'What Rafael Nadal has done is crazy,' says Dominic Thiem

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'What Rafael Nadal has done is crazy,' says Dominic Thiem

Like everyone, Dominic Thiem would love to see the ultimate battle between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros. 22-time Major champions should be among the favorites in Paris if they bring their A-game, battling in Paris many times since 2006, including the previous three seasons.

Thiem praised Nadal's incredible Roland Garros achievement, calling his 14 titles a crazy fact. Rafa has won 14 titles from 18 trips to Paris since 2005, setting a record that should stay for good. Nadal defeated all seven rivals in Paris and a foot injury a year ago to extend his reign and earn the 22nd Major title.

Nadal kicked off his 18th Roland Garros campaign with solid victories over Jordan Thompson, Corentin Moutet and Botic Van De Zandschulp. He beat all three in straight sets to avoid spending more time on the court and stressing his foot.

The Spaniard faced Felix Auger-aliassime in the fourth round, and the Canadian pushed him toward a five-setter. The more experienced player shifted into a higher gear in the decider to prevail and reach the last eight after almost four and a half hours.

Things got even more difficult for Nadal two days later, with world no. 1 Novak Djokovic waiting on the other side of the net. After a massive battle, Rafa delivered a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 triumph in four hours and 12 minutes to dethrone the Serb and book a place in the semis.

Djokovic gave his best in sets two and four and had two set points on serve at 5-3 to force a decider. Nadal denied them, broke back and clinched the set 7-4 in the tie break to emerge at the top. Alexander Zverev was another challenging obstacle in the semis, and the second set was still alive when they passed the three-hour mark on a slow indoor court!

Dominic Thiem shared thoughts about Rafael Nadal's Roland Garros numbers.

Nadal fended off four set points in the opener and erased the deficit in the second despite losing serve four times for 7-6, 6-6. Zverev had to retire after injuring his right ankle, leaving the court in tears and sending Nadal into the 14th Roland Garros final.

The first-time Major finalist Casper Ruud stood no chance against Rafa, with the Spaniard earning a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 triumph in two hours and 18 minutes. Nadal tamed his strokes nicely and broke the younger opponent eight times to control the scoreboard and secure his second Major title in 2022.

Rafa has been struggling with injuries ever since, doing his best to recover and chase another title at his beloved Major in June. "Many players can challenge Novak and Rafa at Majors, although they are still tough to defeat in the best-of-five matches.

Novak remains a player to beat at Majors in 2023, although it would be nice to see him battling against Rafa in Paris. If Rafa is fit, he has to be the favorite in Paris, winning it 14 times, which is crazy," Dominic Thiem said.

Rafael Nadal Dominic Thiem