Now it’s time to tremble. By a foot. A very special foot, namely that of the most successful tennis player in the world. Who knows what superlatives Rafael Nadal is still good for if he can continue playing. The Mallorcan won the French Open for the first time in 2005, on Sunday there was triumph number 14 for Nadal in Paris.
He thus dominated an entire tennis generation at the Paris tournament, in the other three Grand Slam tournaments Nowak Djokovic and Roger Federer won strongly, but the record for Grand Slam titles won belongs to Nadal, who also did this this year already won the Australian Open.
It is obvious that the dominance of the big trio has made it difficult and makes it difficult for the currently strong players like Daniil Medvedev, after all number one in the world, and Alexander Zverev, who often acts somewhat unhappily, to achieve great triumphs. Medvedev won the US Open once, Zverev is a finalist in the Grand Slam tournaments. The two are already in their mid-twenties, so super talent Carlos Alcaraz might have more time in the future to win the really important titles. The Spaniard is only 19 years old.
It is a great art to dominate the competition over almost two decades, to not only adapt to the demands of an ever-evolving game, but also to be able to push your developments over such a period of time. The young Nadal did it just like the middle-aged Nadal and now the mature Nadal. The fact that at the age of 36 he drags himself around the pitch in a fit and spattered form is his price for it. It probably also belongs to the epic body of work of a great champion. After all, Rafael Nadal defines himself through his sporting success, he even built a museum in his hometown of Manacor.
Maybe we’ll see Rafael Nadal again at Wimbledon. He would then rather not get the big stage final for a farewell, London is not his tournament, he “only” won it twice (and that was a long time ago). It’s probably Novak Djokovic’s turn again on the Wimbledon lawn. However, he hardly comes close to the size of Rafael Nadal.