Tennis Elbow: Rafael Nadal loves cake too
August 12, 2013 · Print This Article
Montrealers got their cake, but it’s Rafael Nadal who ate it.
Really, the Spaniard must have simply missed the memo. Nadal probably just saw the cake and since he loves cake, decided to eat it. He didn’t see that it was a cake for all of Montreal.
It was supposed to go along something like this… After having watched Milos Raonic overcome countryman Vasek Pospisil after 2:16 in the semifinal, all of Montreal would watch Nadal and Novak Djokovic battle it out in one of their typical grueling affairs in the second semifinal. The following day, all of Montreal would book their afternoon off to watch Raonic morph into a bullfighter to slay the beast from Mallorca.
Well, Montreal couldn’t eat the cake, as it’s Nadal who captured the 2013 Rogers Cup title. He beat Raonic in a forgettable 6-2, 6-2 final that lasted just 1:08.
This is further proof that as with everything on the ATP World Tour, things must first go through Nadal before they get better. And not only that things must first go through the 27-year-old, but that they usually can’t.
This 2013 Rogers Cup was in many ways the absolute dream scenario for director Eugene Lapierre. First, all of five Canadian men advanced to the second round. The icing on the cake, well, was that one semifinal was an All-Canadian affair between Pospisil and Raonic and that another was between the two heavyweights that are Djokovic and Nadal. Beyond the match-ups, the fact that they exceeded expectations is what was really telling.
After such a Saturday, the cake was ready. On Sunday, the Spaniard ate it, and he did so methodically and clinically. This result continues an absolutely grandiose 2013 season, which might be shaping as one of his finest ever. He has 48 wins against only three losses, eight titles and another two finals in 11 tournaments. This season, Nadal has made the final of every single event that he has entered except for Wimbledon, which is looking more and more like a fluke loss.
A win in Flushing Meadows would give him a second Grand Slam title this year and, though he won a trio of those in 2010, he would then have one more title than he won in all of 2010. Apparently, the best way to prepare for a season is to take a seven-month hiatus from all competition.
As for Raonic, not all is lost. The 2013 Rogers Cup is the first time, since he first took the ATP by storm in 2011 as the Newcomer of the Year, that he gets a result worthy of his enormous talent. In the final, he came up short–and that’s an understatement–but it should help him regain some confidence after a bad 5-7 stint. The dream would have been to cement his place as the very first Canadian player to enter the top 10 with a title, but dreams aren’t the reality. And a final at a Masters 1000 event, let alone in his own country, is definitely a great result for Raonic.
Most importantly, the 22-year-old makes his way into the top 10, the first man born in the 1990s to do so, on the same week that the United States sees none of its players ranked in the top 20 (i.e. John Isner falls from 20th to 22nd).
That’s our cake, Canada. Let’s eat.
Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @CeeeBG