Leave it to others to decide whether Rafael Nadal is playing the best tennis of his career as he comes off a 10th French Open championship, his 15th Grand Slam title in all, and now turns his attention to Wimbledon.
After a 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 tour de force against Stan Wawrinka in the final at Roland Garros on Sunday, capping two weeks of nearly flawless tennis on red clay zero sets conceded; only 35 games dropped in seven matches Nadal was asked whether he would rate himself as highly as ever right now.
Wawrinka had fewer qualms about assessing Nadal, who leads the tour with four titles and 43 match wins this season, including a 24-1 record on clay.
There’s no rest for the weary: Play begins at the next major, Wimbledon, just three weeks from Monday.
Roger Federer, who claimed his record 18th major title by beating Nadal in the Australian Open final in January, will be back in action after taking the clay-court portion of the season off.
Novak Djokovic will try to get back on track after going through four Grand Slam tournaments without successfully defending any of the titles he won a year prior.
He skipped the tournament last year, when he was dealing with the injured left wrist that forced him to withdraw from the 2016 French Open after two matches.
At least his game is back in high gear after a lull: Nadal’s victory at the French Open was his first at a major tournament since 2014.
A reporter wanted to know whether, during that time, Nadal harbored any doubts about returning to the heights of his sport.
The doubts, I think, are good, because the doubts give you the possibility to work with more intensity, with being more humble, and accepting that you need to keep working hard to improve things,” he said.