Tennis Legends Believe Rafael Nadal Will Go Down As The Greatest Of All Time After French Open Glory

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The French Open 2020 saw Rafael Nadal being crowned as the champion for the 13th time. Defeating Novak Djokovic, the Spaniard claimed his 20th Grand Salm title. With the win, Nadal went on to tie with Federer while Djokovic is still stuck with his 17th Slam. After the Roland Garros final former Grand Slam champions, Tim Henman and Mats Wilander gave their verdict regarding the big three.

Mats Wilander was all in praise for the Spaniard and even mentioned he can go down in the books of history to be the greatest ever to grace the court.

“I think today tells us that Rafa Nadal most probably has the best chance to go down as the greatest male tennis player of all-time,” Wilander told Eurosport.

Uncertainty over Federer

Roger Federer is nearing 40 and therefore has a little bit of tennis left in him. Although this tiny spec of talent can win him another Grand Slam, yet it’s certain that he won’t be able to push further anymore. However, both Nadal and Djokovic have a few years left in them. Therefore, it won’t be surprising to see them going beyond the 20 Slam mark.

 We have our doubts about Roger Federer of course, he can still win another one because he’s a genius. With Novak Djokovic being three behind now, he still has a good chance. With Rafa winning here now, it is probably giving him a couple of years to keep on going.”

The retired Sweedish international agrees that the French Open defeat will hamper Djokovic’s mindset. Three away from the magical 20 Slam mark, Djokovic can make it up next year if he stays focussed.

 “Of course, it will hurt his confidence not having won at the US Open and then this defeat. But now he goes into training for the Australian Open where he becomes a clear favorite – and he knows if he wins three Majors next year, which we predict every year will do, then he is up at 20 as well.

Novak Djokovic at French Open 2020
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during the final against Spain’s Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Djokovic’s gameplay has been termed a bit different from the orthodox style. The Serbian’s mindset is his greatest asset. However, losing two Grand Slams in a trot might affect his psychological approach.

“Novak’s body and his game is more modern and I think he can stay longer. The question is whether he is as emotionally involved as he has been over the last two years. That’s the question I’d love to have answered in Australia.”

Novak Djokovic over Rafael Nadal

Tim Henman straightaway claimed Djokovic will march forth to win the most number of Grand Slam titles. The Serbian’s young age and fitness are favorable for staying in the game for a long time and therefore an easy choice as to winning the most number of Grand Slams.

If I had to pick one player who will win the most Grand Slams it would still be Novak Djokovic. I look at his game, his physicality, he seems like he is in good shape.

Although Nadal too has a fair bit of time left in the court, his struggle with his knees might be the factor holding him back.

I think Rafa’s body has been a bit more beaten up with the problems with the knees he’s had. It’s amazing for Rafa to have matched Roger and got to 20 Grand Slam titles. To draw level on 20 is beyond even his own wildest dreams.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic with their trophies in the French Open 2020
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – Runner up Novak Djokovic of Serbia alongside French Open winner Rafael Nadal of Spain as they are presented with their trophies after the final REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The final verdict

Certainly, if we take everything into consideration, Novak Djokovic is the best suit to walk away with the most number of titles. Federer won’t be able to go much longer with his tally. Nadal will suffer a bit with his physicality. However, if Nadal continues to perform in this manner, then Djokovic won’t be able to catch him even if he plays a few years more than Nadal.

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