TENNIS.WRITING

Archive for June, 2013|Monthly archive page

Modestia

In Uncategorized on June 3, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Rafael Nadal is up one set to none and tied with Nishikori at the beginning of the second set, when Darren Cahill posits, “This game is going to be good for him, he’ll be able to take an extra bounce in his step out of this match, gain a little confidence.”

Rafael Nadal, the man who is 56-1 at Roland Garros, will take away confidence from a nondescript fourth round match. No really,  this entry is sarcasm free. He will.
When Nadal is accused of ‘false modesty,’ the evidence presented is usually some mix of the following:

  • Nadal has won 11 Grand Slams.
  • He has won 7 French Open Titles.
  • The man has lost a solitary match on the Parisian terre battue in eight years.
  • He owns a 20-10 record over the greatest player of all time (or close to).

So…we’re back at the beginning of the second set. Nishikori plays a fantastic point, controlling, running Nadal back and forth before finally charging the net on a strong approach shot. Nadal puts the ball back, but right to Nishikori, who mishandles the volley, leaving it up. Nadal gets there with time to spare, and lines up a passing shot down the line…but the ball hits the tape and falls back. The unmistakable look of disappointment briefly crosses the Spaniards face. There is nothing false about this modesty. This is the look of a man for whom missing an inconsequential shot at 1-1 in the second set is not good enough.