Winning Roland Garros for the 13th time last October, Rafael Nadal has equaled his eternal rival Roger Federer by climbing to 20 Grand Slams. The current condition of the Swiss phenomenon leaves serious doubts about his chances of putting another Major on the board, even if the King will try to fire one last cartridge at Wimbledon this summer.
The Spaniard, for his part, knows he has a great opportunity at Roland Garros in less than two weeks. The 34-year-old from Manacor had not started the season on clay very well, with two premature eliminations in Monte Carlo and Madrid, which caused concern among his fans.
Rafa promptly redeemed himself at the BNL Internationals of Italy, however, canceling a couple of match points to Denis Shapovalov in the round of 16. The Majorcan dismissed world number 1 Novak Djokovic in the final act, claiming his role as main favorite in Paris.
In a recent interview with the 'Welovetennis' portal, former tennis player Jean-Rene Lisnard expressed some thoughts on the long-standing debate related to the GOAT. The former number 84 ATP has worked with several prominent players in the past, including Daniil Medvedev.
Lisnard on the GOAT debate
"In Rome, Rafael Nadal has again proved that he was really above (everyone else)," Jean-Rene Lisnard said. "For me, he is the strongest, even finally in front of Roger Federer whom I love so much."
The Monegasque believes Nadal would have been the choice for the GOAT if clay tournaments were as prevalent as hardcourt ones. "He is playing for nothing," Lisnard continued. "After that, we would not even ask ourselves this question of GOAT if there were a few more tournaments on clay during the year.
The circuit is still ultra dominated by the hard. I do not find that necessarily logical and I dare not imagine Rafa's record if the clay was more present on the international scene." Rafael Nadal clinched his 20th Grand Slam title at French Open 2020.
In the process, he also won his 13th French Open title and improved his overall win-loss record to 100-2. Since making his debut at Roland Garros in 2005, Nadal has just lost twice in Paris. In 16 editions that Nadal has played, he has won 13 of them.
He has lost twice and withdrawn once. He was first defeated in 2009 by Robin Soderling in the fourth round. And the last player to defeat him was Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals of the 2015 French Open.