By beating David Ferrer on Sunday to claim his eighth French Open, Rafael Nadal now has more victories in a single major than any male player in history.
By the time it's all said and done, we'll be able to take the gender qualifier off that statement. When, not if, Nadal gets to 10, he'll have passed Martina Navratilova’s open-era record of nine wins at a specific major. Hers came at Wimbledon.
It's also not out of the question that he could pass Margaret Court’s all-time record of 11. This is an absurd accomplishment, but what Nadal has already accomplished at Roland Garros defies reality.
Nadal has now won eight of the past nine French Opens, and he looked as dominant as ever beating Ferrer in straight sets:
This highlighted Nadal's comeback after missing seven months with knee issues, but it's not like there were many doubts about Nadal's level of play heading into the French.
He's been in nine tournaments since his return. He's made the final in every one and won seven of them. I think it is safe to say that he's made a full recovery.
It's now safe to start thinking of a decorated future.
Nadal just turned 27. Assuming his knees hold up, the 12-time major winner should have at least another two years of playing elite tennis.
Given that he is now 59-1 at Roland Garros, Nadal is a near lock to win the next two years. This clay-court master will also be a force on the surface even when he has lost a little athletically, which is why the all-time record of 11 isn't out of the question.
Even when Nadal's athleticism does start to slip, he will have the ferocious mentality that Ferrer alluded to in this ATP tweet:
Nadal will have to contend with Novak Djokovic, and it took him over five hours to earn a five-set victory over his rival in the semifinals this year. However, I'm still not going to bet against Nadal.
Djokovic isn't going to get any better on clay than he is now, and Rafa has still gotten the better of him every time they've met at Roland Garros.
With his run this year, Nadal proved he will add to his unmatched legend at the French.
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