Throughout his career, Rafael Nadal has won the champion title in Paris several times without losing a single set, a situation that Borg himself has managed to achieve over the years. Between 2016 and 2018 Nadal won a series of 38 consecutive sets and in the round of 16 it was Argentine Diego Schwartzman who stopped his career, just three sets before equaling Bjorn Borg.
After three years, history repeats itself and Rafael Nadal was making an incredible series of victories to three sets to zero, despite his advanced age, and the Spaniard lost his first set in the quarterfinals against Argentine Diego Schwartzman .
During this Roland Garros, Nadal risked losing the set to Alexei Popyrin and Jannik Sinner with the two very young world tennis talents capable of serving for the set but not going any further while the Argentine managed to stop the period leading up to this.
record for winning the second set of his match (then ending 3-1) against Rafael Nadal. Except for incredible things and given his young age, it seems difficult that, at 35, Nadal can win more consecutive editions of Roland Garros without losing sets, drawing the all-time record of Bjorn Borg.
Rafael Nadal will skip 2021 Wimbledon
Rafael Nadal recently pulled out of Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics, saying he needed to protect his body in order to prolong his career. His coach, Carlos Moya, has now confirmed that the Spaniard was indeed “exhausted” after the claycourt swing and will take a “well-deserved rest.”
“Rafa two years ago reached a point of great mental fatigue that was very difficult to get out of and now he has indicated that he was close to that again,” added Moya. “He cannot afford (to play in) a Grand Slam if he is not at 100%.
It is difficult on a mental level to face the confinements prior to a great match, to play with little public, etc. This affects Rafa, he is a person who has a great connection with people and it was hard to go to London with a quarantine in between.”
Carlos Moya believes Nadal was uncharacteristically error-prone and struggled on his serve and backhand, which Djokovic exploited. “Rafa made too many unforced errors and was not at his level with the serve or with the backhand,” Rafael Nadal’s coach said.
“Novak did better, he cornered him very well on his backhand side and Rafa could not easily escape from there. We are going to learn a lot from this match.”