Although the global pandemic has also brought the world of tennis to its knees, 2020 has nevertheless reserved some satisfactions for Rafael Nadal. The Spanish phenomenon, who had said goodbye to tennis in March by winning the Acapulco tournament, has decided to miss the trip to the United States when the circuit resumes.
The former world number 1 prematurely left the stage at the BNL Internazionali of Italy, but redeemed himself with interests at Roland Garros, where adverse conditions did not prevent him from putting his 13th title on the board.
Thanks to this success, Nadal crowned his chase by equaling the 20 Grand Slam record of eternal rival Roger Federer. In the columns of the newspaper 'El Pais', his uncle Toni called his nephew's season a positive one, while showing some regret for the missed opportunity at the ATP Finals in London.
Uncle Toni on the Big 3
"However, when it comes to taking stock of this strange year, the assessment has to be clearly positive," Uncle Toni said. "Raising the French Open for the 13th time amply justifies this appreciation.
But, in addition, the game exhibited both at Roland Garros and in London makes me hope to see him face a difficult but exciting season in 2021, in which he will once again have exciting opportunities. I am convinced that the step forward taken by Dominic Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Alexander Zverev, not to mention someone else, is now definitive.
But I am also happy that, for yet another year, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will fight to the limit of their strength to continue climbing to the podiums of the Grand Slams and the most important tournaments," concluded the Spaniard.
Federer has won six tour finals titles whereas Djokovic has five. Surprisingly, Nadal is yet to win the tour finals. The Big 3 haven’t won a title since 2015, and that might be because of their age and fatigue. They play most of the big tournaments and go deep in them, thus fatigue is high.
Plus, most of them are on the wrong side of the 30s, which naturally reduces their fitness by the end of the season. By the end of the season, The Big 3 drop off and don’t perform at their optimum levels even though throughout the year they are very consistent.
Furthermore, the format of the ATP Finals is rigorous and makes it tough to defend the title. The group stages and then the knockout matches make it an interesting and unpredictable tournament. That is why Djokovic’s four consecutive titles from 2012 to 2015 are a great feat.
Federer has also defended his title on three separate occasions. So Djokovic and Federer were very consistent in their prime, a quality which is still absent among the next-gen stars.