Tennis Returns to Its Eurosissy Glory

All hail our new gloriously Eurosissified tennis king, Rafael Nadal. At last, after years of Eurobot perfection, we have the kind of eccentric, floppy-haired, wedgepicking capri-pant wearing supermodel glommer tennis has lacked since the glory days of Boris "Das Paternitsoot" Becker. ↵

↵This should all be prefaced by a laudatory passage on Roger Federer, the Eurobot in question, who along with Pete Sampras helped turn tennis into a sport dominated by their bloodless perfection and long strings of uninterrupted titles. For all intents and purposes, Federer has been the perfect tennis player, and if you doubt the accuracy of the phrase consider that the heartbreak experienced by Federer came after he failed in pursuit of his sixth straight Wimbledon title. He's the best of his generation. He's immensely rich. He frolics in rich circles and has a beautiful lady. He coughs gold doubloons and sneezes hundred Euro bills. Summary: perfect. ↵

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↵Nadal, though, is what a beer-swilling crude Americano like me wants so badly from tennis: a flailing, diving, screaming flake who twitches, picks his underwear from his "famous ass" during matches, and wears a headband to keep his ridiculous hair out of his face. Federer wears one for the same reason a sniper has a sight; it's strictly a vision thing. You suspect Nadal wears it because he likes the way it frames his Iberian cheekbones for the ladies, and that the "Keeping my hair out of my face" thing is just a nice side effect. ↵

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↵If Federer wears tasteful trunks at the beach, Nadal wears a thong. If Federer relies on precision Swiss timepieces to keep him on schedule, Nadal looks outside and guesses from the position of the sun when he's supposed to get up from his pile of beautiful women and show up three hours late and smiling to your party. The man has his own line of capri pants, for Borg's sake. He's as gloriously flaky and Euro-fied as they come, and for someone who remembers Ilie Nastase and Bjorn Borg showing up like aliens to Wimbledon and radiating weird passion over NBC's hazy satellite feed, that's all I can ask from a tennis match. ↵

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↵Salutamos, Rafa. Crash a $500,000 sports car on us, amigo. You've earned it. We're typing this in a muscle shirt and capri pants now in honor of you. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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