On an exhilarating Sunday (Sept 8) evening, thick with emotion, Rafael Nadal reminded us of his unchanged status as the patron saint of suffering. A sort of holy man of hurting, who turns tennis matches into brilliant punishments, who reaches through the curtains of exhaustion to excavate one last lunge, one more idea, one extra mile. He is an athlete who still doesn’t know what his last legs are.
How, we ask? Maybe even he doesn’t know which is why he sat on his chair in New York like a winded, weeping boxer after accumulating 6,673m in short sprints. His fingers were taped and he looked proud but played out, mortal and moved.