Photo: Dita Alangkara Associated Press
On the 29th of January last, Roger Federer, right, was congratulated by Rafael Nadal after winning the victory in the finals for the men of the Australian Open.
Who would have thought, at the beginning of the year, as Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will share the four Grand Slam trophies in 2017 ?
With his crowning new york on Sunday, Nadal chalked up a 16th major title to his track record : three at Flushing Meadows, the record total of ten at Roland-Garros (the most recent one in June, shortly after his 31st birthday), two at Wimbledon and one at Melbourne.
The brand of male : the 19 accolades of Federer. A record with eight at the All England Club (of which, in July, shortly before his 36th birthday), five in the International of the United States, five in Australia (including January) and one in Paris.
“It is sure that there are eight or nine months, it was hard to imagine that we could each add two Grand Slam titles, said Nadal. But here we are. “And here they are ranked first and second in the ATP.
The Swiss has started the season in 16th, having remained on the sidelines in the second half of 2016, the time to recover from trouble on the back and left knee.
The Spaniard was ninth, is being cancelled after the second round at Roland Garros, and then to miss Wimbledon because of an injury to the left wrist.
At the beginning of the year, Federer has not won major tournament for the past four and a half years. Nadal, himself, had not even reached a semi-final for the past two and a half years.
However, it is them who have crossed the iron in the ultimate game to International to Australia — a ninth final one against the other in a Grand Slam. We saw at least two finals against each stage of the Grand Slam except the us, where they have never faced each other in the last game.
“I was surprised,” conceded Nadal, about to see the two in the final in Melbourne.
It was the first final prestige the featuring since 2011 at Roland Garros. “No matter how talented you are, that these two have taken all the headlines [in 2017], it is quite a feat,” said Kevin Anderson, outclassed 6-3, 6-3, and 6-4 by Nadal, Sunday.
“When they are healthy, they have so many tools in their arsenal. And this is without counting on all the experience they have accumulated, ” added the South African.
It didn’t hurt that Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka experiencing declines in regime or are slowed down by injury. The three were absent at Flushing Meadows.
Remain “Rafa” and Roger, alone in a class of its own.
“There are probably only two things that we share, mentioned Nadal. The passion for what we do : the passion in tennis, the passion of the competition. And also a philosophy of always wanting to improve. “