King Rafa of clay
No athlete has ever been better at any venue than Rafael Nadal has been on the clay at the French Open.
On June 9, the 33-year-old Spanish player won his 12th French Open, after a difficult year in which he was bothered by injuries that led him to pull out of 10 tournaments. This achievement marked his 18th major singles crown, and pulled him within two of his frenemy Roger Federer's record 20 men's singles major titles.
On June 7, Nadal and Federer met in the semifinals of French Open, which ended the 37-year-old Swiss player's quest for his 21st major title.
"If you want to achieve something on the clay, inevitably, at some stage, you will go through Rafa," Federer told the Arab News after the match. "The way he defends the court and plays on clay, there's nobody who even plays remotely close to him."
Meanwhile, Nadal said that having Federer in the semifinals was an extra bonus. "We've shared the most important moments of our careers together on the court facing each other," Nadal told USA Today.
Indeed, one who travels with you for the whole journey should be cherished.