Yes, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are legends but let’s talk about Daniel Nestor
Every time when someone mentions Canada the first name that crosses one’s mind is Justin Trudeau. Yup, the 45-year-old good-looking guy who also happen to be Canada’s PM. But for me the name that enters my mind is that of a celebrated tennis star. I’m not talking about Milos Raonic or Eugenie Bouchard. It’s none other than the old warhorse Daniel Nestor.
Being my first blog I wanted to speak about someone I admire and respect in the world of sports. Who would it be other than the 12-time Grand Slam champ Nestor. An ardent tennis fan would have known about Nestor and his accomplishments, but for someone who doesn’t follow the sport on regular basis wouldn’t be aware of the tall giant. This blog is for them.
With no disrespect to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, on any given day I would tune into watch Daniel Nestor and Edouard Roger-Vasselin taking on the Bryan brothers rather that Federer facing Nadal.
The 44-year-old Nestor turned pro in 1991. Yes, that was a long time ago. Actually, it’s very long ago. When he made his tour debut Raonic was just been few months old and Bouchard wasn’t even born. 26 years fast forward, Nestor still manages to instill fear in the opponents mind. Let me tell you that he is the only person to beat the Bryan brothers more than 25 times.
The Canadian known for his two-handed backhand is only the fourth person to record 1000 wins following Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl and Roger Federer who all happen to play singles where one get to play more rounds. So, recording 1000 win in doubles sounds crazy, doesn’t it.
When we speak about comebacks it’s not only pertained to top singles players, even doubles stars end up with injuries resulting in subsequent layoffs. During the first week of January 2000, Nestor had to undergo a surgery in his left shoulder which cost him four months of his career. But like any other determined individual he came back and not only won tour level matches but also clinched the gold medal at 2000 Sydney Olympics along with partner Sebastien Lareau in a keenly contested four-setter against all-time greats Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde.
25 years have gone by since his first doubles win at Auckland in 1993. On 20th July 2017 he notched his 1050th win when he along with his partner Max Mirnyi defeated Mikhail Elgin and Denis Istomin 6–2, 6–4 at Croatia Open. Again scripting his name in the history books.
He rose to prominence when he defeated former world number one and multiple time Grand Slam winner Stefan Edberg in the 1992 Davis Cup singles rubber in Vancouver. From there it was no looking back. Today he stands tall having won 1050 doubles matches, winning 91 doubles titles (this does not include the four mixed-doubles Grand Slams he won). In his mid forties, he may have another year or two left in him before he hangs up his boots, but definitely not before inking his name on more titles as he is still going strong (ranked 31 currently).
Many media publications and critics laud Daniel Nestor as the Roger Federer of men’s doubles. But for me Roger Federer is the Daniel Nestor of men’s singles. The Canadian will not only be remembered by the people of Canada but also by the millions of tennis fans across the world.
Follow me at: clthesportsfreak.wordpress.com