In praise of hard work

Today is the final of the Barcelona Open, a 500 level Masters event that has, not surprisingly, been won by a Spaniard for the last 9 years.  By default it will be once again this year, since the finalists are David Ferrer and Rafael Nadal.  Six of the last nine titles belong to Rafael Nadal, with single wins also belonging to Fernando Verdasco, Tommy Robredo, and Carlos Moya.

As big a Nadal fan as I am, I still very much appreciate what Ferrer brings to the game.  The consensus is that he’s the hardest working player on the tour:  while he has no single skill that stands out, unlike other top 10 players, he is a tireless gamer.  He’s been variously called dogged,  Energizer Bunny-like and the best “right-wing” player of the game.  He’s playing in his fourth Barcelona final today, all against Nadal, against whom he has a losing head to head record.  I don’t really know who to root for.  I suppose in the end, I would just like to see a good match, regardless of winner.

Confidential to The Tennis Channel:  why is this being aired by tape-delay?  Will the ratings for the shriek-tastic Stuttgart final (Azarenka v Sharapova) really be greater than the all Spaniard final?  I doubt it.  *off to find a live stream*

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