Wow. The day has finally come. The Mighty Fed's four year reign over the men's tour is over, at least for now. With Rafa's win over Nico Lapentti today, he guarantees he will be #1 when the rankings come out on
Monday. August 18th. But if he wins the Cincy title, he will be #1 on Monday.
Is there any dude who is more deserving of this? He's been so patient, so classy, so humble in his quest to be #1. And all credit to him, he took it to Federer and withheld Nole's charge. He worked hard, improved, adapted his game to both grass and hard courts. It's really really impressive.
I know some will lament the fact that the new #1 doesn't have the flair and panache of the The Mighty Fed, but you know what, there's room on tour for different styles of game. When one-dimensional Ivo Karlovic is defeating Mr. Panache, you know there's a change a comin'.
But Rafa's work isn't done. He's got a tough semifinal match against Nole tomorrow. Nole seems to be finding his hard court form in Cincy. I love Nole, but it would be a shame for Rafa to secure #1 and then lose the next day to the guy who thinks he's a better hard court player. Understandable, but a shame.