The tennis world and the world championship are more connected than you think, riders have often been seen at major tennis events, as in the latter case, Marc and Alex Marquez, present at the Masters 1000 in Madrid to cheer on Rafael Nadal and rising star Carlos Alcaraz. This is not the first time that the world of the racket and the two-wheeled riders are mixed to give life to a sporty cross that is as special as it is fascinating; the pilots have never hidden a certain attraction from tennis players, such as Joan Mir, who recently declared all his admiration for compatriot Nadal, considering him a strong source of inspiration for all Spanish athletes.
From the amazing four of two reels to the big four of tennis
One of the greatest similarities between the two sports worlds is the characteristic (and luck) of having at the same time had four phenomena capable of raising the technical level so much that they obscure any kind of competition. MotoGP had the unforgettable era of the amazing four, represented by Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Dani Pedrosa And Casey Stonerto which we add Marc Marquez immediately after the withdrawal of the Australian; just like they dominated the tennis court Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.
To even better understand the extent of the peculiarity of this almost astral context, which has led to four athletes in both sectors clearly excelling above all the others, it is enough to look at the statistics of victories for the fantastic four in their respective sports areas, action. From Rossi’s first title in 2001 to Marquez’s last in 2019, this quartet of riders (except Pedrosa, guilty of not winning a title in the best class) has gathered 18 out of 21 world championships. In tennis, Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have combined the beauty of 61 slams into threeand considering that slams a year are 4, one can imagine how violently they have closed the doors to rivals in the last 20 years.
Marquez is inspired by Nadal: “A reference in total”
As mentioned, the MotoGP riders have never lacked a passion for the tennis ball, so much so that Marc and Alex Marquez went to Madrid on the occasion of the Masters 1000 to cheer Rafale Nadal, one of the Spanish athletes, if not the first. of all, most admired of all. Marquez himself has through his Instagram page defined the Mallorcan as his point of reference, for perseverance, passion and resilience. The same qualities can be found in the eight-time world champion, especially at this stage of his career dictated by injuries. Marquez and Nadal, however, are alike not only in this, but also in their agonistic enthusiasm and competitive spirit, both of which have the sole result of winning at the expense of overcoming, sometimes even unnecessarily, their limits.
The juxtaposition of the opposite sign can not fail to be at this point the middle Roger Federer and Valentino Rossiboth for the merit of both having transcended their sport by becoming “greater” than just the role of athletes, but also for flair, class and imagination, whether it be a forehand or a volley on the net rather than a powerful slowdown in the last turn in the final round against a rival for the win. Rossi himself admitted a few years ago that he felt a strong dose of inspiration from the Swiss champion, who in turn did not fail to reciprocate the same compliments.
The new interpreters, from Sinner to Bastianini
With Internazionali d’Italia just started, all fans of the racket’s world will be able to enjoy the sight of the new interpreters of the game. Time passes even for the longest-living champions, although Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal certainly do not intend to give up the scepter. A bit of the same situation as in MotoGP, where many young people attack Marquez’s crown. If we take the luxury of playing with comparisons, we can approach e.g. Enea Bastianini to Jannik Sinnerrespective promises of top-class and tennis, both authors of various achievements and in the future pretenders to the world top.
So if the sheer drive of Fabio Quartararo can recall the elegance of Stefanos Tsitsipa’s movements and strokes, the effectiveness of Bagnaia seen in Jerez can be compared to the qualities of the current number two on the ATP rankings, Danil Medvedev, so atypical in shots when it’s very hard to hit when it’s during the day. We have not forgotten Jorge Lorenzo and Daniel Pedrosa, the two legends mentioned above; the Spanish ex-Yamaha can remember Novak Djokovic for perfection of technique while the jockey in Sabadell is comparable to Andy Murray, both have won far less than their most famous rivals, but have been able to put an indelible mark on the history of their sport. All in anticipation of a new dominator in MotoGP, someone who picks up Rossi’s legacy and continues in the wake of Marquez, in line with what’s happening in tennis, with 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz (winner of the Madrid tournament and already number 6 in the world) destined to soon become number 1.
MotoGP: French GP TV program, on SKY, NOW AND TV8