“He Has No Ceiling at Roland Garros”: Tennis Legend Picks Rafael Nadal in the GOAT Debate

Published 11/03/2020, 5:17 AM EST
Spain’s Rafael Nadal poses with the trophy after winning the French Open yesterday REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


With 13 French Open titles under his belt and with more likely to land in his kitty before he is done, Rafael Nadal holds an enviable record at Roland Garros. In the words of compatriot and former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, Nadal’s record is likely to stand the test of time. 

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Nicknamed ‘Mosquito’ during his playing days for his on-court mobility and slight frame, Ferrero said there was no one in contemporary tennis who can rival Rafa at Roland Garros or better his French Open record.

In awe of Rafa for his stupendous success at Roland Garros, Ferrero claimed that Nadal’s 13 French Open titles will help him finish ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the race for Grand Slam titles.

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“With Rafael Nadal it is difficult to predict the number [of Grand Slam titles that he will finish with],” Ferrero said. “He has no ceiling at Roland Garros, he has no rivals and as long as he remains physically at his current level he will have chances in this and other tournaments.” 

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“[Nadal] has something that makes him play well all the time” – Ferrero

Currently holding the second spot in the ATP rankings, Nadal is dubbed the ‘King of Clay’ for his unrivalled track record on his favorite surface. Touching on the same, Ferrero, who once held the mantle of World No. 1 during his heydays, said that Nadal had almost turned his dominance on clay into an art form.

Muy contento de seguir juntos este camino. Gracias por el apoyo, por esas palabras y por estar a mi lado #SomosTelefónica https://t.co/5FzJWKUcok

— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) November 3, 2020

“He has a lot of depth and he is very comfortable on courts like that to be able to defend as he wants,” Ferrero said. “Something very great has been created around Rafa in Paris, obviously he has something that makes him play well all the time.” 

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

Nadal was yet again at his menacing best at the Roland Garros this year, lifting his 13th French Open trophy without dropping a set. However, one aspect of Nadal’s play that hasn’t escaped the notice of experts and former champions is that he does make a conscious effort these days, to attack the net and win points quickly.

Weighing in on the same and Nadal’s improved service game, Ferrero said, “(Nadal can) try to shorten the points, play more on the court and the serve has evolved.”

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

747 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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