Rafael Nadal has dominated Roland Garros like no other player before him in any Major. Rafa won the crown in Paris in a debut in 2005 and competed in the French capital for 17 years, taking home 13 mind-blowing titles, with a 105-3 record!
Like many others, former Roland Garros finalist Andy Murray has no doubt that no one will ever reach Nadal's achievements in Paris, appreciating all the records the Spaniard has set in 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 slower surface and setting records that will be difficult to break in the future.
Overcoming the cold and harsh conditions, Nadal swept through four opponents to reach the quarterfinals, gaining confidence and finding his best game before more serious challenges. Nadal defeated young Italian Jannik Sinner in the quarterfinals to mark the clash against Diego Schwartzman.
The Argentine kept the Spaniard on the pitch for more than three hours before falling 6-3, 6-3, 7-6 and propelling Rafa to the thirteenth final at Roland Garros. Nadal had to play aggressive and fearless tennis against the most formidable opponent in the title match, realizing his master plan and defeating 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 score. Novak made 52 unforced errors, unable to find his best tennis for more than two hours and suffered a loss despite a solid effort in the third set.
As in 2008 against Roger Federer, Nadal handed Novak a zero in the first set, playing near-flawless tennis and delivering three breaks against the best player in the world. Rafa faced no break opportunities in set number two and took advantage of two breaks for a 6-0, 6-2 lead after one 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.
Nadal on living his entire life in the same place
Ahead of the 2022 season, World No. 6 Rafael Nadal had a casual interview with lifestyle magazine VICE, where he discussed some lesser-known aspects of his life.
Replying to what makes him happy in life, Nadal opined that his life has benefitted from being uncomplicated. Living his entire life in the same place, having a few but long-time friends and spending quality time with his family daily are the Mallorca-born Nadal's ingredients for a simple and happy life.
"I have always lived in the same town; I have the same friendships since I was 3 or 4 years old," Nadal said. "I also have a lot of contact with my friends, and practically every day with my family."