'Roger Federer's level of play was beyond comprehension', says former Top 20

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'Roger Federer's level of play was beyond comprehension', says former Top 20

At 44, Nicolas Escude is one of the best known faces on the Eurosport platform. In every broadcast relating to the Slam tournaments, the Frenchman distills his experience as a former high-level player (he played in the professional circuit from 1995 to 2004) and as a coach.

The former world number 17 has become the protagonist of a very solid career thanks to a semifinal at the 1998 Australian Open, two Grand Slam quarter-finals (at Wimbledon 1999 and at the US Open 2001), four titles on hard courts, one of which against Roger Federer in the final of Rotterdam 2001.

During a long interview with 'GQ Magazine', Escude recounted some of the most memorable moments lived as a commentator. The memory went above all to the famous final of the Australian Open 2017 between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, won by the Swiss in five sets at the end of an exceptional battle.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion had stopped for six months due to a series of back and knee problems.

Escude on Roger Federer

"Two come to my mind. Jo (-Wilfried Tsonga, editor's note) against Rafael Nadal in the 2008 semi-final.

And this 2017 final after six months of stoppage by Roger Federer who returns and who in the final has a level of play even more stratospheric and who is beyond comprehension. Rafa also did nice things in front of him that day.

And then not to mention the great game, I liked the last US Open final, she was crazy. Game behind closed doors, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev who have never won a grand slam, five sets with twists and turns, players paralyzed by the challenge who make lots of mistakes… This kind of game is very interesting to comment on" - Nicolas Escude stated.

Despite having back issues, Rafael Nadal has reached the fourth round at the Australian Open 2021 without dropping a set. He defeated British player Cameron Norrie 5-7, 2-6, 5-7 recently and registered his 30th consecutive set win in Grand Slams.

It is the best run in his career to date. Interestingly, this has brought him only six sets away from equaling the Swiss maestro’s record of 36. Roger Federer had accomplished the feat between the US Open 2006 and French Open 2007.

Also, the American tennis legend John McEnroe stands in between the 20-time Grand Slam champions at 35. The 34-year-old Spaniard needs two straight wins and a set to break his long withstanding record.