'Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros record will never get broken,' Andy Murray recalls



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'Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros record will never get broken,' Andy Murray recalls

Rafael Nadal has dominated Roland Garros like no other player before him at any Major. Rafa won the crown in Paris on a debut in 2005 and competed in the French capital for 17 years, taking home a mind-blowing 13 titles, with a 105-3 match record!

Like many others, former Roland Garros finalist Andy Murray has no doubts that no one will ever catch Nadal's achievements in Paris, appreciating all the records that the Spaniard has set at his beloved Major. In October last year, Rafa became the first player in the Open era with four Major titles won without losing a set, extending his dominance on the slowest surface and earning records that will take some beating in the future.

Overcoming cold weather and tough conditions, Nadal stormed over four rivals to reach the quarters, gaining confidence and finding his A-game ahead of more serious challenges. Nadal prevailed over the young Italian Jannik Sinner in the quarter-final to set the clash against Diego Schwartzman.

The Argentine kept the Spaniard on the court for over three hours before falling 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 and propelling Rafa into the 13th Roland Garros final. Nadal had to bring aggressive and bold tennis against the most formidable opponent in the title match, performing his master plan and beating Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.

The Spaniard had 31 winners and 14 unforced errors, performing strongly from both wings and taking 51% of the return points to control the scoreboard. Novak sprayed 52 unforced errors, unable to find his best tennis for more than two hours and suffering a massive loss despite a solid effort in set number three.

Rafael Nadal has won 13 Roland Garros crowns from 17 trips to Paris.

Like in 2008 against Roger Federer, Nadal delivered a bagel to Novak in the opening set, playing almost flawless tennis and providing three breaks against the world's leading player.

Rafa faced no break chances in set number two and seized two breaks for a 6-0, 6-2 advantage after an hour and 34 minutes. Eager to avoid disaster, Djokovic saved a break point in the third game of the third set and raised his level.

Rafa broke him at love in game five, but instead of building on that, he gave the serve away for the first and only time a few minutes later, providing Djokovic with a necessary boost that made him a contender again. Nadal held comfortably in games eight, ten and 12, and earned a break at 5-5 after Novak's double fault before sealing the deal with a hold at love for the 20th Major title.

The Spaniard failed to defend the title this June, losing to Djokovic in an epic semi-final after four hours and 11 minutes and experiencing only the third defeat in the French capital. "For me, Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros record will stay for good.

I know how tough it is to win the crown in Paris, and I can't imagine someone as dominant as him. It's incredible, especially because of how easy he's made it look," Andy Murray said.