The accolades and tributes are beginning to roll in for top baller Rafael Nadal and his incredible season.
The Majorcan Matador has been named one of GQ magazine's Men of the Year for 2008 in their December issue joining multiple Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps, Texas Rangers center-fielder Josh Hamilton, and the Boston Celtics as sports figures/teams who made the prestigious list.
You could see it on his face: the moment Rafael Nadal knew that after 160 weeks as the second-best tennis player in the world, he was about to become number one. It came four hours into the Wimbledon final, when it seemed that the 22-year old was again going to crumble at the All England Club, as he had two years in a row. But then it happened: After an extended rally, Nadal hit a forehand so violent and scorching and, well, plain superhuman that Roger Federer froze in despair. And though the Spaniard would never admit it himself ("Roger is always Roger, and he had his chances, too," says Nadal. "With him, I always need to be there with all I've got"), as Nadal pumped his first in the air, he had the look of a man who knew that after years of falling short, he was finally about to break through. Sure enough, Federer went down in the very next set.
Congrats Rafa - keep 'em coming!
(images via GQ)