Daniel Nestor, one of the most decorated doubles players of all time, ended his glorious career in the Davis Cup two years ago. Spending time at home in Toronto with his family, the Belgrade native is still involved with tennis, with his two daughters competing in some local Ontario Tennis Association events.
The veteran also likes to watch good matches, especially his young compatriots Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime, who have cracked the top-10 and top-20, respectively. Four out of his eight doubles Major titles came at Roland Garros, although Nestor doesn't think clay is his favorite surface, preferring to compete at Wimbledon or the US Open.
Still, Nestor mentioned one player who would love to play on the Parisian clay all the time, praising Rafael Nadal and everything the Spaniard has achieved at the clay Major. Besides your skills and weapons, to have a chance for good results on clay, and especially in Paris, you have to be ready to endure two five-hour clashes in a couple of days, something Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly capable of.
In the previous 15 years, Nadal had won 93 out of 95 Roland Garros matches, lifting 12 titles and suffering only two defeats for by far the most dominant run at any Major in history. Seeking the 13th Parisian crown and the 20th Major overall, Nadal defeated Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of this year's campaign, playing well on both serve and return to kick off the title chase in style.
Daniel Nestor praised Rafael Nadal and his Roland Garros records.
Hitting 32 winners and 20 unforced errors, Rafa lost 17 points behind the initial shot (eight in the opening two sets), getting broken once and converting all five break chances to race into the next round.
Nadal broke the Belarusian once in sets one and two, delivering one good hold after another to keep the scoreboard on his side. Egor suffered an ankle injury in the third set, losing ground and suffering three straight breaks to propel Rafa into the next round.
"Roland Garros must be Rafael Nadal's favorite tournament because he wins it all the time. I don't know how he does it. He can play five for hours and then come back two days later and compete in another five-hour clash.
He works so hard. I never really liked the prospects of playing on clay, but I played well on clay for some reason. If you asked me what my favorite tournament was, I wouldn't say Roland Garros. I would always say I did my best in Paris, but it wasn't my favorite event. It was probably Wimbledon or the Australian Open," Daniel Nestor said.