Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer will finish the season with the same number of Major titles for the first time in their careers. Three legends have won 20 Majors each since 2003, with Nadal and Djokovic reducing the gap to Federer and catching him with reliable performance in a previous couple of years.
Novak Djokovic is in the best position ahead of 2022, winning three Majors this season and failing on the last step at the US Open to miss a chance of passing two great rivals. For the first time since 2016, Nadal could not claim a Major title this year, losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Australian Open quarter-final and Novak Djokovic in the Roland Garros semi-final before skipping Wimbledon and the US Open.
Struggling with a foot injury, Rafa decided to call it a season and get back stronger in 2022, when he wants to chase more success at the most notable tournaments.
Rafael Nadal spoke about the GOAT race and his wishes.
Last year, Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem in the Australian Open quarter-final and had only one more chance at Majors after skipping the US Open.
The Spaniard came at Roland Garros with only a couple of matches in his legs in the past eight months, facing challenging conditions in unusual times for the clay Major. Delivering his A-game, Rafa toppled seven rivals in straight sets and got broken only eight times in total to leave everyone behind him and claim the milestone 20th Major title.
Ahead of Paris, Nadal said that he could not think about the GOAT race all the time, staying focused on his game instead and enjoying his time on the court regardless of the results. Rafa also stated that he would love to finish his career at 25 Major titles, although he understands how tough it is to achieve that.
Nadal suffered the third Roland Garros against Djokovic in June, falling after four hours and 11 minutes in his last Major match of the season. "When you ask me about Roger Federer's record, I always say the same.
I made my entire career in my way and will keep doing that. I'm not obsessed with those 20 Major titles; I can't always think about Roger or Novak Djokovic and our race for most Majors. I know journalists put much attention on that.
I would love to finish my career with 25 Major titles, but that's unlikely to happen. I'm going to fight and create chances; we will see when I finish my career. I want to keep enjoying tennis, that's all. If I'm playing on a high level, I'm a Major contender. If not, it's impossible to win it," Rafael Nadal said.