Sport is exciting because we never know what could happen when we turn on the television or arrive at a stadium.
One thing is certain: Rafael Nadal won the French Open.
John McEnroe, seven-time Grand Slam singles champion, said that “some say beating Rafa in five sets on clay” is the hardest thing in sport. “I agree with that.”
Nadal made his debut in 2005 as a talented teenager and has since won a record number of singles titles at Roland Garros. No other player has ever managed to win so many Grand Slams.
His vicious forehand movement and movements
Nadal’s numbers are just staggering at Roland Garros.
He also extended his record for most titles and beat Djokovic to become the first player in history to win 100 matches on clay-court Grand Slam.
Nadal has not only broken the records, he has also broken them.
Between 1974 and 1981, Borg won six French Open titles. This record stood until Nadal’s 2012 surpass.
“I was in the era when I believed I was seeing the best – I was then – Borg. McEnroe, who was a Roland Garros finalist from 1984, said that Nadal surpasses him.
Nadal’s most powerful weapon is his savage, lasso-style forehand.
Clay slows down the ball more than grass. Nadal can use his athleticism and build his points to tee off that famous forehand.
It also helps him hit the ball more accurately and harder. Meanwhile, the warmer summer temperatures in Europe, where most of the clay-court season is held, help Nadal generate more bounce.
It is noteworthy that Nadal’s success in Rome and Monte Carlo, two of the Tour’s three clay-court Masters tournaments for Masters, surpass those in Madrid, the third. This is because the ball bounces lower and has less top spin due to the high altitude in Madrid.
After losing to Nadal in 2018, Dominic Thiem, Austria’s representative said that Roland Garros conditions “suit him perfectly.” It’s very similar to Monte Carlo where he plays incredible.
“Also, Roland Garros’ court is huge. We can go very far beyond the baseline. He has an advantage.
The conditions in 2020 were not to Nadal’s liking.
Nadal stated that the tournament was the toughest he’d ever faced, citing the harsher conditions of autumnal Paris and the heavier new ball.
Djokovic admitted that he thought the conditions were favorable for him, even though Nadal couldn’t get the ball as high.
The Spaniard won the title, even though he did not drop a set.
Jim Courier, a two-time French Open champion, said that he believed the conditions may have helped Nadal, especially in the final against Djokovic.
Being a leftie
Chang says Nadal is a left-handed play, which is key to his success.
The former world number two said, “If Rafa were a right-handed player, I don’t think that his game would have the same effectiveness.”
“Being leftie is to see everything in a different way.
“The powerful forehands always hit a right-handed player’s backhand, hooking him off of the court and the inside-out coming back in the opposite direction, it is difficult to cover.”
Clay courts as a child
Clay is the natural surface of Spanish players. There are about 100,000 red-dirt court courts in the country.
It is therefore not surprising that Nadal, despite being more consistent than his predecessors at Roland Garros, is the latest in a long list of Spanish success stories.
Nadal’s 13 wins and victories for Sergi Bruno (two), Carlos Moya (4, Albert Costa, and Juan Carlos Ferrero) means that the nation has been responsible for 18 of the 25 male champions in the past 25 years.