Rafael Nadal arrived in double figures at the BNL Internationals of Italy, having won his tenth title at the Foro Italico in Rome last Sunday. The Spanish champion, whose season on red had started with more shadows than lights, had risked a lot against Denis Shapovalov in the second round by canceling two match points. Since then, the former world number 1 has upped his engine revs by putting Alexander Zverev, Reilly Opelka and Novak Djokovic in line in the final. Thanks to this triumph, the 34-year-old from Manacor has once again proved that he is the man to beat at Roland Garros, which will start a week late due to the delicate health situation in France. An eventual 14th triumph in the French capital would also allow the Majorcan to overtake his eternal rival Roger Federer in the all-time Grand Slam standings for the first time. Speaking on the Tennis Channel, two-time French Open champion Jim Courier stressed the enormous importance of the triumph in Rome for Nadal’s season. The Iberian has sent a good signal to all his rivals.
Jim Courier on Rafael Nadal
“Winning this one the way that he did (by saving match points), (and) taking out Novak, that’s a statement for Rafael Nadal,” Jim Courier said. The American also reckons Djokovic could skip the second ATP 250 Belgrade event in order to get some rest ahead of the claycourt Major. “(It) puts him (Nadal) in great position now, especially with the two weeks off,” Courier said. “Good for both of these guys unless Novak decides to play in Belgrade like he is slated to – I doubt that. I think that both will rest and get ready for what really matters and that is Roland Garros. Rome matters to almost everyone and they (Djokovic and Nadal) care about it but the real history they are playing for, happens in a few weeks,” Courier added. Over the years, avid tennis followers have seen Rafael Nadal set unbreakable records. After being on Tour for close to two decades, the Spaniard has developed a habit of breaking his own records and rewriting history. His contribution to the sport has been one of a kind. Yesterday, after winning his 1oth title at the Masters tournament played at the Italian capital in Rome, Rafael Nadal achieved another incredible statistic. He topped the charts for beating the World No. 1 player for the most number of times. In his career so far, Nadal has beaten the World No. 1 player at that time on 22 occasions!