For Roger Federer, winning the 21st Grand Slam title is no utopia, but it is certainly an almost impossible mission. Rafael Nadal on the other hand, with two, three or four years still ahead, has a good chance of becoming the tennis player with the most titles in history.
And he can be praised as the greatest sportsman ever, capable of reaching an incredible record and one of the most incredible goals in the history of sport. Federer and Nadal represent current legends such as Lebron James or Lewis Hamilton, but also legends of the past such as Maradona, Pelé, Muhammad Ali and Kobe Bryant, Michael Schumacher or Ayrton Senna.
In a hundred years when a young tennis player wants to approach this sport he could say "I want to be like Federer or like Nadal" An undisputed duopoly for years with the two who will probably return to challenge each other also in 2021 with Novak Djokovic who will try to stop their domination and continue with them this great and yet another challenge.
Two coaches in Spain recently spoke about their interactions with a very young Rafael Nadal. Nadal hit the ball with incredible intensity and perseverance even as a 12-year-old, which separated him from his peers.
Two coaches recently spoke about their interactions with Nadal
"Toni (Nadal) was always there to speak clearly to Rafael Nadal and to tighten the rope if necessary and it was the case," Miguel Navarro said, as per the Milenio website.
"He was a special player, he was a monster. I remember that in a junior National he played the first game with the wrong weight in the racket string, which made it difficult for him to score points," Navarro added.
"The guy was fighting, he won the first set suffering and then the second he took it 6-2. Another kid would have given up, but he was a beast." Toni Colom, another coach, spoke about a meeting with the Spaniard and his uncle at the Balearic sports school.
“The memory I have of this 12-year-old boy is that he hit the balls with an intensity that the rest did not; there were children who did not play the same. He had an intensity higher than the others," Colom said.
Nadal is, incredibly, the youngest to complete the Career Grand Slam in the Open Era (at only 24). The Spaniard has been so successful as the second-best player to Federer and Djokovic at their peak that people tend to forget how brilliant he himself has been as a dominant force in men's tennis.