Former World No. 4 and Olympic silver medalist Nicolas Kiefer recently spoke about Rafael Nadal's 13th Roland Garros title. After looking at Nadal's scintillating level of play during the fortnight, Kiefer believes the Spaniard will win another French Open title in 2021.
Rafael Nadal put on a claycourt clinic on Sunday to demolish Novak Djokovic in straight sets. In the process, he tied Roger Federer at 20 Slams - the most that anyone has won in men's tennis history.
In an interview with T-Online, Kiefer explained how Nadal's ability to adapt to the different conditions in Paris this year reinforced the fact that he has no rivals on clay.
"There is simply no getting around him in Paris. His 13th title at Roland Garros, his 20th Grand Slam title overall, drawn level with Roger Federer. Rafael Nadal is simply an exceptional athlete," Kiefer said.
"Of course, the weather conditions were completely different this year. In May, it is warmer, the balls jump higher, the game is much faster. Now it was wet and cold. But Rafael Nadal was able to adapt well to this and won all of his matches with ease. He has once again proven to the world that he is simply unrivalled on clay," he added.
Kiefer, who had a 0-5 record against Nadal on the tour but never played him on clay, doesn't think the Spaniard will stop any time soon.
"There is no limit to him," the German said. "Just like for Roger, who will play the Australian Open again next year and prefers the fast courts. And the next French Open is only half a year away. At the moment everything points to it: Nadal will win his 21st title in Paris in 2021."
The Slam race between Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer & Novak Djokovic will be a very tight one: Nicolas Kiefer
Although Novak Djokovic went down in straight sets in the final, Kiefer refused to rule out the Serb from the race to end up with the most Slams.
"He (Novak) is the top favorite at every Grand Slam tournament except for the French Open," Kiefer said. "It will be a very tight race for the record between the three."
The German added that the younger generation of players such as US Open winner Dominic Thiem and Kiefer's countryman Alexander Zverev will find it difficult to win the big titles consistently as long as the Big 3 continue playing.
"Of course, the guys (Federer, Nadal and Djokovic) are not getting any younger, and there are already a lot of younger players who are on their heels - players like Thiem, Zverev, Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas. These guys will of course determine the future, but as long as Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are still playing, it will be very difficult for them," Kiefer said.Published 13 Oct 2020, 19:13 IST