in King Richarda Williams family biographical film, a paragraph that gives us food for thought.
In 1988, Richard Williams (Will Smith) loads two of his five children, Venus and Serena (eight-and-six years old), into the van and drives through Los Angeles for an hour, from humble Compton neighborhood to exclusive neighborhood. Brentwood to introduce his daughters to Paul Cohen.
After that, Paul Cohen became the manager of Pete Sampras, and at that exact moment his son, making his way in the professional ring, rallies with autumnal John McEnroe on the club track.
The spectacle has tremendous historical weight: it captures the moment when four American tennis giants meet. I’m talking about Sampras and McEnroe and the Williams sisters.
(The scene is fictional, but it could have happened; in fact, over time, Williams would meet Sampras and McEnroe)
‘King Richard’ depicts the heyday of American tennis: Williams, Sampras and McEnroe coincide
The tale comes to mind.
He tells us that times are changing, and that at the moment the great game of American tennis occupies little space in the popular imagination.
For men, his top 20 are Taylor Fritz (11) and Frances Tiafoe (19).
(For women, things go a little better: Jessica Pegola in sixth, Coco Gauff in ninth and Madison Keys in 17th)
The present is a piccata minute: in 2000, Pete Sampras was number one and Andre Agassi, 2
(And in women, the US had four in the top 10: Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, Monica Seles and Serena Williams.)
22 years have passed and now American tennis is in the past (maybe it will return, it will be seen) and Spanish tennis is flying over the men’s circuit.
Yesterday the ATP schedule was updated and we saw how something has been taking shape and hasn’t happened since August 2000, since the times Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi flew over the world. Two tennis players from the same country are No. 1 and 2: Carlos Alcaraz (19) and Rafael Nadal (36).
History is a feast for the senses of the Spanish fan.
They are amazed that they are having an exciting time with fat cows, a fact underlined by the fact that both Alcaraz and Nadal are also top of the year rankings.
And then what?
The status quo will likely continue until the end of the cycle, given that the circuit is heading into the fall, there are no major tournaments the rest of the year, there are hardly a Master 1000 (Paris) left and the championship from the Masters and Alcaraz is not particularly committed (in 2021, he played the role Semi-finals in Vienna and round of 16 in Paris Masters).
The outcome remains in Nadal’s hands, because at the moment we don’t know what his physical and emotional state will be. With his wife on the verge of giving birth and his multiple injuries, the man from Manako could skip the Masters, a resignation that would risk his second place. Casper Rudd is behind, only 165 points behind, breathing distance.
(Although the present is indelible, like the scene in King Richard the four legends)
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