Rafael Nadal should travel to Paris this week, seeking the 14th Roland Garros crown in the next 20 days. Despite a foot injury, Rafa still hopes to play on a high level at his beloved Major and chase the title he lost to Novak Djokovic a year ago.
Last May, the Roland Garros organizers honored Nadal's incredible results in Paris, unveiling his statue at the Stade Roland Garros complex. Rafa embraced his first practice session with Karen Khachanov on Court Philippe-Chatrier before receiving a massive honor.
The FFT President Gilles Moretton and the sculptor Jordi Diez Fernandez, one of the leading Spanish artists, were also presented at the ceremony celebrating one of the greatest players of all time and his Roland Garros achievements.
Alongside Nadal, aviator Roland Garros and famous 'Four Musketeers' Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and Rene Lacoste have also received their statues at one of the essential complexes in the world of tennis.
The statue is constructed entirely of stainless steel and stands three meters tall, 4,89 meters wide and two meters deep. It displays Nadal while hitting his trademark forehand that has brought him so much success over the past two decades.
Nadal claimed the first Roland Garros crown on his debut in 2005, defeating Roger Federer and Mariano Puerta en route to tennis glory. The Spaniard was the player to beat in Paris in the following three years, toppling Federer in three straight finals to stand on four titles at 22!
A 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal received a statue in Paris.
Rafa added five more Roland Garros crowns to his tally between 2010 and 2014, becoming the most dominant player at a single Major with nine trophies under his belt.
Nadal was not at his best in Paris in 2015 and 2016 after numerous injuries, losing to Novak Djokovic and withdrawing the following year to stay away from his beloved title for two years. Rafa restored the order in Paris in 2017 and secured four consecutive titles to stand on mind-blowing 13 trophies, a feat that will never be repeated in the future.
Nadal's 13th Roland Garros title came in October 2020, raising himself over challenging conditions and all seven opponents to extend his Parisian reign and claim the 20th Major title. Rafa met Novak Djokovic in the final and lost only six games in a dominant victory.
Djokovic served revenge in the last year's semi-final and beat Nadal in four sets after over four hours of an epic battle.