The Nadals have always been a canny clan when it comes to marketing their man but word from Spain this week has it that the world number two is paid 1 million euros, over two years, by Spain’s main television station TVE just to give them an interview at the end of each of his matches.
That’s clearly great work by Rafa Nadal’s management but what on earth are a state television network doing paying that kind of money? I dare say that Nadal, who is pretty generous with his time, would have spoken to them anyway because it is in his interests do so. Can you imagine the outcry if the BBC announced they were doing something similar with Andy Murray?
On the same lines, Roger Federer was the lone star in the field in Rotterdam last week. In recent years, tournament director Richard Krajicek has seen his fields ruined by injuries, coming, as it does, so soon after the Australian Open and Davis Cup. Why Federer would make the extra effort to go there is about as clear as it could be, if reports are to be believed that he was paid an appearance fee of $1 million, tax free, to make the trip. Now all the top players will tell you how well they are looked after by Krajicek but that’s really pushing the boat out.
After all, wasn’t it Federer who stepped in to insist that Krajicek might not be the right man to become the ATP’s new chief executive? Krajicek is clearly the forgiving kind and it has to be said that Federer put in a solid week’s work by winning the title. So everyone’s happy. But Federer’s probably happier than most.
Still with Federer and his Rotterdam win means he is unbeaten in ATP events with a permanent roof (indoors, in other words) since November 2010. It was his 20th indoor title and there was plenty of discussion as to how many more grand slams he might have to his name if there had been an indoor one. Well, it’s an interesting discussion and prompted me to have a look back down the years to see just who else might have benefitted. Since 1968, in terms of the percentage of matches won, Federer sits just fifth on the list.
Top of the tree is John McEnroe, with an 85.3% win-rate, including 51 indoor singles titles. Second, and this is a bit of a surprise, is Ivan Lendl, with Jimmy Connors third and Bjorn Borg fourth. The only other current player to make the top 10 is Murray, who stands eighth with a 78.1% record and nine titles to his name.
Here’s the full top 10:
1. John McEnroe Win-loss: 419-72 (85.3%) Titles: 51
2. Ivan Lendl Win-loss: 344-71 (82.9%) Titles: 41
3. Jimmy Connors Win-loss: 460-103 (81.7%) Titles: 52
4. Bjorn Borg Win-loss: 215-51 (80.8%) Titles: 23
5. Roger Federer Win-loss: 217-52 (80.7%) Titles: 20
6. Boris Becker Win-loss: 297-75 (79.8%) Titles: 30
7. Arthur Ashe Win-loss: 265-70 (79.1%) Titles: 21
8. Andy Murray Win-loss: 89-25 (78.1%) Titles: 9
9. Pete Sampras Win-loss: 213-61 (77.7%) Titles: 23
10. Rod Laver Win-loss 136-41 (76.8%) Titles: 14
Stats: ATP World Tour