If Rafael Nadal wasn’t from Spain and he was instead Rafael Smith from Georgia, tennis would take over the sports world this morning, even coming off one of the best sports weekends of the year.
But it tennis won’t get the same buzz as the Pacquiao fight or LeBron and the Heat getting past the Celtics.
You see, fans who watch individual sports crave dynasties. They want the same guys to win over and over again.
But in tennis, no matter how exciting Nadal is, how effortless Federer looks or how amazing Djokovic’s rise to the top has been, the popularity of the sport in the US has been undeniably compromised by the lack of the American game.
Nadal’s win over Djokovic in the French Open this morning is Nadal’s seventh French Open title. It’s also the 31st time out of the last 34 grand slam titles that have been won by Nadal, Djokovic or Federer.
Those in the tennis business would rather have the dominance that exists now over complete parity. After all, there’s great popularity in the game worldwide. But one has to wonder what the sport would be if either Nadal, Djokovic or Federer were American, where the sport would be right now.