What makes a good horror movie? A professional makeup artist will help, as well as a creepy backstop. Psychologically deviant characters also add excitement, and if you can throw a number of twisted and unsettled phenomena, then it's better. But nothing will be done unless there is a thoroughly horrifying and unpredictable plot in the film.
What makes a bad horror movie? All the above elements with only the last bit missing. Nobody wants to see something that follows the foreseeable model; although the thirst of Sadomasochist fear can not replace the boredom of the expected tragedy.
It is tempting to think of Rafael Nadal's entrepreneur in the ATP finals as the worst horror film anyone could never do.
The news of his withdrawal from the 2018 edition broke Monday, and was not even close to surprise. Nadal had retired from Paris masters only a few days ago, referring to the stomach problems he had recovered from training at Bercy's courts. And because he was just back from another injury – the knee problem in the open knee of the US – it was always time-consuming enough to fit the eight-man tournament that started in London this week.
After seeing his Facebook page, Nadal was forced into a small operation to remove a free floating particle with a right ankle joint. Surgery has been reported to be successful, but it takes a few weeks to restore – by adding abdominal and knee issues to the Spanish who are already in conflict.
Yes, it's a nightmare. Some may even call it a horror story. But the last ten and a half years have shown that it is an exceptionally tough horror story because everything is so predictable.
The first time Nadal qualified in finals in 2005, and he is qualified every year ago. But you can count on how many times he has been 100% fit for the ATP showpiece event. Between 2005 and 2018 he has eliminated the damage as many as seven times. And in the other seven releases he really played, he was physically at his best just four times – in 2006, 2007, 2010 and 2013.
Here is a disturbing boxing: 10 krt from 14, which Nadal has qualified for the finals, has been prevented from taking legitimate shots in the title. The injuries have been different in nature, but their timing is almost mechanically unified. Each year in the fall, we learn of a new physical disaster that has emerged in Nadal's life, which always shadows his plan to win the last silver bottle missing from his cabinet.
If you were in battle or in mystical arts, you would think that Nadal tried to win the ATP finals curse. But even it could have been more positive if a bit ridiculous story. The reality is rather depressing: given the physical constraints and style of Nadal, the championships at the end of the year are just one mountain too far.
As a man of Nadal fitness levels, playing the whole season is not theoretically an impossible task. But we forget that he has Kohler's disease and a chronic tendon inflammation, which is inclined to become even more painful as the workload increases.
There is a reason why Nadal always appears to be installed at the beginning of the year as the end. The collision of the ankle and knee continues throughout the season and worsens uncontrollably when playing on neglected, tough surfaces (read: grass and fastbuttons that are typically found in the second half of the tennis court's calendar).
Then there is the fact that indoors hard cases are not exactly fit for Nadal's style, even if it is the latest one. Nadal's game is best done when it is left open, assisted, and created with natural elements. But when it's just indoors, the top corner of his shots has been robbed by some of its pop, and his footwork blast is boring just tad. In this regard, winning the ATP finals – which is always indoors, given that it is part of falling – is always a particularly difficult task for Nadal.
Whom is the idea of entertainment is that it makes a tough proposal even more difficult by adding regular, uncontrolled and painful disadvantages? It is almost like Fate looked down at Nadal, saw him struggling with the unique challenges of the indoor game, rubbing his hands together joyfully and said, "Here's a hell of a hell for you, I'd like to see you win this particularly nasty curbball." "It's so fun to see that you suffer like this!"
The opposite pleasure is no longer soul-crushing like this.
Nadal will be 33 when the next year's championship will be rolled. 33 is not supernatural today, but his role is only shrinking during the current season. A real challenge for the ATP finals in the future Nadal will have to be in good shape throughout the year to build enough momentum in London but also have to be in a patient physical condition until the end of the season. This last requirement is particularly worrying.
Nadal was great every time he took the verdict in 2018. He lost only four matches all year, and his only two hard losses went to retirement. In Spain, there was never such a slight loss before September, and riding such an impressive steam head. In addition, the competition in the finals this year is considerably lower when Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are the only true rivals.
Was 2018 Nadal the last real chance to win the ATP finals, which had once been brutally dragged away from him?
Everything here has a silver lining if it is very weak. As we wring our hands frustrated with all injustice, it is likely that man is not actually overworked right now. Nadal once said that he had learned "to enjoy the sufferings". The second time he continued mid-injury, he said: "It's part of life, it's part of the sport, it's not the end of the world, it's just another difficult time." Why should he deal with this latest disaster in a different way?
Knowing that Nadal is probably in peace with his terrible horror at the ATP finals, it is the only thing that makes this whole episode a little less painful. It's still like a bad horror movie, but at least it's a horror movie where a hero lives to fight another day.