Tennis is still played in the Spanish language. Since the late 1990s, many Spanish players have made their mark, both at the Grand Slam level and in the ATP rankings. From Carlos Moyá to Juan Carlos Ferrero, both winners of a Roland Garros (in 1998 and 2003 respectively) and both former world number ones (in 1999 and 2003 respectively).
Also a French Open finalist was David Ferrer, who was also number one in Spain for a short time. Here are some other interlopers in what became Rafael Nadal’s domain: 14 Roland Garros, 22 total Slam titles, 209 weeks at number one.
In recent years, other tennis players have appeared on the circuit, but have not achieved the same feats as the Iberian champion. The same tennis players, who have been in the shadow of Nadal in terms of results, now partially reverse the scenario.
The world number three in this 2022 has won two Grand Slam titles out of three (Australian Open and Roland Garros), but has not won any title at the 1000 level. He reached the final at the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, but the victory went to Taylor Fritz, due in part to the poor physical condition of the Spaniard.
Three of the six 1000 trophies played so far have, however, gone to tennis players from the Spanish country. Carlos Alcaraz started with a Miami victory over Casper Ruud in straight sets, with the first Masters 1000 of his career, under 19 years old.
Two months later, the Spanish number two repeated: victory at the Mutua Madrid Open, losing only four games to his rival, the German Alexander Zverev, in the two doubles matches played.
Rafa on how he dealt with pressure
Rafael Nadal said that players must come to accept that only one can emerge victorious at the end of any tournament and that it’s normal to lose a lot of matches in one’s career.
“The thing is, at the end of the day when you play this sport you know that at the end of the week there’s gonna be only one guy with the trophy. The normal thing every week is to lose. The dynamics and the sport changes very quickly and you need to be ready to accept both things, the victories and the amazing things that can happen but at the same time, the injuries the tough moments, the losses. It’s something that is part of our sport and we need to deal with that,” Nadal said.