Roger Federer praises Rafael Nadal: ‘He is unbelievable’

Last week, Rafael Nadal secured the 22nd Major title at Roland Garros and moved two in front of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Nadal accomplished another perfect fortnight in Paris despite severe pain in his foot. He took injections ahead of every match and passed all the challenges to lift the 14th trophy at his beloved Major. Roger Federer congratulated his great rival, texting him after the final and calling his achievement unbelievable in a recent interview. At 36, Nadal became the oldest Roland Garros winner, 17 years after conquering the first title as a teenager! Heading to Paris with a troubled foot and only a couple of matches on clay, Rafa demonstrated his Roland Garros magic and improved his incredible numbers that should stay for good. Nadal kicked off his 18th Roland Garros campaign with commanding victories over Jordan Thompson, Corentin Moutet and Botic Van De Zandschulp. In the fourth round, the Spaniard faced the first serious rival in Felix Auger-Aliassime.

After winning sets one and four, the Canadian forced Rafa’s rare five-setter in Paris and announced a stunner. The more experienced player shifted into a higher gear to prevail and reach the last eight after almost four and a half hours. Things were only getting more challenging for Nadal, with world no. 1 Novak Djokovic waiting on the other side of the net. After a massive battle, Rafa delivered a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6 triumph in four hours and 12 minutes to dethrone the Serb and gain a massive boost ahead of the semi-final. Djokovic gave his best in sets two and four and had two set points at 5-3 to force a decider.

Roger Federer said nice words about Rafael Nadal.

Nadal denied them, broke back and clinched the set in the tie break to emerge at the top and preserve energy. Alexander Zverev pushed Rafa even harder in the semi-final, and the second set was still on when they passed the three-hour mark! Nadal fended off four set points in the opener and erased the deficit in the second for 7-6, 6-6. Zverev had to retire after injuring his right ankle, leaving the court in tears and sending Nadal into the 14th Roland Garros final. Casper Ruud tried to prevent Rafa’s 14th title, but it was not to be for him in his first Major final. The Spaniard scored a 6-3, 6-3, 6-0 victory in two hours and 18 minutes, playing well and breaking the Norwegian eight times to emerge at the top and claim the second Major crown of the season.¬†

“In general, it’s just unbelievable what Rafa has achieved,” Roger Federer said.