Then there's the matter of his sartorial stylings. The envelope-pushers at Nike have outfitted Nadal in shirts that look as if they were made of Day-Glo orange fabric left over from Christo and Jeanne-Claude's The Gates, complemented by puffy Capri pants that have been likened to a Venetian gondolier's pantaloons. To some observers, anyway, the on-court attire seems destined to reside alongside Agassi's denim tennis shorts, circa 1987, in the tennis wing of the Fashion Faux Pas Museum. But Nadal insists, "I like the outfits I wear," a predictable sentiment given the emolument he receives for sporting them. And Nike representatives maintain that their decision to clad Nadal in something so unconventional is further evidence that he is a singular talent.
Here's perhaps the ultimate sign that Nadal is the Truth: His popularity has started to grate on his colleagues. "All you hear is Nadal, Nadal, Nadal," former world No. 1 Marat Safin, normally affable and easygoing, sniffed to reporters at the Barcelona tournament late last month. "It is wrong for somebody so young. [ Spain] has other great players ... but nobody talks about them. Only Nadal. Why is this?"
The strong suspicion here is that by the time Nadal vamos-es through the draw at Roland Garros and vamooses with the title, Safin will have his answer. ?