nyt mag: rafael nadal

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rafa-nyt-cover

Those aren’t tumbleweeds you’re seeing, folks. They’re crumpled up pages from this Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, torn apart in by frustrated fans who wanted to see Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer duke it out for another major title in 2009.

I think Roger will have more pressure on him this year than last. If he can’t string together seven wins in the next two weeks, he doesn’t have a Rafa to blame (will Murray make his mark?). That record-breaking 15th ‘slam is just around the corner…

I haven’t finished reading the profile yet, but it seems to offer the same stuff we already know about Rafa. At this point, it’s more about enjoying the writing of Ms. Gorney. My fave quotes thus far:

Referring to Nadal v. Federer: “But let me just suggest that if there were ever a time to understand why people invoke Shakespearean tragedy and ancient gladiators and so on when they carry on about competitive tennis, now is that time.”

And about tennis in general: “‘You must remember,’ [L'Équipe writer Philippe] Bouin said gently, in his lovely accented English, ‘that in tennis you have to kill the other.’ Not just play better. Sometimes the one who plays better can lose. It’s a sport of splendid cruelty, for all its decorum and finicky trappings; every winning point comes when the other guy, in front of a whole stadium of people staring directly at him, is forced by his opponent into inadequacy. He lunges for the ball but whiffs, he whacks it long, he hits it into the net, he screws up. From the stands, you sometimes see players surrender not because they don’t know how to return the shots coming at them but because the specter of this impending inadequacy has suddenly just taken over their brains. It transpires right in front of your eyes: something sags, and they go sort of limp; you can see their faces and their posture start registering get me out of here.”

Read: Ripped. (Or Torn Up?) by Cynthia Gorney, NY Times Magazine, June 21, 2009.

(screen grab via nytimes.com)

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4 Responses to “nyt mag: rafael nadal”

  1. nmccarvel Says:

    I’m sure the editors aren’t too happy with his decision to pull out. That was a big deal to have a sports story on the cover of the NYT mag! Go figure.

  2. evie Says:

    No way is there more pressure on him now than last year. He was coming off a humiliating beat-down at RG and was going for his sixth straight title. Now he has the Career Slam in hand and has to deal with a bunch of great players — not one of whom he’ll meet prior to the final has won a Slam. He’s going to play more freely than ever.

    If the final does end up being Fed-Murray, there will be more pressure because they’ll both be playing for either the #1 spot or the #3 spot (yup, Fed will be #3 if Murray wins Wimby). But I honestly think Fed’s going to be playing up to his potential before that. The hardest game he will ever play in his life — serving for the RG match to win the Career Slam — is behind him. It’s all gravy from here.

  3. evie Says:

    btw — fantastic cover. I’m going to be picking up the issue this weekend.

  4. Rachel Says:

    I wish I was in America so I could buy this. I think I might have put it on my wall. <3

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