It always amazes me that Rafael Nadal loves Roger Federer so damn much. More than I do! Here’s what he had to say about the World No. 2 this week in Doha (Rafa got bumped out of the tournament today by Gael Monfils – Fed plays Murray in the semis tomorrow):
“According to me, (Roger Federer) is the greatest player in history. Right now, he is playing great tennis and even though I am the No. 1, I think he’s still the best player currently, with due respect to others.”
(Click here for the full article.)
I really love this about Rafa – he’s loyal to the point of being delusional. If he wasn’t such an innocent puppydog of a man-boy, I’d question his sincerity. But Roger could be losing a challenger tournament in Winnetka, Illinois, and the Spaniard would still be singing his praises to the New York Times.
But I can’t help but wonder: is Rafa trying to distract himself, the press and the public from the unstoppable rise of Andy Murray (and a bunch of other top talents like Monfils, Gulbis and Tsonga?) I’ve been just as guilty as anyone, recently, in assuming Murray’s rapid ascent to the top of the game. Looking forward to a Federer-Nadal final smacks of nostalgia (you know there’s a few Tennis Channel specials already in the works!)
Maybe Rafa’s trying to hold onto the good times, while secretly dreading the day the Rafa/Roger Mutual Admiration Society breaks up?
Of course it’s too early to tell for sure – this time in the season is made for off-the-wall speculation!