Rafael Nadal —
A decade ago, some “experts” predicted that Nadal, injuryprone and playing a gruelling style, would have a short career. But this force of nature has proved them wrong. Now 32, he’s playing with the same, almostsuperhuman intensity as he did when he burst onto the pro scene with pirate
pants and sleeveless shirts in 2003. By winning a record 11th French Open in June and a record 33rd Masters 1000 title at Toronto recently, the fistpumping, “Vamos”shouting Spaniard has shown he remains as formidable as ever. As Stefanos Tsitsipas said after losing to Nadal in the Toronto final, “He will always grab you like a bulldog, and he will always make you suffer on the court. He was [once] normal like all of us, and he managed to
become this beast, this monster that he is today.” The monster from Mallorca won’t win his second straight US Open, but he’ll make the final.