Winning the Davis Cup for the fourth time in your career is a great way to end 2011. For Rafael Nadal, who had a rough year, mixed with sweet and sour, it might be the push he needs to make 2012 great for him, once again.
Nadal isn’t exactly the only player on tour looks and expecting a brighter future next year. Roger Federer will be taking a three tournament unbeaten streak, including the Masters in Paris and the ATP World Tour Finals, beating Rafael Nadal in convincing fashion and also taking down Tsonga twice.
Novak Djokovic should still be considered the best in the World until we get the next Australian Open, Andy Murray is always lurking, Tsonga is always threatening to finally rid himself of the problems that have hindered his advancement and even David Ferrer won’t surprise anyone with a title next year.
Still, for Nadal, the David Cup performance came at a perfect time. Admitting of the problems he suffered from this tennis season, the lack of passion and desire for victory dealt o him due to the struggles and the whole Novak Djokovic mental block. Novak Djokovic built on his success with Serbia a year ago to go on and dominate 2011. It all started there, evolving into more than 40 consecutive wins, three grand slam titles and four Masters titles, all with Nadal in the way.
For Nadal, winning on the Argentinian clay courts against Juan Martin Del Potro, another player searching to return to better days and from, might provide the needed push. A win with grit, with passion, with effort. Everything he felt lacking in recent months. With all of his tennis skills and exceptional shot making when he’s at his best, Nadal is moved forward by his drive and sheer will. Wins don’t come effortlessly, even double bagels.
Some make it look easy, elegant, even when it isn’t. For others, like Nadal, it’s a matter of how much his mind and body push him to go. When everything is fine, not fractured and not littered with insecurities, the confident and dominating Rafael Nadal comes out to play. In 2012, we might see it more often than we did in 2011.