The unprecedented placement of Roland Garros and the new Wilson balls instead of the traditional Babolat had led many insiders not to consider Rafael Nadal as a favorite for this year's edition. If that wasn't enough, world number 1 Novak Djokovic looked in great shape having won the title at the BNL Internationals of Italy, while the Spaniard was prematurely out in the quarterfinals.
A few weeks later, the Manacor phenomenon would surprise skeptics once again by winning his 13th title in Paris without leaving a single set on the road. The progress of the final was emblematic, with Djokovic forced to scrape together just seven games and suffer a bagel in the first set.
Next week, Gilles Simon's new book will hit the shelves, in which the French veteran made some interesting thoughts about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The 35-year-old transalpine believes that some people find it difficult to accept that the Spanish could be considered superior to the Swiss.
Simon on Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
“It is difficult to conceive (for some) that, in terms of game, Rafael Nadal could be better than Roger Federer,” Gilles Simon wrote. "We even spread rumors of doping on his account,” Simon wrote.
“Nadal does not fit into the framework”. Gilles Simon further suggested that Roger Federer's supreme fitness at his age has never been questioned the way Nadal’s has been. "Moreover, I emphasize here that we never talk about the physique of Federer, who has little to envy that of Nadal," Simon explained.
"That he goes five sets at 35 like what he did in Australia in 2017, it's extraordinary. But no one noted this point." Back in 2006, the bond between Rafael Nadal and the infamous doctor Eufemiano Fuentes had cast shadows on the Majorcan, who has always shown his integrity by successfully defending himself from those who discredited him.
Recently, the World number 2 announced his participation in the Masters 1000 in Paris-Bercy and in the ATP Finals in London. Nadal will compete at the indoor hard-court tournament, where he owns a 19-5 record, for the eighth time.
The World No. 2 has made at least the quarter-finals in each of his seven previous appearances. In his 2007 debut, Nadal made the final (l. to Nalbandian). The legendary lefty just won his 13th Roland Garros title, tying Roger Federer's mark for most Grand Slam triumphs with 20.
Nadal is 22-4 this season with two titles. The Spaniard did not lose a set en route to earning the crown in Acapulco or at Roland Garros.