"I look at Nadal and the way he goes about his business, the way he trains, the way he looks every time he walks out on court -- what he gives and expects of himself. If anybody's going win, it's going to be him. He's not afraid to do whatever it takes. Tennis is one part of it -- the desire, the sacrifice, the willingness to learn, to train, to take your knocks to be better. Even when he lost at Wimbledon and the French, he comes back stronger and better to the point where he wants to prove to himself that he's the best. He's only 24. He hasn't even reached his prime. That's scary.
"He brings more than just the tennis. He brings that excitement, that electricity and the feel of walking into a stadium and having more than just a tennis match going on. I'm not saying anything disrespectful about the other guys. I'm just saying that he might have a little big more of that, just by his enthusiasm and passion.
"You don't see guys like him jumping around and running out to the baseline and diving and trying after every ball. That's a long lost art. Nadal grinds it point to point, and shows his passion when he wins a big point and isn't afraid to let you know how he's feeling. That's old school attitude. Today, being cool is probably more important. He might be a one-of-kind, and any time you're a one-of -a-kind, it's not a bad thing."
Number-one-ranked Rafael Nadal is currently competing in the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. He appears headed toward a potential semifinal round showdown with rival and friend Roger Federer.
Do you bring a Nadal-like intensity, desire, and determination to whatever you do? No, what if you did? Would it make a difference? Are you willing to do what it takes to win?
Excerpts from Inside Tennis (March 2011).