Rafael Nadal's Historic Achievement: 50 Victories at Each Major
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 886
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been the dominant figures at Majors since 2004. Three legends have won 64 titles in the previous 20 seasons, dominating the rest of the field like no one before them and earning almost every notable record on the most famous tennis scene.
Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are the only players with 50 victories at all four Majors, and the Spaniard became the last player to achieve that at Wimbledon 2019. With Roger and Novak already reaching that milestone, Rafa had to wait four years to accomplish that at Wimbledon, experiencing a terrible run at the All England Club between 2012 and 2017 and failing to improve his tally after glorious years between 2006 and 2011.
Nadal's 50th Wimbledon triumph came in the second round versus Nick Kyrgios, prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 in three hours and four minutes. Rafa survived Nick's 29 aces and tantrums, staying focused and securing sets three and four in the tie breaks to emerge at the top and pass a difficult obstacle.
Rafael Nadal became the third player with 50 wins at all four Majors in 2019.
Kyrgios played well after the opener, avoiding issues and falling only in the decisive moments. Nadal lost three points behind the initial shot in the opener and grabbed an early break in the second game to forge the advantage.
Nick clinched an early break in the second set, and Rafa pulled it back at 2-4. However, the Spaniard lost his serve again a few minutes later and allowed the rival to wrap up the set 6-3 and level the overall score after 70 minutes.
Both players served well in the third set, and there was nothing for the returners to work with. Rafa won the breaker 7-5 with a forehand down the line winner to roar toward his box, relieved after taking another lead. Nothing could separate the rivals in the fourth set, and they set another tie break.
The more experienced player scored an early mini-break after Nick's terrible mistake at the net and crossed the finish line in the tenth point for 7-3 and a place in the last 32. Nadal had counted 35 Wimbledon wins by 2011, looking good to reach the 50th in the years to come.
However, everything went wrong for him from 2012 onward. He suffered numerous early losses against lower-ranked rivals and struggled to make an impression before reaching the semi-final in 2018. With two wins under his belt in 2019, Nadal became the ninth player with 50 Wimbledon wins in the Open era, achieving that at all four Majors as only the third player.