How things change in tennis. Or rather, how great players make them change. This time last year Rafael Nadal had just been blown away by Juan Martin del Potro in the US Open semi finals and was about to limp to the season’s close, finishing winless in the World Tour finals.
The Spanish legend has turned thins round in 2010, winning three of the Grand Slams and cementing his place as world number one, not to mention his place in the list of all-time greats. del Potro is now the man facing the long road to recovery after barely playing this season. No one has the strength and motivation of Nadal, so the Argentine will take longer to return to his best.
Things have also changed for Roger Federer, as those proclaiming the beginning of the end for him now seem more justified. Novak Djokovic has rediscovered the edge that he lost at majors in 2009 meaning his Tennis betting odds
are improving all the time, whilst Andy Roddick and Fernando Gonzalez have slid down the rankings.
One player whose critics will suggest has not made changes is Andy Murray. He continued to play some superb tennis, most notably at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, his sole Master 1000 victory this year, bit consistency remains a problem.
There was no disgrace in losing to the inspired Federer in Melbourne and Nadal at Wimbledon, but early round exits at the hands of Tomas Berdych and Stanislas Wawrinka at the other majors typify the sort of defeats that have slowed his progress.
The ATP tour betting odds
note that plenty will have changed by the end of the 2011 season, but the form of Nadal is unlikely to alter. Murray, Federer and the rest must find new ways to beat the Majorcan who will be favourite at every tournament he enters.