Nadal and his bid for the 2021 French Open title

This would be Nadal’s 14th French Open title and his 21st grand slam title. A 21st grand slam title would break the current tie he shares with Roger Federer for most grand slams by a man, all-time. Nadal’s 14th French Open would also extend his lead in terms of being the most grand slams won by any man at any single grand slam event (Djokovic is in second place with 9 Australian Opens).

It’s a tough field though, with the younger generation of stars being more viable than they were a few years ago, and of course, Djokovic. Thiem was knocked out early, so that bodes well for Nadal, but yeah, a lot of guys left that could pose a big challenge for Nadal.

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Zverev looks like he’s finally broken out. I’d give him a decent shot at the upset

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if you have much experience playing on clay – or probably even enough time spectating tennis on that surface, watching nadal dominate on it has basically been like watching neo enter the matrix

the precision and placement that he’s been able to marry to GOAT power and speed all these years is truly mind blowing

there will always be that clay court specialist tinge to nadal’s legacy, but the way rafa utilized it should add to his mystique, not detract from it.

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Tsitsipas makes me nervous. I think he’s really come into his own. I think he’ll be the best in the world at some point.

Ptisisipas or however you spell his name has the most wins on tour so far suprisingly. None of those guys will challenge Nadal though. Even Djokovic can’t.

I mean, I’m not saying he should have an asterisk next to his all time majors title if he wins this, BUT, I’d definitely still consider Federer the goat

I think you’re spot on, and to date, he’s won seven grand slams on other surfaces, so it’s not like he’s a slouch off of the clay. Seven grand slams is equivalent to the total grand slams won by some of the all-time greats.

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I completely reject the idea of an asterisk next to Nadal’s total and I DO think he’s the GOAT if he gets his 21st. At least until Djokovic possibly catches him.

The fact that Nadal dominates on clay like he does and yet still competes for titles on every other surface makes a stronger case for GOAT.

for sure

i think the argument continues to and will maybe always come down to federer or nadal

there are some interesting points to be made about their respective early careers and federer’s narrowly superior big point/big match performance, but i think a win at this year’s french and the counter-stats that come with it will do a lot to tip that argument in nadal’s favor. even if it’ll probably never truly be settled.

like everybody else, i’ll be very interested to see how djokovic’s remaining years at the top of the game play out. if he goes off for a few years on the way out, the conversation changes a lot, too

He has 7 majors off of clay so, say he won 3 on clay, such that his grand slam haul was almost perfectly well rounded, he’d have 10 grand slams in an evenly all-surface kind of way. TEN. That puts him firmly amongst the greats, if he was only as good on clay as he is on the other surfaces.

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I’m not saying this is everything but I think it’s worth pointing out and it counts for quite a lot, is that all of the best players seem to compete against one another first and foremost with their grand slam totals. They all seem to covet the grand slam total way more than weeks at number one or total tournaments won. Since it’s grand slams that they want most, and what they focus their energy and talent on, I think it’s the best metric for success.

Taking in the totality of their careers though, I’d still give the nod to Federer. It’s easy to forget that there is a lot of other tournaments played outside the majors, and they play a big part in the goat argument too. Things like the consecutive weeks #1 ranking, which Fed owns by a mile. And overall weeks #1, with Fed having over 100 more than Nadal. If it were just strictly down to majors only, I might give the nod to Nadal

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He’s just too good. And the most amazing thing to me is he does it all with his off hand. lol Like wtf is that?

I think Fed is out of the conversation now. Djokovic can potentially win more majors but he needs to be competitive on clay imo.

I’m a Fed fan but his dominance was largely before those two emerged as top players.

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Yeah, I sometimes temporarily forget that and then when I remember it, or someone like yourself points it out, it’s just so impressive that it’s hard to wrap the head around.

It’s why his backhand is so good.

It’s amazing that he was not only able to learn to play left handed but he became the best player ever at it. That’s nuts.

If Nadal gets his 21st then I think he’s the GOAT, and I think that will be the general consensus.

Fed’s down a break in the third. One set apiece. Close match.