Pau Gasol: 'Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal finals at Roland Garros were fantastic'


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Pau Gasol: 'Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal finals at Roland Garros were fantastic'

Spain has always been blessed to have fantastic athletes in many different sports, from football to Formula 1 or Moto GP. In the last 15 years, two Spaniards have been among the dominant factors in both tennis and basketball, with Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol achieving brilliant things in their sports and making their nation proud many times.

Rafa and Pau have been close friends for years now and a former Los Lakers star was almost always there to support Nadal during his historic Roland Garros campaigns, attending eight or nine out of 12 finals that the Manacor native played in Paris.

Like no other player in history, Nadal has been able to dominate at Roland Garros ever since 2005, scoring 93 victories from 95 matches at his beloved Major and lifting 12 out of his 19 Majors there, a record that will hardly be matched by anyone in the future.

Gasol admitted that Nadal's dominance in Paris may be boring for some but he has been there to enjoy in every moment, mentioning four finals between Nadal and Roger Federer as a fantastic opportunity to watch the best players in the world in action.

Back in 2005, Rafa defeated Roger in the semis at Roland Garros and was there to stop the Swiss from achieving a Career Grand Slam in the finals in the next three years as well. Their last final came in 2011 when Nadal prevailed after three hours and 40 minutes, beating Roger in straight sets in the semis last spring as well.

"I was always able to go to the French Open; it worked out better for my schedule. I think I have probably been to eight or nine finals that Nadal played in Paris. One or two of them were against Roger Federer and it was just a fantastic opportunity to seeing those two guys going after each other just as when he goes against Novak.

Nadal's dominance at Roland Garros is maybe boring in a way but, when you know him personally and you are close to his family, it is still exciting to see him win, to see him dominate as the way he has dominated that surface and that tournament for pretty much of his entire career."