On Sunday, Rafael Nadal matched Roger Federer's 20 Major titles, winning his 13th Roland Garros crown and catching his great rival. The Aussie doubles legend Todd Woodbridge believes Roger will not find it easy to fight for more Major titles once he returns in January.
Woodbridge said that Roger still hits the ball like in the good old days, but his body can't recover from seven best-of-five encounters in two weeks at Majors, spending a lot of energy fighting against Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
For Woodforde, it would be fantastic if Roger and Rafa both finish their careers on the same number of Major trophies, pushing each other to the limits for 15 years and drawing the best from each other. Following the Australian Open, Roger had to skip the rest of the season, undergoing knee surgeries in February and May and working on a comeback that should occur at the beginning of 2021.
Due to the coronavirus, Federer has stayed inside the top-4 after keeping the points from 2019. Thus, the Swiss will not lose much in the battle with Djokovic, Nadal and Thiem, hoping for a fresh start in two and a half months.
Federer claimed his 20th Major at the Australian Open 2018, with Nadal bouncing back after that to win four Major crowns and join the Swiss at the top of the GOAT race. Staying away from the official matches between February and September, Nadal skipped the restart of the season in Cincinnati and the US Open, losing in Rome's quarter-final and raising his level at beloved Roland Garros to write another chapter of tennis history.
At 34, Nadal conquered Paris without losing a set, extending his dominance at the only clay Major and winning 100 out of 102 encounters in the French capital. In the final, Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 in two hours and 41 minutes, lifting that elusive 20th Major crown in style.
Delivering aggressive and controlled tennis, Rafa got broken only once, hitting more winners than unforced errors and drawing the most from Novak's 50 unforced mistakes. The Serb couldn't find the rhythm for some two hours, fighting stronger in the third set but suffering a break at 5-5 that carried Nadal through.
"It's not about the quality of his game, but the ability of his body to withstand seven matches at a Major. The way he hits the ball is probably as good as ever, but the body isn't recovering as fast as before.
The years he spent with Rafa and Novak made it difficult. It would be something special about it if Federer and Nadal end with the same number of Majors," Todd Woodbridge said.