There was high praise for Rafael Nadal from Roger Federer after the Spaniard’s latest “unbelievable” Roland Garros title, describing the achievement as “gigantic”.
Nadal won a record-extending 14th French Open crown last Sunday, defeating Casper Ruud in straight sets in the final on Court Philippe-Chatrier. The trophy also saw him edge further ahead of Federer and Novak Djokovic in the race for most Grand Slams as he moved to 22 with his great rivals still on 20.
It is his 14th crown in Paris, though, that is leaving many bowing down to him as his Roland Garros titles now matches the number of majors that Pete Sampras has in total.
“I didn’t watch the final, I watched the quarter-final [against Djokovic] a bit before I went to sleep,” the Swiss icon told journalist and his biographer Simon Graf. “In general, it’s just unbelievable what Rafa has achieved.
“The record of Pete Sampras, which I beat, was 14 Grand Slam titles. “Now Rafa won the French Open 14 times. That’s unbelievable. I was happy for him that he did it again.
“Hats off to Rafa. After the 10th, 11th time, I already thought: ‘This can’t be.’ He keeps raising the bar. It’s gigantic.”