Monday June 27, 2022

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have been the dominant figures at the Majors for the last two decades. They have won 62 titles and set records that will never be broken. When one of them reaches a Major semi-final, it’s usually a done deal, as other players can’t match their level in the final stages of the biggest tournaments.

Roger, Novak or Rafa have been left alone in a Major semifinal without their “Big 3” teammates on 32 occasions in the past and have won 25 titles. The most recent came a few weeks ago at Roland Garros, when Nadal lifted his 14th title.

Rafa won all seven major titles when he was the only “Big 3” player left in the semi-finals, and never missed a chance to go all the way. In 2010, Nadal was a semifinalist at Roland Garros, while Djokovic and Federer lost in the previous rounds.

The Spaniard took advantage and regained his Parisian crown after beating Jurgen Melzer and Robin Soderling. Rafa had to wait seven years to advance to the semifinals of a Major without his most formidable rivals, establishing himself as the favorite in Paris while his rivals struggled with injuries.

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Nadal edged out Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka to clinch the title in style and lift his first Roland Garros trophy in three years.

Amritraj praises Rafa Nadal

Speaking to the Tennis Channel recently, former American tennis player Prakash Amritraj heaped praise on the 36-year-old and asked fans to enjoy watching him while he was still around.

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“This footage (Nadal practicing) of Rafael Nadal, it’s just something that puts a smile on everyone’s face. The guy is such an inspiration. He is still playing unbelievable tennis, 14th French Open, going for a Calendar Slam this year at this age is absolutely mind-boggling.

We don’t know how many opportunities we’re going to get to watch him on the court. So now, I think every single time he steps on the court, it’s a true event. It’s very special that we’re going to see him at Wimbledon,” Amritraj said.

“Hopefully the grass is a little bit softer on his foot, maybe the points are a little bit shorter. He is one of the guys who has a tremendous amount of experience which not a lot of other people have. He’s a very underrated volleyer, he can serve and volley quite well, uses that backhand slice well.

So perhaps someone not everyone’s thinking of as a favorite for Wimbledon, but who knows? He’s won the thing twice. Why not a third? He has done everything else impossible in this sport,” said Amritraj.

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