'Rafael Nadal did not relax for a second', says former Top 5

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'Rafael Nadal did not relax for a second', says former Top 5

In 2020 Rafael Nadal gifted himself his 13th title at Roland Garros, his fourth without losing a single set along the way. The Spanish phenomenon had not presented itself in the best possible way in Paris, having returned from a long absence due to the pandemic and having disappointed expectations at the BNL Internationals of Italy.

Thanks to that success, the former world number 1 has thus equaled the all-time record of 20 Grand Slams of his eternal rival Roger Federer. The 34-year-old from Manacor then tried to break the Finals taboo, but his journey to the O2 Arena in London was interrupted in the semi-final in front of future winner Daniil Medvedev.

Also thanks to Federer's absence from the Australian Open 2021, Nadal - who has triumphed at Melbourne Park only once (in 2009) - could become the player to have won the most majors in the history of men's tennis.

In a recent interview with the Russian website GoTennis, former WTA number 3 Nadia Petrova expressed her opinion on Rafa's victory at Roland Garros, embellished with a very clear statement over Novak Djokovic in the final.

Petrova on Rafael Nadal

"It is completely unclear what happened to Novak Djokovic. Maybe he "burnt out" Perhaps, it was the tough match against Tsitsipas (in the semi-finals) and neck problems which made themselves felt," Nadia Petrova said.

Petrova also complimented the exemplary ability of Rafael Nadal to concentrate on every point in the final and remain calm under pressure, even after his early exit from his previous tournament in Rome. "After his performance in Rome, Rafael Nadal was not considered a favorite at Roland Garros.

But he calmly did his job. It seemed that Djokovic made many mistakes and could not impose a fight on the Spaniard. And Rafa had a crazy concentration, he did not relax for a second," the 38-year-old said. The men’s tennis action will unfold at the two ATP 250 tournaments and the ATP Cup.

The two WTA 500 tournaments will be conducted at the John Cain track which will be used as the third stadium. The Rod Laver Arena and the Margaret Court will host the ATP Cup. Along with the Australian Open, a WTA 250 tournament will be played from the 13th-19th of February.

The qualifying round of the men’s category is being held in Doha, whereas the women’s event is happening in Dubai. This season can witness changes across many events during the calendar as the effects of the coronavirus pandemic still loom large.