Rafael Nadal: Would Another French Open Title Silence His Critics?

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Rafael Nadal: Would Another French Open Title Silence His Critics?
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal has entered the clay-court season intent on defending his French Open legacy. Yet it comes at a time when his career has run into questions, doubts and criticisms from fans and media.

Nadal is like a hero in an Ernest Hemingway novel who must battle through his physical pains and emotional fears in order to prove his worthiness one more time.

Hemingway, who loved outdoors adventure and sport, would have loved tennis had he watched Nadal.

In his classic novella, The Old Man and the Sea, an old fisherman is labeled as a has-been by his community. He has not caught a fish in 84 days, and must go out to sea one more time to test his own belief and manhood.

The following five slides examine Nadal's quest to capture one more French Open title and to silence his critics. Each frame is told through Hemingway's "code hero" formula as a parallel for measuring Nadal at this important time in his tennis career.

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