Former world No. 4 Robin Soderling says "words cannot describe" the success and the records Rafael Nadal has achieved at the French Open. Nadal, ranked at No. 2 in the world, demolished world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the French Open final 6-0 6-2 7-5 to claim a record 13th title at Roland Garros.
Nadal, 34, now owns a 100-2 record at Roland Garros as his only losses at the tournament came against Robin Soderling in the 2009 round-of-16 and Djokovic in the 2015 quarterfinal, respectively. "To put things in perspective: Just to qualify for the French Open main draw 13 times is an unbelievable achievement as an athlete," Soderling said in a Twitter post.
"Words cannot describe what Rafa has done. Big up 'young man.' " It was Nadal's 20th Grand Slam title and he equaled Roger Federer on the all-time Grand Slam record list. "I have always had the utmost respect for my friend Rafa as a person and as a champion.
As my greatest rival over many years, I believe we have pushed each other to become better players,” Federer wrote on Twitter. “Therefore, it is a true honour for me to congratulate him on his 20th Grand Slam victory.
It is especially amazing that he has now won Roland Garros an incredible 13 times, which is one of the greatest achievements in sport. I also congratulate his team, because nobody can do this alone. I hope 20 is just another step on the continuing journey for both of us.
Well done, Rafa. You deserve it."
Djokovic was impressed by Nadal's performance
"He (Nadal) keeps going. No holding him back it seems like. It’s amazing. I mean, I admire all his achievements, I mean, especially the one here.
It’s stunning score and results and records that he’s got on this court," Djokovic said after the final, per Max Gao. After tying Federer on the list, Nadal showed his respect for his long-time opponent as he said it meant a lot to share the number with the Swiss.
"For me means a lot to share this number with Roger, no? But let’s see what's going on when we finish our careers. We keep playing. I don’t know what can happen in the future. I am just excited & of course is something that means a lot to me," Nadal said.
"At the same time [we] share this record between us, [the fact] that we had an amazing rivalry for such a long time, is something in some way beautiful I really believe. Let’s see what is going on."