Rod Laver: "Roger Federer is GOAT, but Djokovic cannot be overlooked"

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Rod Laver: "Roger Federer is GOAT, but Djokovic cannot be overlooked"

Novak Djokovic wrote yet another page of history at the Roland Garros 2021. The world number 1 managed to bring home an epic final, in which he recovered two sets of disadvantage to Stefanos Tsitsipas. The 34-year-old Serbian had already recovered Lorenzo Musetti and Rafael Nadal on his way to Paris, highlighting a physical and mental strength that perhaps has no equal in the modern era of the sport.

Thanks to his triumph in the Ville Lumiere, the Belgrade champion has also become the first man in the Open Era to have won all the majors at least twice. Roy Emerson had succeeded before him, but he had done it long before the advent of the Open Era.

Rod Laver, for his part, won all four Grand Slams for the first time in 1962. Nole has therefore hoisted himself to 19 Grand Slam titles, just one distance away from eternal rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In an interview for the ATP website, the legendary Rod Laver explained how Djokovic deserves to be included in the GOAT debate.

Laver said: "Djokovic is a monster from a mental point of view. Many people, myself included, believe that Roger Federer is the best ever. However, Novak Djokovic is setting one record after another, so you have to carefully analyze his career.

You can't help but include him among the greatest ever, he has now reached the tennis elite." Laver then praised the Serbian's mental strength: "I was able to complete the Grand Slam both as an amateur and as a professional, not just which was more difficult.

I am really thrilled with what Novak has accomplished. He was born to compete, he doesn't break down even in the most complicated situations, on the contrary he always finds the strength to raise his level of play. Mentally, we are facing one of the greatest of every era."

Rafael Nadal's new bagel record at the Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal's dream of winning the 14th Roland Garros and the 21 Grand Slam of his unparalleled career has vanished: the Spanish champion was in fact eliminated in the semi-final of Bois de Boulogne 2021 by his bitter rival Novak Djokovic, at the end of a hard-fought and intense match.

But in this tournament Rafa got a new record. In fact, thanks to a four-set win over Diego Schwartzman, twenty-time Grand Slam winner reached his 14th semifinal at the Roland Garros out of 17 appearances in Paris. For Rafa, the record is even more incredible considering that the Spaniard has won 105 matches out of 107 games.

The Argentinian was one of the players who has created the most problems for Nadal in recent times in Paris, the first to snatch a set from him from the 2019 final. At one point in the match the two were in complete equality in the third set and between the fans saw the conditions of Rafa began to spread the hypothesis of a sensational and incredible win.

However, the Spaniard closed the match by winning the third set with a break and then closing the fourth set with the result of 6-0, yet another career of the Spaniard and many Rafa has made them here in Paris. With the bagel in the fourth set on Schwartzman, Rafael Nadal became the first tennis player in the history of tennis in the Open era with 23 sets completed and won 6-0 in a single Grand Slam, thus breaking the record of Jimmy Connors who had won 22 sets 6-0 in the home Slam at the US Open.

Rafael Nadal's first 6-0 at Roland Garros came to his debut in this tournament in 2005 where he won by beating two good opponents such as Grosjean and David Ferrer, then approaching what would have been his first title (the first of many in Paris).

But not only them, some illustrious bagels of Rafa are remembered in the final both against Roger Federer and, for example, that of the opening set of last year's final against the current number one Novak Djokovic where the Spaniard totally annihilated the chances of victory of the Balkan champion.

Also in this edition of Roland Garros Nadal scored a 6-0 to our Jannik Sinner, beating him in three sets with the result of 7-5 6-3 6-0. After fighting in the first two sets, the Spaniard took off destroying every ambition of the young blue talent.

Players with more 6-0 in a single Grand Slam: Rafael Nadal - 23 at Roland Garros
Jimmy Connors - 22 at the US Open
Bjorn Borg - 20 at Roland Garros
Guillermo Vilas - 20 at Roland Garros
Ivan Lendl - 20 at the US Open