Professional athletes are built differently than the rest of us mere mortals. Whether it is in their DNA or just a freak quality they possess, they never cease to amaze us.
Ben Shelton and Rafael Nadal recently showed their athleticism in different ways; however, both are very impressive. In Shelton's case, it was on the tennis court, and in Nadal's case, it was in the swimming pool.
Shelton dialed up a 145-mile-per-hour serve at the Dallas Open. It is early in the season for that type of speed. Last year at the US Open, he clocked serves at 147 and 149 so his superhuman serving ability is not new, but it is still incredible. He used his powerful serve in his come-from-behind win over Jordan Thompson to reach the semifinals.
While Shelton shows us his on court talents, Rafael Nadal is amazing us in the swimming pool
We do not usually associate tennis players with being outstanding swimmers, but I guess we should not be surprised that Nadal is a great swimmer. In a social media video, we see Nadal swimming underwater for what appears to be more than a lap and nearly 40 seconds before coming up for air. One person joked that he will be competing in both tennis and swimming at the Paris Olympics.
His cardiovascular and lung conditioning must be off the charts. Swimming is probably therapeutic for the hip that has kept him mostly sidelined since the initial injury at the 2023 Australian Open. Soon, Nadal will not have time for swimming because he will be playing a lot of tennis in the upcoming weeks.
He is playing in Doha at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open beginning February 19. Presumably, if that goes well, he will play the following week in Dubai at the Dubai Duty-Free Championships. Then, there is the Netflix Slam with Carlos Alcaraz in Las Vegas on March 3 and Indian Wells immediately thereafter.