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Mark Petchey reveals aspects that make Rafael Nadal best in tennis
12 June 2018, 08:48 | Charlene Valdez
Nadal insists passing Federer's 20 Slams not on agenda
This year, Nadal dropped just one set.
As the sound of Nadal's ball-striking groans echoing through Court Philippe Chatrier has become one of the melodic fixtures of Paris, he has won the French Open more than anybody has won anything among the four coveted majors, with the exception of Margaret Court's 11 Australian Open titles, four won during the Open Era that began in 1968.
But Nadal's form never wavered, and soon enough he was celebrating his 17th Grand Slam title overall, second among men only to Roger Federer's 20.
Nadal is a tactical master on clay.
Rafael Nadal of Spain poses for photos during the awarding ceremony after the men's singles final against Dominic Thiem of Austria at the 2018 French Open Tournament in Paris, France on June 10, 2018.
Elaborating further on Nadal's French Open win, Federer added: "You can use only superlatives to describe that".
"By him winning it just creates the situation I was expecting, that I have to play the finals here to get back to world number one".
"For me [it] was scary, because I felt that I was not able to move the hand, the finger", Nadal said.
"If you told seven or eight years ago that I will be here at 32 years old having this trophy with me again, I will tell you that is something nearly impossible, but here we are".
Nadal had a brief moment of weakness in the first set, when the 24-year-old Austrian broke him in the third game. He lost in the semifinals in the last two years and has been the second best clay-court player in the world during that time.
"I think today I played my best match of the tournament", Nadal said. "You could nearly see the hand start cramping up as the fingers go stiff - it's a frightful feeling", Croft said.
Victory also took Nadal's record at Roland Garros to 86 wins and just two losses.
"Not that I did that a year ago, but on grass margins are very slim and it's not so simple, especially when you haven't played for three months".
While we have an edge here, I appreciate that backing a heavy odds-on shot isn't most people's cup of tea, so the game handicap should be a viable proposition.
Others highlighted Nadal's remarkable record at Roland Garros since first winning the title there in 2005.
"Now I have to come back to speak with my team and decide what's better for my body".
Halep, who confessed on Saturday that she feels drained, will take two weeks off before she shifts her focus to the grass season.
Earlier, Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya's hopes of becoming the first all-Japanese pair to win a Grand Slam women's doubles title were swamped by a barrage of big hitting from Czech pair Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova in the final. In the other semi-final, Marco Cecchinato's unusual run in the last two weeks was ended by Dominic Thiem, also in straight sets, although the first two sets were somewhat closer than anything Del Potro could muster.
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