Winning a Grand Slam tournament is always a great feat, a situation that has become increasingly complicated over the course of the Open era. We are talking about beating seven opponents in two weeks to the best of five sets and especially in the last rounds the winner of the tournament must have a great physical preparation to win marathons of five sets and several hours.
This feat becomes even more exclusive when we talk about tennis players who have won a Grand Slam title without losing sets. During the Open era only five players have managed to achieve this extraordinary feat and Rafael Nadal leads the ranking of those who have done it several times.
The first player of the Open era to win a Grand Slam title without losing a set was Ken Rosewall who succeeded in this feat in the 1971 Australian Open. Later he was followed by Ilie Nastase, the first in 1973 to achieve this record on clay at Roland Garros in 1973.
However, the first tennis player to be able to do this on several occasions was Bjorn Borg, a tennis player who won Grand Slams without losing a set on at least three occasions. The other two to achieve this feat are Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal who with success without losing sets at Roland Garros 2020 has reached yet another extraordinary record of his career.
At 34, Nadal endured abnormal conditions in the Paris tournament, beat high-level opponents and confirmed his greatness on this surface 15 years after his first Parisian triumph. During the tournament Rafa beat Egor Gerasimov, Mackenzie McDonald, Stefano Travaglia, Sebastian Korda, Jannik Sinner, Diego Schwartzman and finally World number 1 Novak Djokovic.
However, a difficult calendar where Rafa won a Grand Slam title for the fourth time without losing a set. Thanks to this particular record, Nadal broke Bjorn Borg in the standings and pushed Roger Federer further away, at 2 in this “particular” standings.
Juan Carlos Ferrero believes Rafael Nadal will keep winning the French Open if he remains physically fit.
Ferrero on Rafael Nadal
“With Rafael Nadal it is difficult to predict the number,” Juan Carlos Ferrero said.
“He has no ceiling at Roland Garros, he has no rivals and as long as he remains physically at his current level he will have chances, in this and other tournaments.” The former World No. 1 also provided some insight into why Rafael Nadal feels so comfortable on the claycourts of Paris.
“He has a lot of depth and he is very comfortable on courts like that to be able to defend as he wants,” Ferrero added. “Something very great has been created around Rafa in Paris, obviously he has something that makes him play well all the time.
(He can) Try to shorten the points, play more on the court and the serve has evolved,” Ferrero said. “At these levels, the improvements are very small, but he will work to have on that next year.”