Rafael Nadal hasn't played well since the start of the pandemic last year, winning a Major crown but losing a couple of positions in the standings to younger opponents. Prior to that, Rafa had a memorable 2019 season, winning two Major crowns and two Masters 1000 trophies to keep in touch with Roger Federer in the GOAT race.
The Spaniard became the oldest year-end No. 1 since the start of the standings in 1973, winning at least one ATP title for the sixteenth consecutive season and expanding his dominance at Roland Garros after lifting the twelfth title.
Rafa finished the season with the final Davis Cup title for Spain, passionately playing at home in Madrid to secure another team. Speaking of the best decision he made in his career, the most famous Spanish athlete mentioned that he never wanted to leave Spain and go live elsewhere.
Despite high taxes and the indefinite duration of a career due to constant injuries, Rafa never wanted to move from Mallorca, not even to Barcelona, where he had the opportunity to train for free.
Brad Gilbert on the Big 3
Brad Gilbert is a 20-time ATP titlist-turned-coach who has worked with the likes of Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Kei Nishikori, and Andy Murray.
According to Gilbert, the key factor behind Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic's greatness is that they know how to win matches even when they are not playing at their best. “Their (Big 3) consistency is outrageous, week in and week out," Gilbert said.
“The greatness of the Big Three was that they learned how to win when they are not quite right, and playing at only 60 to 70 percent." It has been well over a decade since we have witnessed the greatness of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
These two supreme athletes have raised the bar of the sport and carried it forward. Over the years, they have been involved in some historic matches. However, there has always been a debate over who is the greatest player of all time.
Fans of both players are biased towards and to be honest, this topic will always be debatable. Different individuals will share different opinions. Recently, Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard spoke on this subject. The 27-year-old player was involved in a question and answer session on Instagram with fans.
One question that popped up was, “Is Rafa the GOAT?” To which, she stated, “No Roger”. From the likes of it, it seems evident that Bouchard is a Federer fan.