According to Pat Cash, Rafael Nadal winning as many French Open titles as he has is a phenomenon that defies all expectations and predictions - to the point of making them sound ridiculous. The Australian believes that Nadal’s dominance at Roland Garros is similar to that of a world-class football team at their home stadium or a cyclist winning the Tour de France on multiple occasions.
Former World No. 4 Pat Cash is a Slam champion himself, having won Wimbledon in 1987. Unlike Rafael Nadal though, Cash was known to struggle on clay - as evidenced by his poor record at the French Open. In five attempts, Cash never went past the fourth round in Paris.
During a recent conversation with Tennisnet, Pat Cash spoke in glowing terms about Rafael Nadal’s dominance at Roland Garros, which for him is nothing short of 'unthinkable'.
"Think of any football team that is simply unbeatable in any stadium or someone who wins the Tour de France year after year. 13 times! It is actually unthinkable. If you had said that 20 years ago, you would have been locked in a madhouse," Cash said.
Pat Cash also believes that the number of Slams amassed by Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic is a remarkable feat. The Australian is seemingly in awe of the Big 3's motivation levels, and he pointed out how they refuse to stop fighting despite having achieved far more than anyone before them.
"It is actually unimaginable that these guys won 20, 20 and 17 Grand Slams," Cash continued. "There is something that motivates the three of them. It's fascinating. I was happy to win a Grand Slam title, to win the Davis Cup. I was very happy with my career. And Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are not happy with 20. And two or three Davis Cups."
Beating Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros is the most difficult task in the history of the sport: Pat Cash
Pat Cash believes it is almost impossible for anyone in the future to dominate clay the way Rafael Nadal has. The Australian claimed that only the legendary Bjorn Borg could hold a candle to Nadal on the red dirt.
"One should never say never, but one can assume that we will never see a clay court player like him again," Cash said. "Bjorn Borg would have come closest to that, he too was almost impossible to beat."
Pat Cash concluded that defeating Rafael Nadal on the clay courts of Roland Garros is the most challenging feat there has ever been in tennis.
"For me, the most difficult task in the history of the sport is to win against Rafael Nadal in Paris. I can't think of anything that could be more difficult," Cash added.Published 18 Dec 2020, 17:23 IST