Rafael Nadal: Not the Only One Trick Pony
Today Rafael Nadal elongated his clay court winning streak to 67 wins as he won the Monte Carlo Masters Event. By not dropping a set the entire tournament and, if I remember correctly, losing only 20 points for the entire final match, he has proven himself to be more then capable on clay.
But as I was basking in the glow of his victory, I read a bit of an article that said, in layman's terms: In order for Rafael Nadal to prove he is no one trick pony he has to win on other surfaces. Which is true. He has had some results on other surfaces, most notable, his reaching the Final in the 2006 Wimbledon Championship. Bu then I started to think. Really think. Should people only be picking on Nadal? Yes, I am a Nadal fan but seriously. Everyone has a speciality. Federer and Sampress had/have Grass, Roddick has Hard Courts, and Nadal has clay. So why is it when Nadal has proven he is best at one surface, suddenly the rules are changed he has to win other surfaces? The writer ignored his results at the Australian Open, Indian Wells, and Dubai. I have never read or heard of any article about Andy Roddick or James Blake or Andy Murrary have been told the same thing. And maybe they should.
All three of those players, Roddick, Blake, and Murray all come from countries where in their junior programs there is no abundance of sparking talent. Sure there are players that have talent but none that are translating well to the Pro Tour(Donald Young). And if they have some results on the Pro tour, these players only show results on certain surfaces(Andy Murray) and they are told, thats okay. I, however, have some news for them. It's not okay. There are other surfaces than Hard Courts and there is more to tennis than wacking the ball and hoping for the best. Tennis is famous for its physical demands as well as the mental demands and unfortunately, countries that used to push out mass numbers of tennis players aren't ready for that task. They need to examine why and fix it because I am sick of hearing ESPN commentators blame everyone but the ones they really need to blame; themselves.
Vania King: A Shining Star
Today was Vania King's day. Winning her first Fed Cup victory after being a set down and uping her level of play, she has proved why she is not only on the American Fed Cup team but many people say she might be the next big thing.
Never seeing her play, I was curious to see what she has. And Miss. King has a pretty complete game. She just has to refine it. Her serve can have more variety and her foot work can be sharper. Since she is only 18, her lack of aggressiveness, is completely understandable. As she gets older, she will be more comfortable coming to the net and taking the ball earlier. Also her ability to close out matches, that seperates the women from the girls, has to become better. But that once again has to do with age. If she can stay injury free and keep wanting to improve she can be something special. And with a lack of noticable talent in the American up and comers, she is a breath of fresh air. Hopefully this win, will give her the confidence to go further in tour tournaments.