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Rafael Nadal the beacon of sport’s old power despite new normal

Lockdown has revealed a lot about athletes but tennis’ king of clay will want to catapult us back in time come September

One of the most refreshing aspects of sporting lockdown, in the absence of watching athletes do things, has been watching athletes talking. Properly talking, I mean. Most of the time, what normally passes for athletes talking is actually just athletes making noises: contrived and arbitrated noises, synthetic to the point of worthlessness.

Here, sweaty athlete at your most distracted and dishevelled: please summarise your many as-yet unprocessed emotions in a pithy, uncontroversial 30-second soundbite to a live audience of millions in front of a bit of sponsored cardboard, before you’ve even had a chance to see your loved ones. What’s that? Great to get the win, you say? Illuminating stuff. Back to the studio.

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