With 13 Roland Garros titles to his name, they often regard Rafael Nadal as the greatest clay-court player of all time. While some may have come close, only two players have stopped at Paris in 15 years – Novak Djokovic and Robin Soderling.
While the injury did stop him in 2016, Nadal boasts a record of 100-2 in Paris. With 61 titles on clay, the statistics speak for themselves. Former world No. 2 Orantes sees Rafael Nadal as being “invincible” at Roland Garros.
He said, “Everyone knows that when you play with Nadal you can only win if you are 150% of your level and he drops to 70%. He has a mentality and a strength that I had never seen, you never see him throw the towel.”
When asked if Nadal is the favorite for the French Open. The Spaniard said: “On land (clay) I always see him as a favorite, I see him (as) invincible.”
“There is a player like Thiem that if Rafa is not at his best version because he is injured. He could possibly beat him but in tournaments like Roland Garros, five sets, it is almost impossible. Borg was the first who started to have a great mentality and won four Roland Garros titles in a row. We thought that no one could ever beat him and now Nadal has tripled him.”
Can Rafael Nadal make it No. 14 in Paris?
Irrespective of form or confidence, Nadal is always a favorite in the French Open. World No. 2 has often come out victorious even with the odds stacked against him.
While Djokovic, Thiem, and Federer may pose tough challenges, it is hard to bet against the Spaniard. There are few players in history who have dominated a slam as Nadal has at France.
After a dramatic three-set victory of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Barcelona Open final, his confidence will be sky high. Barring any injury or some monumental collapse, Nadal will be the no. 1 pick in the second slam of the year.
With No. 14 in Paris, Nadal will take his Grand Slam count to 21, surpassing Federer in having the most Grand Slam titles of all time.
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