Rafael Nadal wins 22nd Grand Slam, edges out Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in GOAT debate
No sooner had Rafael Nadal landed a 14th French Open and a 22nd career Grand Slam than there has been a new debate over who the greatest male tennis player of all time really is.
Now two ahead of anyone in history after his straight-set loss to Casper Ruud in the French Open final, Nadal’s claim to the title has been solidified.
Tim Henman believes that if Nadal remains healthy – a valid concern given his ongoing foot issues – he can continue to dominate Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in the GOAT debate.
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“As for who is going to win the most Grand Slams, a few years ago I would have said Djokovic, of course. But right now, with this little distance, I think Nadal has a great luck. Henman said on Eurosportadding that Nadal could ‘absolutely’ win Wimbledon this year if he plays.
“When you see a performance like that, it was just another clay-court masterclass. You would have thought that when he wins those big titles – remember he won the Australian Open, the French Open – now you can talk about the Grand Slam in progress.
“It will surely motivate him to continue. That’s why we keep our fingers crossed because it’s a privilege to see one of the greatest champions of our sport play like that.
Mats Wilander said Nadal’s final French Open would be his “sweetest” given he was unsure of playing just weeks before the tournament.
He added: “Let’s not just focus on 14 (French Open titles) anymore, but on 22 (Grand Slam singles titles). He is now ahead of Roger and Novak. Maybe that could be the main reason why he will be the greatest player of all time.
Meanwhile, old world. No.2 Alex Corretja says Nadal didn’t even look 100% during the tournament and still won.
” I do not understand. How Rafa wins, how he could barely walk a few weeks ago. The first week he was fine, then all of a sudden he raised his level against Novak, then again against Zverev,” he said.
“Today, for me, it felt like he wasn’t even 100 per cent, and that’s compared to Casper, who did what he could. I don’t understand how he did it. One day he has to tell us how it’s possible because I don’t understand.