Rafael Nadal did something at the Monte Carlo Country Club at the ATP Masters 1000 event that no other male player in the Open-era has done. He won the singles title for the eighth time and even more amazing it was...
Rafael Nadal did something at the Monte Carlo Country Club at the ATP Masters 1000 event that no other male player in the Open-era has done. He won the singles title for the eighth time and even more amazing it was eight times in a row. The Australian Open has the Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena, named after two immortals of the game. In Sydney the centre court is the Ken Rosewall Arena, another legend. In Brisbane there is the Pat Rafter Arena. In Paris at Roland Garros there is Court Suzanne Lenglen while the US Open has Arthur Ashe Stadium. All facilities named after some of the greats of this tremendous sport we either follow or work in. Here’s what I think. Court Central at the Monte Carlo Country Club should be renamed “Maison Rafa Nadal”. Okay maybe not “maison” but definitely his name should be on that court. Don’t you think that would be only Right? Court Rafa Nadal sounds pretty good. As soon as he won the title over Novak Djokovic one of my first Tweets @crosscourt1 was suggesting that very thing. Name the court after Rafa. To name the trophy after him is just not enough; it needs to be the court.   That is a phenomenal achievement. Remember no one in men’s tennis in the Open-era, which goes back to 1968, has achieved anything like what he has done. The closest I can find of another male player doing something remotely the same was Pate Sampras who won seven Wimbledons (absolutely incredible) but they were not in a row. The only problem I can see with this suggestion is that it is not up to the ATP World Tour to make a decision because the venue is not owned by them; it is a private club. However the board of the club should take it upon themselves to develop this honour and bestow it upon Rafa before play begins at the 2013 event. Not one other active player has a court named after him or her. Don’t you think it would be amazing? I think I want to start a campaign to get the court named after him. Who else is in on the project? The guy is a “phenomegend”, my new word for a phenomenal legend. Hey maybe that will catch on.   There is no doubt he is the greatest clay court player who ever lived. Even Bjorn Borg says that. This one stat epitomises that title; since 2005 on clay when Nadal has won the first set he has won 190 matches and lost just two. The exceptions: 2007 Hamburg to Roger Federer and 2005 Buenos Aires to Gaston Gaudio. You know Rafa is such a humble guy he’d be incredibly embarrassed and shy about having a major court named after him. What a moment that would be for him and it would be at arguably the most stunning looking tennis court in the world. I wonder if that would put extra pressure on him when he plays? Okay who agrees with the concept and who’s got ideas on how this can be taken further? Tell us at wearetennis.bnpparibas after all we also want to help be your voice in this great sport.