Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal has put himself in pole position to edge Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the race for the ‘GOAT’ in 2021.
Rafael Nadal a whisker’s length away from 21st Grand Slam title
The Spaniard clinched a record 13th French Open title last year, making him the owner of maximum trophies from a single Grand Slam event.
While it put him far and away in the race for most titles at Roland-Garros, consigning Bjorn Borg’s 6 to the shadows, it also tied him with Federer for the highest number of Grand Slam trophies, at 20.
The new season will bring an exciting prospect of the Spaniard being the frontrunner to earn the mantle of the ‘GOAT’ as he will have a chance to clinch his 21st Major title at the Australian Open and set a record.
While there is still no clarity on when Federer will be back from a surgery-induced absence from tennis, Nadal can even look to extend his lead at Wimbledon and the other Slams that follow.
Though Federer has identified Wimbledon, Olympics, and the US Open as his priority events going into the new season, it’s still unclear if he will regain full fitness before the lawns of the All-England Club are prepared for action.
Should he win his 21st at the Melbourne Park this year, Nadal will have pulled further away from Djokovic, who currently holds 17 Grand Slam titles. However, the Serb will go into the year’s first Major as the defending champion.
Nadal weeks away from spending 800 consecutive weeks inside Top-10
Grand Slams apart, there are some other career milestones beckoning the Spaniard this year. He is in sight of becoming the first player to be ranked in the Top-10 for 800 consecutive weeks.
He upstaged Jimmy Connors, who previously held the record with 789 straight weeks inside the Top-10, on November 9th, 2020. The Spaniard has completed 797 weeks inside the Top-10, starting from April 25, 2005.
Nadal 14 wins shy of 500 hard court victories
Nadal is also just 14 wins away from becoming only the 4th player in the history of tennis to log more than 500 hard court victories.
Federer currently leads the tally of hard court wins at 782, followed by Djokovic (604) and Andre Agassi (592).