‘Rafa” is perhaps one of my favourite tennis players of all time. He has prodigious talent, extreme fitness and an exemplary attitude to the game. He responds to victory with sincere humility and responds to defeat by working harder, learning more and coming back with greater determination. He is a wonderful role model for younger players and that is why I have put him at the top of my list.
Was there ever a more graceful male player on the tennis court than Roger? At his peak, he could stroke the ball seemingly effortlessly from anywhere on the court to anywhere else on the court; he could glide from one side of the court to the other as if floating through the air; but when he came forward and spread those wings to line up a forehand – watch out! Singlehandedly, Roger brought the sport of tennis to a public much broader than those afficianados who would have watched regardless of who was playing.
The self-appointed “joker” in the pack, Novak is seen here remonstrating with a fan at the Hopman Cup, whilst his doubles partner, Jelena Jankovic watches in amusement. The fan had suggested that Novak wasn’t trying as hard as he might and Novak responded by offering the fan the use of his racquet to show everyone how the game should be played. It was all in good fun, as always in the Hopman Cup.