Rafa takes it all in Madrid
Don't tell us Rafa is "back." He's not "back." He was never gone.
Oh, they tried to get us wringing our hands. "What's wrong with Rafa?" the media bellowed. "Where is the King of Clay?" they whined.
Well, anyone who was watching in Madrid this week figured out the answer quickly. Nothing is wrong with Rafa, and the King of Clay is right where you'd expect him to be: at the championship trophy presentation.
Today, Rada won his fourth Madrid Open title. It came on the heels of two curious quarterfinal losses on his familiar clay surface.
The day didn't begin quite as planned. Kei Nishikori came out with a solid groundstroke to win the first set. Once the second set started, Rafa broke twice to send the match to the third.
Rafa was up 3-0 in the final set when Nishikori retired due to an injury to his lower back.
Rafa's win today guarantees he will retain the No. 1 spot in the world as he heads to Roland Garros.
Brad Willis is the PokerStars Head of Blogging