"Pete Sampras never won it, Stefan Edberg never won it" - Boris Becker puts Rafael Nadal's 14 French Open titles in perspective

Pete Sampras (L) and Rafael Nadal (R)
Pete Sampras (L) and Rafael Nadal (R)

German legend Boris Becker recently stated that there is no shame if Rafael Nadal doesn't win the French Open this time. The 56-year-old referenced several tennis greats including Pete Sampras who never won a French Open title.

Rafael Nadal is part of a tough draw at Roland Garros. He is going to face Alexander Zverev in the first round on May 27 and will look to win his 15th French Open title this season. His preparation for Roland Garros has been less than ideal, with a disappointing European claycourt swing. Ahead of Nadal's campaign in Paris, Boris Becker put the Spaniaed's 14 French Open titles in perspective.

The six-time Grand Slam champion first highlighted the remarkable achievement of Nadal on clay. Speaking to CNN, Becker expressed why Nadal achieved an impossible feat by winning the title 14 times in his career.

"You win it five times, that’s a lot,” tennis great Boris Becker told CNN. “You win it 10 times, it’s impossible. Nadal’s won it 14 times. I don’t know any other record in any other sport that equals that"

The 56-year-old then pointed out that even tennis greats like Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, and himself never won the French Open, while Bjorn Borg's six titles were once unprecedented. He used this to underscore Nadal's record of 14 titles in Paris, emphasizing there's no shame if Nadal doesn't win this time.

“Borg won it six times, which at the time was unheard [of], but [Pete] Sampras never won it, Edberg never won it, Becker never won it. So there’s no shame in not winning the French Open,” Becker added.

The 37-year-old has maintained an impressive record at Roland Garros, with 112 wins and only three losses.


Rafael Nadal is uncertain if 2024 will be his last appearance at French Open

Day Eleven: The Championships - Wimbledon 2022
Day Eleven: The Championships - Wimbledon 2022

Rafael Nadal acknowledged that there's a strong possibility this could be his last Roland Garros, but he refused to confirm it definitively. The Spaniard explained it in a pre-tournament 2024 French Open press conference.

"It's a big chance that it is going to be my last Roland Garros. But if I have to tell you it's 100% my last Roland Garros, sorry, but I will not because I cannot predict what's going on."

Rafael Nadal is hoping for a deep run this season. Since turning 36, Nadal has played only 12 Grand Slam matches, spending most of the past year recovering from a hip injury. He has a win-loss record of 7-4 this season.

His best performance was reaching the fourth round of the Madrid Open and was eliminated by Hubert Hurkacz (6-1, 6-3) in the second round in Rome.

What is the foot injury that has troubled Rafael Nadal over the years? Check here

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