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59-1 : 8 French Grand Slams : Nail Biter Semi-Final Match vs. Djoker : 12 Grand Slams in total.

Best Ever?? I don’t think so, it’s too early to say. Without Rafa’s dominance on clay he is a mere mortal with only 4 grand slams. Although it is unfair to compare Rafa’s accomplishments with Federer’s (17 and counting) I will say that for those who disqualify Rafa’s brilliance because of his dominance on clay is mistaken.

Even the great players of this era such as Federer and Djokovic have specialized in one particular tournament and have not excelled in others. Federer, for example, dominated Wimbledon for about a decade with 7 impressive wins but only 1 grand slam victory in Roland Garros.

Similarly Djokovic has dominated the Australian Open (which is the least exciting GS in my opinion) with 4 grand slam victories but 0 French Open wins (so far, we will see once Rafa’s hold of RS slips) and only 1 US Open victory.

So to say that Rafa’s amazing 12 GS count is not as impressive because of his 8 wins in RS is to say that Federer and Djokovic and every other tennis legend’s legacy is tarnished as well. But no one goes that far, I honestly think it just comes from a dark place where people just don’t want to give Rafa the respect he deserves.

Yes he plays with grit and instinct and not the poise and elegance of Federer or the fun, jolly, and entertaining feel of Djokovic but he is without a doubt one of the best there ever was.

12 and counting, he has his eyes on Federer’s record, but his knees might have other plans. Regardless, Vamos Rafa! And best of luck at Wimbledon! 5th seed is the cost of healthier knees but definitely makes for a better semi-final.

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-J-

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