‘Statue is not enough’: boss Roger Federer calls for French Open stadium to be renamed after Rafael Nadal

File photo of Rafael Nadal standing next to his statue at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal is the elite of the tennis world and the sports fraternity after overcoming severe physical obstacles to win the 2022 French Open men’s singles title. Nadal brushed aside the challenge of Casper Rudd in back-to-back rounds on Sunday to win his 14th title at Roland Garros and that expanded his record to 22 titles in Grand Slam twice ahead of his main rivals Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. What should have been satisfactory for the Spaniard was the fact that he defeated Djokovic in the quarter-finals to win that title. Nadal lost to Djokovic in the semi-finals last year, allowing the Serbs to win their second French Open title in 2021.

This is also the first time that Nadal has won the Australian Open and the French Open in the same year. While both Nadal and Federer have had a longstanding rivalry, the mutual respect between tennis legends of two generations is well known.

On Sunday, Federer’s current coach and former professional tennis player Ivan Ljubicic wrote on Twitter that the Philippe Chatrier Stadium at Roland Garros should be renamed after Nadal.

“Not many 14rolandgarros tournaments played. He’s won it 14 times. No word to describe this feat. Don’t think good old Philip would mind if his court changed the name to Rafael Nadal – the statue isn’t enough,” Ljubicic tweeted.

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Nadal now holds two Grand Slam titles ahead of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard had defeated Djokovic in the French Open quarter-finals and then advanced to the final after Alexander Zverev was forced to retire midway through the semi-finals.

The 36-year-old is now the oldest French Open winner since 34-year-old Andre Gimino in 1972.

Nadal finished the final against Ruud in 2 hours and 18 minutes, raising his French Open record to 112 wins with just three losses.

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Nadal never lost the French Open final, and made sure his record remained intact by defeating Casper Ruud on Sunday.

The Spaniard had sealed the final against Ruud with a backhand stroke, the 37th winner of the final.

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