It is an open secret that Rafael Nadal flouts the rule pertaining to the time between points. The rule clearly states that players can only take 25-seconds between points, but Rafa routinely takes about 30. That number goes up significantly after a long, grueling point, such as the 30-some shot exchanges with Novak Djokovic.
It is also no secret whatsoever that I love Rafa. I tend to lose interest in tournaments in which Rafa isn't playing. He brings something to the game, an ethereal quality, a pulse even, that players like Novak just cannot conjure up. In fact, watching Novak play is downright boring!
With this established, let me be clear that I have been vocal about the time between points. Instead of just criticizing though, I have come up with 8-ways in which Rafa can reduce the time he takes between points. Here goes:
1. Between games, towel off while walking to the ball-boys instead of toweling off while handing towels to them.
2. Have the nearest towel-bearer walk over to him at the end of a point instead of walking over to them.
3. Bounce the ball half the number of times than he does today. How about a total of 7-times, because that number is both prime and auspicious in a lot of cultures.
4. Have all racquets in his bag be ready to go, complete with vibration dampener, so that he doesn't have to remove it from his current frame to position into the new one.
5. Carry two racquets with him on the change-over prior to the balls being changed. This will cut down the time he takes to walk over to his bag and pull out a new racquet.
6. Get a haircut so he doesn't have to wear a headband.
7. Combine his drinks so he has to drink out of just one bottle instead of two. Maybe drink some Red Bull to give him wings!
8. Looser shorts; boxer briefs. 'Nuff said!
It is unlikely that he will implement even 1 of these. Wait, it is actually really unlikely that he will even read this blog post. So let me say this - if he implements even one of these ideas, you read it here first! :)