Rafael Nadal is currently the #1 player in men’s tennis, an achievement he also held in 2008, but until very recently he has never been the #1 player in people’s minds. That distinction used to belong to Roger Federer. However, after a couple of years of inconsistent tennis, despite a strong hardcourt summer, doubts are beginning to rise about the continuation of Federer’s reign.
Meanwhile, Nadal is fitter, hungrier, and more focused than ever before, and this time the reigning French Open and Wimbledon champ has the necessary puzzle pieces to claim his one elusive Slam, the U.S. Open.
Here are ten reasons why Nadal is the Open favorite for the first time, and why he may have surpassed Federer for good.