Nadal produced another rabbit from his hat and saved two match points to beat Lucas Pouille at the China Open. Lucas had two match points and was leading 6-4 in the second set tie break but Nadal saved them both to win the match 4-6, 7-6 (6), 7-5.
Nadal is the GOAT
Nadal is now well ensconced in the number one slot and there is no one who can displace the bull from that position. He will beat Roger’s record of 19 slams before he gets off that ride and forever overshadow, in fact wipe out, that ballerina’s legacy from the annals of tennis. Nadal has a pretty good shot at winning the grand, all four, slam in 2018. Roger Federer is way too old, Djokovic and Murray are washed out and there is no one left to challenge Nadal now. If Nadal’s knees were really as bad as they were a few months ago then there is no way that he’ll be playing beyond his 33rd birthday, and he doesn’t need to because he will win enough slams to overshadow Roger’s record and retire as the undisputed GOAT within the next eighteen months. Perhaps the slams can consider slowing down the courts by about 75% or so and help Nadal in winning the grand slam in not only 2018 but 2019 also. And, Roger can continue on the tour as a perennial semifinalist at best.
Sharapova ousted by Halep
Maria received some serious drubbing from Halep in Beijing and with that win Halep improved her H2H to 1-7 against Maria. This is the day and age of counter punchers and the likes of Nadal, Djokovic and Halep rule the turf. Maria with her bad movement and lack of creativity is the perfect punching bag for a dialed in counter puncher. She has one strategy only and that is to hit the ball as hard as she can to the corner and if it comes back then hit it to the other corner, and repeat until someone wins the point. However, Halep was at her counter punching best and wouldn’t have any of Maria’s shrieking one dimensional tennis.