Rafael Nadal claimed the first Major title a couple of days after turning 19 on his Roland Garros debut in 2005. Standing as the dominant figure in Paris, Rafa lifted nine titles from ten trips to his beloved event until 2014, entering the record books and becoming the GOAT contender.
Alongside his Roland Garros domination, Nadal became the player to beat at the other three Majors as well. The Spaniard won his first Wimbledon crown in 2008 and added the Australian Open and the US Open in the following two years to become a proud owner of a Career Grand Slam honor at 24!
Speaking about the GOAT race against Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic in February 2020, Nadal said that he isn't obsessed with it, doing his best to finish his career ahead of both but accepting that he could also be third on the exclusive list.
Nadal spoke about the upcoming Olympic Games, as things still looked almost normal before the coronavirus outbreak a few weeks later. Nadal didn't play many tournaments last year, staying away from the court until September and claiming his 20th Major title at Roland Garros to match Roger Federer's record.
Rafael Nadal didn't think much about the GOAT race in February last year.
"Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and I have a WhatsApp group, we have been doing the same kind of job for years, and we all love tennis very much.
We also have the responsibility to promote our sport in the right way, trying to take care of things that could bring tennis to a higher level. We don't joke much about our Major tally. We all have been doing things in our way; I would love to finish with more Major crowns than anybody else, but that's something I'm not obsessed with at all.
I'm super happy about my tennis career, and life would continue if Roger or Novak, or both, finish ahead of me in that race. In ten years, that will not make my life more or less happier; I'm just trying to enjoy what I'm doing.
I don't like to bet and can't predict who will finish at the top; I'm part of that process, and I don't care that much," Rafael Nadal said.