Don’t feel blue: suck it up, Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal on Madrid's blue clay court (Image: Getty)
2011 prize money: $7.7m. Grand Slam titles: 10. World Ranking: No.2. Career earnings: $45m. Based on these mind boggling statistics, you could hardly say that Rafael Nadal has the right to complain.
But, that’s what he has done on numerous occasions at the Madrid Masters this week on the controversial subject of the innovative, blue clay.
From the very start Nadal has criticised the new surface, declaring it “far from a clay court”.
Previous to this year’s headline grabbing Madrid Open the Spaniard lobbied heavily with the ATP to prevent this surface being used for the largely scrutinised tournament, however his appeal was rejected.
Yet Nadal is not alone in his opposition to the new surface with world No.1 Novak Djokovic joining the chorus of frustration, stating that, “this is not tennis.”
After losing for the first time to Spanish compatriot, Fernando Verdasco in the third round of this contentious tournament, Nadal went even further with his harsh judgements declaring that the tournament will be, “one less event for my calendar (next year)”.
This obvious threat to boycott next year’s tournament merely because of a slightly different playing surface is undoubtedly ludicrous and childish. Like the everyday man who has a job, tennis players must also encounter difficulties, frustrations and enormous disappointments throughout their careers.
However, to get paid millions of dollars a year to play the sport you love, as well as living your dream, is hardly a chore. That’s why in this instance Rafael Nadal has to suck it up and stop the whining and whinging.
If you don’t like the surface then bad luck, move on. The world No.2 should know better. If an average working man doesn’t enjoy his job and then decides he doesn’t fancy work that day, bad luck. He still has to work to support his family and make sure he is not fired from his job.
The Rafa outbursts of the past week have been unprofessional and just wrong. Surely he of all people can realise that the blue clay is garnering plenty of attention for tennis, which can only be good for the game.
Sometimes Rafa, you just have to suck it up.
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