Rafael Nadal made headlines all across the sporting world after beating Novak Djokovic in the 2020 Roland Garros final. That gave him a record-extending 13th title in Paris, and a record-equaling 20th Grand Slam overall.
Against that background, Indian tennis legend and former doubles World No. 1 Leander Paes recently heaped lavish praise on the Spaniard. Paes also claimed he is a big fan of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in addition to Nadal, and that the competition between the Big 3 was truly special.
"I have tremendous respect for the top three players in tennis in the world," Paes told India Ahead News.
It's pretty hard to see anybody beating Rafael Nadal on clay at the moment: Paes
Leander Paes, an 18-time Grand Slam champion and Olympic bronze medalist for his country, was full of praise for the 'King of Clay' following his heroics in Paris. The 47-year-old claimed that Rafael Nadal deserves a lot of credit for keeping the level of men's tennis as high as it is right now, along with Roger Federer.
"Federer has 20 grand slams wins and suddenly Nadal comes around and equals that," the Indian international went on.
Paes, who has had a career spanning more than 25 years, added that it remains to be seen whether Rafael Nadal can better his current total of total Grand Slams and French Opens. However, he admitted that in this kind of form, it is unlikely that any player will be able to beat him.
"The next conversation is if he going to better that at next year’s French Open," said Paes. "And it’s pretty hard to see anybody beating Rafa Nadal on clay at the moment. He’s so invincible, winning 13 French Open titles at Roland Garros."
Nadal has also showered compliments on Paes in the past. He once hailed his former doubles partner (at Indian Wells 2016) as one of the greatest doubles players in the history of tennis.
Rafael Nadal's triumph amid the COVID-19 pandemic has reignited the GOAT debate between him, Djokovic and Federer. The three share 57 Major titles between them, and the race to see who ends up with the highest tally is at its closest right now.
But all that aside, Rafael Nadal has once again established himself as the greatest claycourter of all time - especially given that he triumphed in conditions that were supposedly alien to him.Published 24 Oct 2020, 20:22 IST