With his 13th French Open triumph, tennis star Rafael Nadal won his 20th Grand Slam title and caught up with Roger Federer. The thought of this leaderboard is what drives the big three of the sport in their rivalry. Who will be the most successful champion?
The prompt congratulations from Roger Federer pleased Rafael Nadal. The tennis gentleman had respectfully congratulated him on the 20th Grand Slam title from afar.
Rafael Nadal won his 20th Grand Slam title
The Swiss even called it a “great honor” to be able to honor his long-standing Spanish rival, even though he himself had just lost his status as the sole Grand Slam record tournament winner. The competition over who is the most successful champion at the four most important tournaments in this outstanding tennis era and extraordinary constellation has intensified with Nadal’s French Open triumph.
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A little behind his 13th Paris coup, the Spaniard admitted that this eternal list of the best drives him. Of course, he would very much like to end his career as a player with the most Grand Slams, he admitted: “There is no doubt about that.” Of course, it means a lot to him to be on a par with Federer: “I’m a big fan of the history of sport in general. ”
At the emotional award ceremony on the Philippe Chatrier Court, he had brushed the record aside as unimportant. With the surprisingly superior 6: 0, 6: 2, 7: 5 against Novak Djokovic, the number one in the world, Nadal drew level with Federer.
Will the 34-year-old soon hold the record alone? Federer’s time as an active tennis giant should normally be the first to end. The 39-year-old is the oldest of the over 30s trio that has dominated top tennis for years. Djokovic (33), as the youngest of the so-called “Big Three”, may still have the longest future on the biggest courts ahead of him. The Serb is also striving for the record. If he had triumphed in Paris, he would have come very close to 19 (in this case Nadal) and 20 (Federer) with 18 Grand Slam titles.
That was out of the question at the spectacular end of these two unusual Roland Garros weeks. As with Federer, there had been discussions with Nadal as to whether his years of success were not over. But it is victories like this against Djokovic that give Nadal respect. An end to the Paris dominance of the best clay-court player was not in sight this time either, as complicated as the circumstances in the Corona crisis and in the uncomfortable autumn were.
The Mallorcan will probably be able to continue his Paris story in eight months. No one else has achieved nearly as many titles in a Grand Slam. Federer, who ended his season early after his knee problems and wants to attack again next year, triumphed eight times at Wimbledon. Djokovic’s preferred terrain is the Australian Open with eight titles.
Nadal did not make a decision on Sunday whether he would be there in Melbourne in early 2021. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, players should be in hotel quarantine 14 days in advance when they arrive. “You have to make the right decisions at all times now,” said the second in the world rankings and announced that he would think about it. He left it open whether he would compete again this year and whether he would play the ATP World Cup in London in mid-November.
In contrast, he said clearly and distinctly: “We’ll keep playing.” He meant himself and Federer. The Swiss wrote on social networks that he hoped number 20 was just another step on their journey. Who will be the most successful champion at Grand Slams is a fascinating puzzle that will remain open for longer.