Rafael Nadal made his debut at Roland Garros in 2005. A teenager was one of the favorites, and he showed it in court to lift his first Grand Slam crown and became the last teenager to do it. Rafa has been a player defeated in Paris for almost two decades, won 13 titles in the previous 17 trips to the French capital.
Rafa has won 110 out of 113 matches played in Roland Garros, and is on the way to the 14th week. Nadal reached the 15th semifinal Roland Garros in 18 appearances in his favorite major, defeating five opponents and came in two wins from the 22nd main title.
In doing so, Nadal becomes the second player with 15 semi-finals at a single Major, matching Roger Federer’s achievement at the Australian Open. With a foot injury, Rafa was unsure of his chances at Roland Garros, traveling to Paris with his doctor and hoping for the best.
The Spaniard got off to a victorious start, beating Jordan Thompson 6-2 6-2 6-2 in two hours and two minutes. Nadal gave up 16 points on serve and converted half of his return points in seven breaks from 11 chances. Rafa faced Corentin Moutet in the second round and scored a 6-3 6-1 6-4 victory in two hours and nine minutes during the night session on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
The Spaniard experienced two breaks and responded with seven return games on his account to control the scoreboard and advance without spending too much time on the court. In another similar matchup, Rafa defeated Botic Van De Zandschulp 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in two hours and 11 minutes to advance to the Round of 16.
Rafael Nadal beat Alexander Zverev
In some post-match quotes compiled by Marca, Rafael Nadal lamented his condition, even going to the length of admitting that he would prefer to have a pain-free life than a 22nd Major title. “I prefer to lose the final and have a new foot that allows me to be happier in my day to day life,” Rafael Nadal said.
“Winning is good and fills you with a moment of joy. But life goes on and that is the most important thing. I have life in front of me and I want to play amateur sports with my friends and now this is unknown.”
Rafael Nadal pointed to that fact, adding that it was difficult to generate as much topspin and bounce on the ball. He believes he was fortunate to win the first set since Zverev had four straight-set points during the tiebreaker.
“These were the slowest conditions because it was very humid. In addition, there was the and it was difficult to create effects on the ball,” said the 13-time champion. “The first set that I won was a miracle, but I have been fighting all the time. I have suffered with the humidity, but I think he does too.”