Despite the very serious consequences of the pandemic around the world, 2020 allowed Rafael Nadal to win the 13th Roland Garros of his career. In addition to demolishing Novak Djokovic in the final, yet another triumph in Paris allowed the former ATP number 1 to equal the all-time record of 20 Grand Slams of his eternal rival Roger Federer.
Djokovic, for his part, has an excellent chance of breaking the record of weeks at the top of the world ranking thanks to the new ranking system introduced to mitigate the effects of the long suspension of the circuit. All these factors have rekindled the debate related to the largest ever.
In an article for 'Nieuwsblad', former manager of Kim Clijsters - Marc De Hous - focused on Nadal's position in the GOAT discussion. The Belgian explained how the Spaniard's impressive dominance on clay helps make him one-dimensional compared to Federer and Djokovic.
De House is best known for his collaboration with Clijsters, which led to the top position of the WTA rankings in both singles and doubles.
De Hous on the GOAT debate
“Whether Rafael Nadal is the best of all time remains a difficult question,” Marc De Hous said.
“He is more specialized than Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer on one surface. Federer is also the only player to have a 40-match win streak at two Grand Slams. But Nadal remains the ultimate super pro, who, even on a bad day, plays every ball as if it were his last,” De Hous added.
“David Goffin can learn a lesson from it”. De Hous was also critical towards some of Novak Djokovic’s other slip-ups in 2020, highlighting how the 33-year-old has been irresponsible with some of his actions.
“He (Novak Djokovic) was virtually unbeatable for a whole year until he eliminated himself by unknowingly hitting a tennis ball against a female line judge," De Hous said. "He can be a fool at times, with his nonsense about dirty water and his exhibition tournament that produced so many COVID infections”.
Marc De Hous is also convinced that Rafael Nadal will do the job again this year, even going as far as contemplating a huge wager on the Spaniard’s victory. “In this new season full of sporting and extra-sporty uncertainties, Nadal is the only certitude for me on the Parisian clay,” the Belgian stated.
“I want to bet a good thousand euros on him. A win at Roland-Garros would immediately make him the only record holder with his 21st Major."