Tennis is still played in Spanish. 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 Slam titles in total, 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 number three in the world 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. She reached the final of the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells, but the victory went to Taylor Fritz, due in part to the poor physical condition of the Spaniard.
However, three of the six 1000 trophies disputed so far have fallen to tennis players from the Spanish country. Carlos Alcaraz kicked off with a Miami win over Casper Ruud in straight sets, his first career Masters 1000 under-19s.
Two months later, the Spanish number two repeated: victory at the Mutua Madrid Open, losing only four matches to his rival, the German Alexander Zverev, in the two doubles matches played.
Rafa on how he dealt with the 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 is normal to lose many matches in the race.
“The thing is, at the end of the day, when you play this sport, you know at the end of the week there will only be one guy with the trophy. The normal thing every week is to lose. The dynamics and the sport change very quickly and you have to be prepared to accept both, the victories and the incredible things that can happen, but at the same time, the injuries, the difficult moments, the defeats. It is something that is part of our sport and we have to deal with it,” Nadal said.