The G.O.A.T.

I’m slightly late coming to the party as this happened last Sunday but if there is a person right now in the sporting world that you can rightly call the G.O.A.T. then please step forward Rafael Nadal. 

It cannot be underestimated how much of an achievement this is winning 21 Grand Slam titles. He’s won the Australian Open twice, the French Open thirteen times, Wimbledon twice and the US Open four times. You only have to look at the all time list of Mens tennis players to see whose records he has beaten. His main rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are just behind him on 20 titles each. Then let me pick out, Pete Sampras 14 titles, Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg 11 titles, Andre Agassi 8 titles, John McEnroe 7 titles and Boris Becker 6 titles. All are major names amongst the few I’ve picked who haven’t got anywhere near 21 titles which should enhance the arguement about Rafa’s achievements. 

Sunday I was at my son Jude’s football match but keeping an eye on how Rafa was doing. He was playing a player who is number 2 in the world and who is 10 years younger. Medvedev had won the Mallorca Open in here in Santa Ponsa in June last year, he followed that by beating Novak Djokovic in the US Open Final in September. He didn’t just beat him, he won in straight sets and denied him the accolade of completing a calendar Grand Slam and getting to the 21 career wins himself. 

I remember commenting to my Wife that Rafa was two sets down, 2-3 down and 0-40 down and it was shame that he couldn’t win it after such a great run. I left it there and when I next looked he’d won the third set 6-4! Was the comeback on? As we left the football he’d won the fourth set too, so we sped back home to catch the final set. Blimey what a ding dong battle it was. Every time one of them looked like he’d got the upper hand the other seemed to play better. It was gripping stuff, so much so I was shouting at the screen. My sons who’ve experienced my shouting at football were asking why I was so excited? I explained that to achieve what he has and coming from our island is an amazing feat and he’s one of the most humble guys you’ll ever have the privilege to meet. I’ve said it before, there isn’t a better ambassador for Mallorca than Rafa. So what should you bestow on the islands greatest sportsman? Well if he was up for President I’d vote for him, actually maybe tourism minister would suit him better. “Hi, I’m Rafa Nadal and I live on the Worlds most beautiful island, Mallorca”. He wouldn’t need to say anything else.

That’s not going to happen unfortunately, but there are moves afoot to do something even better than above. Soon we could all be flying in or flying out from The Rafa Nadal Airport. I think it’s a great idea and an amazing marketing opportunity for the island. There is a Change.org petition online, here is the link, https://www.change.org/p/gobierno-de-españa-llamen-al-aeropuerto-de-palma-aeropuerto-internacional-rafael-nadal 

Some have said he only won because Djokovic wasn’t there. That’s rubbish as you beat what’s in front of you first and no one can predict what might have happened. All three are without doubt great tennis players and all of them have won a Grand Slam event with one of their rivals missing from injury or illness. 

Let’s not let that get in the way of what is for me one of the greatest achievements in sporting history and he and the others aren’t retired yet. So it could get better. Rafa Nadal I salute you and is there any chance of an interview please? 

The Winter Olympics officially got under way yesterday in Beijing, with almost 3,000 athletes from 91 nations competing to get their hands on one of 109 gold medals on offer. Probably not as popular as the Summer Olympics but still as exciting. My memories of Team GB in the Winter Olympics are the ice skater Tim Curry in 1976, Robin Cousins in the ice skating in 1980. Torvill & Dean also ice skating in 1984 and the failures of Eddie the Eagle in 1988. Most of us out there can probably remember the Jamaican Bobsleigh team of 1988 and the subsequent 1993 film “Cool Runnings”. Well 24 years later they have qualified again! Let’s hope we hear them chant before they start, “feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up, it’s bobsled time! Cool Runnings!”

Take care everyone and enjoy your Weekend! 

Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.00-10am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance! 

Follow him on Twitter @DadTaxi1 & Instagram @dad.taxi or feel free to email him at rprior@globobalear.com 

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