Tennis Prose



Is Rafael Nadal a clay court supremacist?

Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay, aptly nicknamed because of his extraordinary prowess and dominance on red clay since winning his first major title in Paris in 2005 against Mariano Puerta in four sets at age 19 (and two days).

For his career, the 34 year old has won 59 clay court titles and has established a remarkable won/loss record of 438-40 on his preferred court surface.

Of his 59 ATP singles titles, Nadal has won Roland Garros twelve times. Second place on the all-time list behind Nadal is Bjorn Borg’s six Roland Garros triumphs.

This year again Nadal is cruising like a half man/half machine dynamo, through three rounds without having lost a set.

Considering Nadal’s illustrious career, and in particular his incredible, incomparable record on red clay, would it be accurate to call the Spanish titan a “clay court supremacist?”

(Note: This article is satire!)

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  • Scoop Malinowski · October 2, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Nadal vs Korda…This match will not be about xs and os and forehands and backhands. They both have the weapons to win. It will be won or lost in the mind. Korda is exploding like a volcano right before our eyes. He is transforming from challenger player to ATP superstar on the world stage. Nadal is still what he always was, the best ever to play on clay. Nadal knows Korda is a total wildcard runaway train right now, he’s playing by far the best tennis of his life and he is slaying second tier dragons in devastating fashion. Now Korda stands face to face with the most dangerous dragon of all. He is an explorer suddenly in unknown uncharted territory. We don’t know how he will respond mentally and physically. Having his father in his corner is a priceless asset. Petr slayed Sampras six times! The obvious analysis is Nadal will overwhelm the kid and give him a Grand Slam masters degree lesson. But we do not know what is happening in this young marvel’s mind. Is he hungry for more? Is he fearless? Does he have mental qualities mere mortals have no understanding of? Or was winning his first three grand slam main draw matches enough? Miracles do happen on the tennis court and I’d say there is an outside chance we may see something very unexpected on Sunday. One thing is for sure – It’s a fascinating match and we all will be watching intently.

  • Sam · October 2, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    I guess he’s going to paint “Clay-Courters Lives Matter” across the red clay in the near future!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Sam, good idea! For Osaka to take a stand too! Someone should wear a mask each match with all the names of Nadal’s French open final victims ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 2, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    Very impressed by Hugo Gaston highlights beating Wawrinka in five including a fifth set bagel. Gaston is a lefty, undersized, and the most comparable player to Marcelo Rios I have yet to see. Super touch, angles, drop shots, a style that makes tennis look easy. He totally outclassed a confident Stanimal with magic tennis, like a young Rios did on his way up to the elite atp pantheon. Unbelievable display by Hugo Gaston today. Yet another very young junior like Korda, Nakashima, Museti, Moutet, who has no limits to what he can accomplish.

  • Sam · October 2, 2020 at 10:29 pm

    “Someone should wear a mask each match with all the names of Nadalโ€™s French open final victims”

    Scoop, but I guess their lives *didn’t* really matter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    “Very impressed by Hugo Gaston highlights beating Wawrinka in five including a fifth set bagel.”

    Avant aujourd’hui, je n’avais jamais entendu parler de Hugo Gaston. C’est bien intรฉressant qu’il est assez court aussi!

    Translation: Before today, I’d never heard of Hugo Gaston. It’s pretty interesting that he’s quite short too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s also interesting that, in just the past few days, apparently his total number of followers on Instagram has quadrupled. It seems that he writes most of his posts in French, which inspired me to try some of my French too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Well, it’s great to see some new faces making a splash.

  • George · October 3, 2020 at 7:51 am

    I watched Hugo Gaston win the Houston ITF futures tournament in 2019 and Sebastian Korda lose the final in 2017.

    I had a first row seat because there were only a handful of spectators. You can really watch some great tennis at these futures tournaments.

    Zverev was also in the draw one year:

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 3, 2020 at 8:18 am

    George, Gaston is the real deal, no doubt about it. He manhandled Wawrinka who was looking very good and confident all week. I had never seen Gaston play before watching the highlights vs Wawrinka, had never heard any buzz about him either. But he’s got Rios type talent touch feel creativity and obviously firepower to bully a beast like Wawrinka around the court. Moves incredibly well too. I checked out Gaston’s instagram page for more info and another thing that really impressed me was that Brandon Nakashima was liking all of his posts, and everybody who reads this site knows how highly I regard Nakashima. So for a guy like Nakashima to have such respect and high regard for Gaston speaks volumes.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 3, 2020 at 11:58 am

    Kvitova down 1-5, saved set points in the 1-5 game and is up 6-5 vs Fernandez.

  • George · October 3, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Couple observations of Gaston in the futures final in Houston.

    1. He has a very relaxed service motion, and he surprisingly hit many aces despite being so short.

    2. He moves extremely well. Movement was very fluid and quiet, like a cat.

    Observations of Korda in the futures final in Houston.

    1. Very tall with fluid strokes that generate easy power. Hits great volleys.

    2. He lost to Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, but I felt Korda had more potential. Kwiatkowski hits a hard flat serve that Korda just blocked back. Kwiatkowski, who won the NCAA singles title, just sliced the rest of the match and won.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 4, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Gaston looks capable of beating anyone, George. A Rios but with a better attitude and more respect for everyone associated with the sport. More deserving of the greatness gift he was bestowed.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 4, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Nice article on Iron Man Lopez and Iron Woman Cornet and Sugiyama has the record for most consecutive GS main draw appearances at 62. Cornet is at 54. Lopez at 74 now.

  • Sam · October 4, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    “Gaston looks capable of beating anyone”

    It’s funny that just a few days ago, he only had about 6,000 followers on Instagram. And now it’s nearly 60,000. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Of course, that also shows how fickle fans and social media can be. If you’re an athlete and you think all those people following you on social media actually care about you as a person, well, I have 500 gallons of dehydrated water to sell you!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Frankly, I’m glad to be just a regular person and not someone in the media spotlight. I think it’d be really hard to live a normal, stable life with so many “fans.” ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 4, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Boy, Rafa sure is struggling mightily with these new balls isn’t he? Does he owe the ball maker company a big apology?

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 4, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    Lendl and Federer have lost 11 grand slam finals. The record.

  • Sam · October 4, 2020 at 9:59 pm

    “Boy, Rafa sure is struggling mightily with these new balls isnโ€™t he?”

    I haven’t seen him play yet, Scoop. If he and Thiem meet, how do you rate their chances?

    “Does he owe the ball maker company a big apology?”

    Do they have a deal or something?

    Incidentally, I thought the match between Korda and Nadal might’ve been closer, but maybe the actual result was to be expected.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 5, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Sam, Rafa looks the same old Rafa. He may not know how to handle Sinner. I’m smelling upset.



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