"If it wasn't for Rafael Nadal, he probably would have won five" - When Andre Agassi spoke about Roger Federer's 'well-deserved' French Open triumph

Andre Agassi presented Roger Federer with the 2009 French Open trophy
Andre Agassi presented Roger Federer with the 2009 French Open trophy

Andre Agassi once shared his thoughts on Roger Federer's triumph at the 2009 French Open, which ended Rafael Nadal's four-year reign at the claycourt Major. The American expressed his belief that if not for Nadal, Federer would have achieved much greater success at Roland Garros.

Following a semifinal loss to Nadal in the 2005 French Open semifinals, Federer faced three missed opportunities to complete the career Grand Slam with consecutive losses to the Spaniard in the finals from 2006 to 2008.

Although Nadal was the overwhelming favorite to clinch his fifth consecutive title in 2009, Robin Soderling pulled off a stunning 6-2, 6-7(2), 6-4, 7-6(2) upset in the fourth round to hand the Spaniard his first-ever defeat at the claycourt Major.

Following Nadal's exit, the Swiss claimed a 6-1, 7-6(0), 6-4 victory over Soderling in the final to clinch his maiden French Open title and complete his career Grand Slam. The triumph also marked his 14th Grand Slam title, drawing him level with Pete Sampras' then-all-time record. Andre Agassi had the honor of presenting Federer with the trophy during the presentation.

Agassi expressed his delight at getting the opportunity to share in Roger Federer's "special" victory, stating that it was "amazing" to watch the Swiss finally triumph at the claycourt Major.

"Yeah, well, he got the magic number French Open. The quantity has less relevance with where he found himself that day than getting over the line in Paris and winning in a tournament that's eluded him for his career, and a career that he could have won I think five or six times," he said in a press conference at World TeamTennis.
"I mean, pretty amazing to watch him get over that line there. And I had even a more interesting perspective, seeing that while I was there one year doing that, watching it sort of over his shoulder really drives home just how rare these moments are and how special they are, and to share in it meant the world," he added.

Agassi also remarked that the Swiss had truly earned the victory, suggesting that if it weren't for Nadal, Federer might have already had five French Open titles. The American asserted that the Swiss' triumph was very well-deserved, emphasizing that it would've been a "real crime" if he never won a single Roland Garros title.

"I just really think the guy deserved it. He's earned it. He's been playing clay for the last five years, if it wasn't for Nadal, he probably would have won five of those things and arguably won two Grand Slams back-to-back, the stats sort of speak for themselves. For him not to have won there in his career would have been a real crime," he said.

"If Roger Federer had not been there, Rafael Nadal probably would have won one more Wimbledon" - Spaniard's uncle Toni

The Championships - Wimbledon 2007 Day Thirteen
The Championships - Wimbledon 2007 Day Thirteen

Although Roger Federer lost all six of his matches against Rafael Nadal at the French Open, he enjoyed a 3-1 winning record against the Spaniard at the Wimbledon Championships.

In an interview with Diarios de Bicicleta, Nadal's uncle Toni asserted that the fierce rivalry between the 'Big 3' resulted in them taking trophies away from each other. He also suggested that his nephew might have won a third Wimbledon title if it weren't for Federer.

"What is truly extraordinary is that the three best in history have coincided at the same time. It has helped them, but the competition also took away their trophies. If Federer had not been there, Rafael probably would have won one more Wimbledon," he said.

Nadal's sole win over the Swiss legend at the grasscourt Major took place in the 2008 final. After back-to-back losses to the 20-time Grand Slam champion in the 2006 and 2007 finals, the Spaniard exacted revenge with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7 victory, clinching his maiden Wimbledon title.

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