The French gave Nadal the nickname "The Alien" after watching his sublime artistry on their clay courts. Any who look at his big biceps and Popeye forearms and see only a brute haven't watched Nadal on clay. Seeing him run wide, slide several feet, stop suddenly at just the right moment several feet wide of the doubles alley, flick an impossible forehand off his back foot that "bends like Beckham" around the post and lands deep inside the court an inch inside the line for a winner—it compares to the grace of any Federer shot he has hit that leaves you dumbfounded.
Make no mistake, Nadal is still The Ogre, who will pound you till you submit. But he is also The Alien, who displays supreme artistry as well. Sure, his record on hard courts against several opponents isn't a winning one- Davydenko, Murray, Djokovic and others. However, he has won a Slam on hard courts- something Murray and Davy have yet to do. He is also coming in, having conquered all other arenas. This is the last on his list. He is playing sparingly, with only the Roger's Open and Cincinnati before the U.S. Open. He has improved his game- serve, flat forehand, aggressive play. Heck, he even won 23 of 25 net approaches against Murray at Wimbledon and a doubles title earlier this year.
The Alien has landed, and he wants to conquer the hard court world. I'm sure he would love to play Federer along the way, as well. If that happens, and he smokes Federer, at Flushing Meadows we may be seeing The Ogre and The Alien all rolled into one. And what chance will anyone have against that?