Roger Federer and Pete Sampras' former coach Paul Annacone is convinced that Rafael Nadal has something that makes him unique compared to any other player in history. The Spanish phenomenon is now very close to equaling the Swiss in the all-time Slam classification and the historic connection could occur at Roland Garros.
“It is the relentless ability to play every point like nothing else matters except that point,” he said of Nadal, as quoted by the Daily Express. “Jimmy Connors was very close to that but I’ve never seen anyone do it better than Rafael Nadal.
It is such a cliche but if you look at the way he plays and someone asked you ‘who would you want to play one match for your life?’ How do you not pick that guy? He is amazing. It has been fun to watch and the era that he’s in with the other all-time greats, I just continue to sit back and a lot of times my jaw just hits the table.
I hope he stays healthy. I think he’s got a lot more tennis ahead. He continues to love the game and as long as he does that and stays healthy, I don’t see him losing at Roland Garros. His records will continue to grow and we are going to have to invent new words in the dictionary to describe it”.
Nadal is the second male player after Andre Agassi to complete the singles Career Golden Slam, as well as the second male player after Mats Wilander to have won at least two Grand Slams on all three surfaces (grass, hard court and clay).
He has received the tour Sportsmanship Award three times and has been named the ATP Player of the Year five times and the ITF World Champion four times. In 2011, Nadal was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year.