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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Nadal changes do… can he seal the deal?

Published: September 4, 2009
Section: Sports

Many people have heard of Rafael Nadal, the Spanish tennis player, if not for his style of play on the courts then for his haircut. The one thing that has kept me from jumping on the Nadal train for all these years was the shoulder length locks that, by the end of every match, looked more like he had been swimming than playing tennis. For the U.S. Open, which began Monday, Nadal sported a new haircut that looked very similar to that of Swede Roger Federer.

Now I am not one to judge players’ personal appearance – especially ones who are as amazing as Nadal, but I am not sure how I feel about this new look. It must be cooler for Nadal. I never could understand why anyone, let alone one of the best players in the world, would want to run around for hours in sweltering heat with hair at their shoulders (believe me, I’ve had to do it and it is not fun). So maybe Nadal finally wanted a “cooler” look. Or maybe it has something to do with the fact that Nadal has yet to win a U.S Open title and Federer is trying for his sixth straight Open Championship. It was time for a change and the hair was the first thing he thought of. For his sake we can only hope that does the trick and the shorter ’do will lead him to victory.

Through the first round of the Open there have been no major upsets. Federer is top ranked and breezed through his first match 6-1; 6-3; 7-5 over Devin Britton from the US. Nadal, third ranked, won 6-2; 6-2; 6-3 over Richard Gasquet of France. Andy Roddick is the top ranked American, at number five, and beat Bjorn Phau of Germany 6-1; 6-4; 6-2.

And for news in other sports, former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling has expressed some interest in running for the Massachusetts Senate seat previously held by Senator Edward Kennedy. Schilling is a longtime Republican supporter, but is a registered independent. He was a member of three world championship teams: first in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, in 2004 with the Red Sox, and again in 2007 with the Red Sox. While he won the hearts of Boston fans by pitching Game 6 of the 2004 World Series with a bloody, injured ankle which helped the Sox win their first championship in 86 years, that same year he campaigned for George W. Bush. He was also involved in John McCain’s campaign in 2008. This is hardly the political track record one would expect from Kennedy’s successor. Let’s just hope this religious fan base takes a few moments to consider his politics and not just his athletic achievements.