But Nadal, with his innate competitive streak, is much more about confronting today’s challenges than obsessing over the past, and this triumphant season has been a testimony to his uncommon resilience and drive.
Like the 36-year-old Federer, his past and present rival, Nadal has re-emerged at the highest level after an injury layoff. Like Federer, Nadal has won two Grand Slam singles titles this year.
Brad Gilbert, the veteran coach and serial nicknamer, labeled it “the Fedal Slam” on Sunday, but whatever the label, the contents have provided tennis fans with plenty of diversion for the past eight months.
Federer beat Nadal in five sets to claim the Australian Open and then won Wimbledon before losing in the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open to Juan Martín del Potro. Nadal won an unprecedented 10th French Open in June and has now taken the U.S. Open.
“For me personally, it’s just unbelievable what happened…