Is the time to win it, in our day and age, inevitably when Rafael Nadal is injured? It was the knees, after all, that were no doubt crucial in that famous fall to Robin Soderling in 2009, which of course gave Roger Federer his. Yeah, Novak Djokovic has shown the ability to beat him at Roland Garros, but beating him and then winning the final is another matter. Much easier to win the French Open when he doesn’t have to do both. It’s definitely looking like this is the year, especially with Roger out already and Andy Murray having two five-setters already-even if he fixes whatever caused those quick, there’ll still be the physical toll they took. Not the way he wanted to win it, but it may be the only one, plain and simple. Just remember there’s no such thing as asterisks. Also that Rafael Nadal will still fight to come back from injuries as long as he’s able. This is sad, but I still don’t think he’s won his last slam.
I wish I could say the same about Roger. Hell, I’m not sure about Murray. Yeah, he’s winning clay masters now, but that’s always been what he’s done, won masters and then faltered at slams. His ability to beat Djokovic at them, even when it’s fled, has never been far away. Of course, it’s not like either man needs to win any more slams, but until either Rafa’s playing better, or a few more of these young up and comers have reached the level of our old Big Four, you’d like them to stay in play.
I also wish I could say I’m certain Maria Sharapova is innocent of any intentional wrongdoing. But with all these claims going around about the Russians, and now the blatant disrespect they displayed of saying she’s going to be on the team from the start, even before they really started talking about forgiving everyone who tested positive for meldonium in January…just leaves a bad taste in the mouth.