiger who pounces upon every ball like his next vulnerable target.
So often in life, when we are faced with any obstacle or failure, we give up blaming our destiny . How many of us are ready to put in the hard work? We all love to have everything given to us but then in life nothing comes for free. Here is something I have learnt from Nadal : Fight for every point, Fight for every second in your life. Fight till the last breath in your life. Do not ever ever give up.
Rather than thinking of him as our rival, we can learn from this champion. What he has achieved on clay court, every player dreams of. Rather than trying to bring him down, let's pause for a second and applaud from our heart the effort that has gone in from this Spaniard in achieving the unthinkable.
I would like to leave you with this simple quote:
“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
What do you say?