NO one can really beat Rafael Nadal.

Not today.

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Not tomorrow.

Invincible Nadal. That was Nadal in 2008, capping it with a first Wimbledon triumph in a classic five-setter over Roger Federer.

He quit last year to rest his knees repaired by surgery.

Today, two days after he destroyed Czech Tomas Berdych for his second Wimbledon crown in three years, Nadal has eight Grand Slam crowns.

His 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 win over Berdych wasn’t a conquest. Not even a warm-up. Or a walk in the park.

A nap it was.

Not even Federer would have survived had the Swiss faced the train from Spain.

Nadal, the sunken Spanish Armada brought to shore, was the Brutal Nadal from Mallorca that even Superman wielding a tennis racquet would have faltered as well.

“He was really strong today,” Berdych said. “He’s showing in the last few months that he’s really the champion.”

How true.

Since returning in mid-May, Nadal is 31-1, winning his fifth French Open last month.

And Nadal now holds a 100-1 record when winning the first set at a Grand Slam event.

Such records bode well for the under-30 lefty, who can very well win nine more majors to surpass Federer’s record 16.

Nadal is five years younger than Federer. By the time Nadal turns 29 in 2015, 20 majors (at four a year) shall have been played. It’d be next to impossible if Nadal would not clinch nine of those.

As usual, only a major injury or an accident would prevent Nadal from achieving that.

Or, if he suddenly quits after he loses the passion to win some more, or has become, simply, so wealthy that chasing a record has suddenly become, to him, a mere footnote to his fame.

The latest Wimbledon win alone made Nadal’s bankbook fatter by more than one million dollars.

By Aug. 30, the world No. 1 ignites his dream again to win the US Open, the only major he has yet to nab.

Will he finally win it, and march on to greatness unimpeded?

His answer: “Yes, I’m only 24 years old. But it’s difficult to say.”

Time, indeed, can be both man’s friend and enemy.

Definitely, time is on Nadal’s side but then, only time will tell if it will happen.

Even seers have no place in sports.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)