‘I never conceded the French title to Rafael Nadal as…’, says analyst

Since the beginning of the Open Era, only four players have reached 40 Major quarterfinals. The first was Jimmy Connors, who remained competitive for nearly two decades despite dropping “just” eight titles out of 41 appearances in the last eight. Roger Federer matched the American and moved further away, standing at 58 and keeping the closest opponents behind him. Novak Djokovic sits at 51st after an exciting campaign in 2021, while Rafael Nadal is seven behind him. Nadal advanced to his 42nd Major quarter-final of 60 appearances at Roland Garros last year, passing Jimmy Connors to take third place on this list. Nadal’s fourteenth Roland Garros quarter-final and eleventh in a row at Majors came after a resounding 6-1, 6-1 and 6-2 victory over young American Sebastian Korda in one hour and 55 minutes. The Spaniard saved five of six break opportunities to increase pressure in a qualifier and secured eight breaks of 11 chances to march into the quarters without dropping a set. Rafa fended off two break opportunities in the first game of the service winners encounter and avoided an early setback after four deuces. Korda missed a backhand to find himself 2-0 down, and Nadal secured Game 3 with a winning volley at the net. Losing ground after a promising start, Sebastian double faulted to lose serve again in the fourth game and allowed Rafa to forge a 5-0 lead with a forehand. The American held solid after a serve winner to finally add his name on the scoreboard before Nadal brought the seventh home game after two 6-1 in 37 minutes.

Jimmy Arias opens up on Nadal

Over the years, the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, has been one of the greatest forces in the men’s game. The southpaw is almost synonymous with clay-court dominance with an astonishing 13 French Open titles to his name. Beating Nadal on clay is the career highlight of many players on the ATP Tour, not that many have achieved the feat. Recently, former player and now analyst Jimmy Arias was talking about the Spaniard. He felt that there would come a time when Rafa would be dethroned, on clay. He did add the caveat that, each time he felt so previously, he was proven wrong by the Spaniard who kept on winning titles in the French capital. The 57-year-old former player stated, “I never conceded the French title to Nadal as some others did. I’ve often felt that Rafa is on the verge of being beatable, but then he’d get to Roland Garros and win. He proved me wrong every time a lot of times. But now he’s showing some wear in that armor.”

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