“Greatest Achievement in Sports History” – Tennis Legend on Rafael Nadal Surpassing Roger Federer at French Open 2021

Published 05/26/2021, 9:09 AM EDT
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 07: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland embrace at the net after their mens singles semi-final match during Day thirteen of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on June 07, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)


The upcoming 2021 French Open presents Rafael Nadal with the chance to move past Roger Federer in the race of the most Grand Slams won. After clinching an unbelievable 13th trophy at the French Open last year, Nadal equaled Federer’s record of winning 20 Grand Slam titles.

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However, Nadal’s biggest challenge in the way to claim his 14th French Open trophy will certainly be his arch-nemesis, Novak Djokovic. If the Serbian wins in Paris, he will become the first man in the Open Era to win each Grand Slam at least twice.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

WTA Legend feels Rafael Nadal could move past Federer in the GOAT debate

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In an interview with TennisHead, the host questioned the WTA legend, Chris Evert, on which would be the biggest achievement: Nadal clinching his 21st Grand Slam title or Djokovic accomplishing a double Career Grand Slam.

In the reply, Evert mentioned Nadal grabbing his hands on his 21st Grand Slam trophy will be a sensational feat. She believes Nadal breaking Federer‘s record of most Grand Slams won, a feat the Swiss Maestro has held for over a decade, will give the Spaniard an edge in the GOAT debate.

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“Probably Rafa getting to 21. It would be his 14 French Open. That alone is spectacular but to break the record with Roger is impressive because the last ten years Roger has been the ‘GOAT’,” said Evert.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

However, Evert pointed not to undermine Djokovic’s capabilities since he can defeat Nadal on his day. But reiterated, if Nadal wins his 14th French Open in two weeks’ time, she will regard it as one of the greatest accomplishments in all sporting history.

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“Not to diminish Djokovic because as we saw in that last match Djokovic can beat Nadal on his day but I think Nadal, to win 14 French Open’s has to be one of the greatest achievements in sports history period, not even in tennis,” Evert added.

Nadal’s two title wins during the European clay-court season make him, once again, a huge favorite for the 2021 French Open. Last month, the World No.3 had saved a championship point to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the final to win his 12th Barcelona Open.

Probably the biggest confidence boost for Nadal was outlasting Djokovic in a thrilling three-set final to win a historic 10th title at the Italian Open, last week.

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This French Open is definitely going to be the most important one of Nadal’s career, the stakes on the lines are massive.

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Kshitij Tayal

399 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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