Rafael Nadal won, on the night of Sunday to Monday, his 19th Grand Slam tournament. The Spaniard raised the US Open Trophy after an epic final against Russia's Daniil Medvedev. With this 19th Grand Slam title, he is one step behind the legendary Roger Federer (20 wins). In spite of this small delay, Virginie Phulpin considers, in her sports editorial, that Rafael Nadal settles on the throne of the best tennis player in history.
"I can already hear the protests!" If you ask around who is the best player of all time, the vast majority will answer Roger Federer's record of 20 Grand Slam titles, his absolute class on a court and his talent But after his epic win in New York, Rafael Nadal has 19 Grand Slam victories, so it will be 20 next June, when he wins his 13th Roland Garros ...
No, but we are not going to do sport fiction, we will stay on the 19 major titles won for now. Since his debut in 2005, Rafael Nadal is seen as the best clay player. He has just proved that he is so much more than that ... 7 big slams apart from Roland Garros. It's as much as Mc Enroe or Wilander in all. Not bad for a clay player.
And if we look face to face between Nadal and Federer, they played 42 times against each other, 26 wins for the Spaniard, 16 for the Swiss. He went to beat Federer in his garden at Wimbledon, while the opposite never happened at Roland Garros. That's enough, right? This is what makes Martina Navratilova say that Roger Federer is undoubtedly the best player of all time, but that Rafael Nadal is the best of both.
The sports journalist from Europe does not stop there. Apart from numbers and statistics, Rafael Nadal would leave an eternal trace ...
"What makes Rafael Nadal the best in my opinion is the imprint he leaves in his sport, I do not know if we really realize how much he changed the codes of tennis. came out with his out-of-the-ordinary physique and the hallucinating effects he puts in the ball, he forced everyone else to change their approach, Roger Federer said himself, he had to completely reinvent his game because of Nadal. He had to beat the Spaniard, who beat him too often, and not only did Nadal win, but he made the others progress, so he put an indelible mark on the history of his sport.
While he, he always played the same way. He adapted of course as he grew older, but he adapted to himself. Because it runs slower than before, because it serves more. It was not the others who forced him to adapt. So he never had the elegance of Roger Federer, the purity of the gestures. There is more effort and more sweat. But he has that strength of character, that foolproof mind that keeps him from cracking. And it's at least as admirable. "