Nadal is noble in defeat

So, Rafael Nadal won't win four Grand Slam tournaments in a row, which saves us from the ridiculous debate over that accomplishment compared to a real Grand Slam, accomplished in one calendar year.

updated: February 06, 2011 18:43 IST
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Melbourne: Because not only would Nadal not drop out of his quarterfinal against his fellow Spaniard David Ferrer ("I hate retirements," he said), he wouldn't talk about the injury that so clearly hampered him. And to respect Ferrer's victory, Nadal asked reporters not to ask him about it. He lamented his string of injuries because they sound like excuses. This was all worth marveling at and appreciating, writes Greg Couch on, because it's something so beautiful and so rare. In sports, we're talking spotted owl rare.

(Avoid gratuitous comparisons to Bears quarterback Jay Cutler because their situations are not at all comparable, other than suggesting Cutler could take a few lessons in public relations from the gracious Nadal.)

Ferrer was nearly as gracious in victory, saying a healthy Nadal wins that match in straight sets. But injuries, it seems, are the price Nadal pays for his relentless game. As Ravi Ubha writes on, they keep interrupting whatever momentum he creates. Right now, they are costing tennis another showdown between Nadal and Roger Federer, who maintains his role as the healthy half of the rivalry.

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  • Tennis
  • Rafael Nadal
  • Petra Kvitova