Grand Slam history has once again been made with Rafael Nadal taking his 13th Roland Garros title. Let’s take the time to reflect on this achievement.
Rafael Nadal has showcased one of the best Roland Garros performances of his career at the 2020 Grand Slam in Paris. After not dropping a set for the entire tournament and trumping the world number one, Novak Djokovic in the final, the Spaniard has extended his Grand Slam record to a staggering 20 Slams to finally equalize his major titles with the legendary Roger Federer.
Reflecting on his incredible journey thus far, it’s no doubt that Nadal’s sheer dominance on the clay surface was the most prominent factor which propelled him to the heights of the great Federer, as the Grand Slam race has been tied up at the top. The 13-time French Open champion has finally broken free from 2nd place in the Grand Slam battle royale, and for the very first time in history, has leveled the score with Federer and in doing so, has truly cemented himself as one of the Greatest Of All Time in tennis, without question.
The record that Rafael Nadal has set on clay at the Roland Garros may never be seen again, as it is a feat beyond imagination for the tennis world. His style has been made so unique, with the classic bullwhip forehand, his pre-service routines and his awesome fighting spirit coupled with a trademark humility and love for the sport, which are all testimonies to a deeper notion which inspires others to always be themselves and to fight for what they believe in, never changing for the wrong reasons and never betraying who you are.
Moving forward, the Grand Slam race is far from over between the top 3 GOATs, and without a doubt, Roland Garros runner-up Novak Djokovic will be looking to tie up his own record with the likes of Nadal and Federer in the majors to come. While Nadal may dominate the clay, the other Grand Slams lie very much in the balance, and we may well see Federer make a return to a Grand Slam final, with the Swiss not quite hanging up the racquet yet.
The next few years of tennis are sure to bring with it a rollercoaster of excitement for fans and players alike, as we enter another era of ground-breaking records, GOAT debates and historical moments that will stun the world. Grand Slam tennis has forever been changed, with 2 men reaching the 20 Slam milestone and continuing to push each other to greater heights through their unique and inspiring rivalry.
“As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players. Therefore, it is a true honor for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory,” Roger Federer said on social media. “I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us”
With his closing comment, it would seem that Roger Federer is eager to continue with the record-breaking Grand Slam race, and is showing no signs for retirement in the foreseeable future. Of course, Federer has his own records to break, as not only is he running for the highest Grand Slam record, but also for the oldest player on tour to win a major.
The era of tennis’ Big 3 is far from over, with 39-year-old Roger showing that he can still compete at the highest level, 34-year-old Rafa showing he can still dominate the clay surface and 33-year-old Novak showing that he can still be a huge threat to them both. With these elite veterans of tennis still going strong, and refusing to throw in the towel, only time will tell how this legendary 3-way rivalry will pan out in the coming years, and who will stand at the top of the Grand Slam count when all is said and done.