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'Superhuman': Behind the scenes of Rafa Nadal's 14th Roland Garros triumph
Tuesday, June 7, 2022 @ 9:41 PM

'INCREDIBLE', 'outstanding', 'historic', and a host of other superlatives have flooded Twitter over Spain's all-time greatest tennis star Rafa Nadal following his epic 14th French Open title – in fact, at least one request has been made to rename the clay court at Paris' Roland Garros stadium after the Mallorca-born ace.

What, again?! Why don't you just keep it? Rafa brandishes his old friend, the Roland Garros cup, now heading back to Mallorca with him for the 14th time

Now-retired Croatian tennis pro, Ivan Ljubicic, wrote: “Not many PLAYED 14 Roland Garros tournaments. He won it 14 times. There is no word to describe this feat. Don't think good old Philippe would mind if his court changes the name to Rafael Nadal – statue is not enough.”

Ljubicic is referring to a statue of Nadal next to the Philippe Chatrier court, which has been in place for years.


Rafa's Records: Joint-highest number of Roland Garros wins in all history, along with Max Decugis

Rafa, 36, has long left behind him the record of the most wins at Roland Garros in the Open era, and the most in singles – before Nadal, the highest number of singles titles in the Open era was seven, in the women's category, held by the USA's Chris Evert, and in all history, by France's Max Decugis, who won the men's singles eight times between 1903 and 1914.

“I'm not giving THIS up without a fight!”

Although nobody in the Open era, men or women, in doubles or singles, has ever taken home as many Roland Garros titles as Rafael Nadal, the legend from Manacor will still have to net one more to be the most prolific winner in all time.

Pre-Open, Max Decugis won the title 14 times, in a mixture of singles and doubles, and Rafa Nadal has now matched his total, but nobody has yet surpassed either.

Rafa Nadal after winning his 11th Roland Garros title, in 2018

Neither has anyone yet matched Rafa's record of five titles on the trot – from 2010 to 2014 inclusive – with only a handful boasting four consecutive wins, being French players Jeanne Matthey, Suzanne Lenglen and Paul Aymé, and Sweden's Björn Borg.

In fact, having played the French Open every year since 2005, when he first won the tournament, Nadal has only failed to win it on four occasions.

He lost out on the trophy in 2009, 2015 and 2016, and again shocked fans by losing out to lifelong arch-rival – albeit close friend – Novak Djoković last year.

After falling in the final in 2021, speculation was rife – and not considered outrageous, either – that Nadal could finally be past his best and would never surpass his 'lucky 13'.



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