Last week Rafael Nadal showed once again that he is the best tennis player in history on clay. The Majorcan tennis player won his 36 Masters 1000 career in Rome, thus reaching Novak Djokovic’s record, and above all he reached the ‘Tenth’ for the fourth career tournament, winning the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome ten times.
Rafa had a good tournament, was one step away from elimination against Canadian Denis Shapovalov, canceled match points and then managed to win the tournament. Nadal won the final in three sets against world number one Novak Djokovic: after winning fighting the first set he gave up in the second where the Serbian managed to recover but was then stronger in the third and decisive set.
Nadal’s numbers in Rome are incredible with the Spaniard who has won 68 matches out of 75 matches played. At the Rome tournament Nadal reached another important record. In this tournament Rafael Nadal has repeated a record obtained in Monte Carlo and reached the quarter-finals of the tournament for the sixteenth time.
Rafa is the second player in history after Roger Federer to have reached the quarter-finals at least 16 times in at least two ATP tournaments. Incredible numbers for Rafael Nadal who now has the chance to equal and perhaps in the future overtake his great Swiss rival.
Roger Federer is, along with Jimmy Connors, the player who has reached the most quarter-finals in a single tournament, he has reached him 17 times in the tournaments of Wimbledon, Halle and Basel, while Connors has reached the quarter-finals in a single tournament 17 times at the US Open.
Rafa now has two chances, from next year, to even the score and reach him in this particular record. Former World No. 7 Barbara Schett believes Novak Djokovic will finish his career with more Grand Slams than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Schett on the GOAT debate
In a recent interaction with Tennis365, Barbara Schett said Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have a good chance to eclipse Roger Federer’s record as they continue to be in top physical shape.
“I think this battle to see who wins the most majors will come down to Novak and Rafa,” Schett said. “Both Novak and Rafa seem fine physically and for me, I think Djokovic will overtake Nadal and Federer at the end.
One part of deciding who is the greatest of these three will be, in the end, the Grand Slam titles they win,” Schett added. “I guess that is how they will be judged. They have all played at the same time and at the end of the day, the numbers count.”