Is Rafael Nadal the Bane or the Best?: A Study of Unlikely Tennis Rivalries

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Is Rafael Nadal the Bane or the Best?: A Study of Unlikely Tennis Rivalries

Bane /beɪn/
–noun
1. A person or thing that ruins or spoils.
-- Dictionary.com

The character Bane, introduced to readers of DC Comics in 1993, will never be as famous as his primary foe, Batman. Those who are aware of him primarily know him as the man who temporarily incapacitated the hero by breaking his back. No matter what else his character does, his niche will always be in what his name implies; he ruins or spoils things for the more accomplished character.

Some would argue that Rafael Nadal is currently doing so to Roger Federer. If that is accurate, he's hardly the first. Many players in men's tennis over the past few decades have also struggled mightily with competitors whose careers are less decorated than theirs.

Let's look at some examples of this phenomenon, and explore the reasons why it takes place.

-- Image courtesy of DC Comics.

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