New year, new rules: Rule No. 17

Clay, grass and concrete all reward different skill sets. It's time to acknowlege this.

Updated: December 30, 2009, 11:48 AM ET
By LZ Granderson | ESPN The Magazine
Rafael NadalPatrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty ImagesThe best player on clay will likely not be the No. 1 seed in Paris. Odd.

Barring a shift in the ATP rankings, come May, Roger Federer will arrive in Paris as the top seed at the French Open for the sixth time in seven years. And no one will believe he is the man to beat. That distinction -- along with four titles at Roland Garros -- belongs to Rafael Nadal.

LZ Granderson | email

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine