Tennis

Rafael Nadal is GOAT – Stan Wawrinka praises Spaniard after 22nd Major title

Tennis – Nadal conquered his 14th Roland Garros crown last week.

 

Things did not look well for Rafael Nadal after the last year’s Roland Garros. The Spaniard lost the title to Novak Djokovic, who joined him and Roger Federer at the top of the GOAT race. All three legends had 20 Major crowns at the end of the previous season, and Novak was the favorite to move in front early in 2022.

 

 

Instead, Nadal has won all 14 matches at Majors this year to conquer the Australian Open and Roland Garros and move away from his closest rivals. For many, Rafa is the greatest player of all time following his 22nd Major title, and Stan Wawrinka is in that group.

 

 

The Swiss praised the Spaniard after Rafa’s 14th Roland Garros title and called him the GOAT. Rafa came to Paris without form and with a troubled foot, taking his doctor with him and receiving injections ahead of every match.

 

 

Nadal made a solid start and defeated three rivals in straight sets to preserve energy.

 

Rafa experienced the first formidable opponent in the fourth round when Felix Auger-Aliassime pushed him for five sets.

 

 

The Canadian claimed sets one and four to stay in touch before the Spaniard shifted into a higher gear in the decider to reach the last eight. In another clash of tennis legends, Nadal dethroned Novak Djokovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 in four hours and 12 minutes for a place in the semis.

 

 

Rafa was a more determined player, firing almost 60 winners and building the advantage in three out of four sets. Novak came from 3-0 down in the second to claim it 6-4 after almost an hour and a half before Rafa restored the order in the third.

 

 

The Serb served for the fourth set at 5-3 and squandered two set points. Nadal broke back and brought the victory home in the tie break to reach the semis. Alexander Zverev was another challenging obstacle, and the second set was still on when they passed the three-hour mark on a slow indoor court!

 

 

Nadal fended off four set points at 2-6 in the opening set’s tie break and stayed competitive in the second despite losing serve four times in a row. Zverev injured his ankle in the 12th game’s last point and had to retire after giving his 120%.

 

 

Casper Ruud was Nadal’s rival in the title clash, and he could not prevent the Spaniard’s 14th title. Rafa beat his good friend 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 in two hours and 18 minutes to remain undefeated in the finals in Paris and claim the 22nd Major crown.

 

 

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