Maximilian Materer ranks Rafael Nadal as the undisputed GOAT on clay

3 January, 2023

No Tennis player has won a single ATP tournament 14 times in his career and Rafael Nadal went a limb ahead to win the Roland Garros 14 times in his illustrious career. Since he started playing in Paris for the grand slam title back in 2005, only three other individuals have won the title in this neck of the woods – Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka, and Novak Djokovic (twice). 

Nadal has gone on to win 22 grandslam titles in his legendary career, more than any other male tennis player in history. Novak Djokovic is a close second with 21 titles and that race will only get interesting in 2023 with both stars looking to usurp each other right from the Australian Open 2023. 

German tennis star Maximilian Marterer has revealed that playing against Nadal was a very difficult challenge, which does not come as a surprise for many. He was up against Nadal in the 2018 French Open fourth round, where the Spaniard emerged victorious in straight sets. Marter gave him a tough fight in the third set, dragging the iconic player down to a tie-break, but experience of Nadal helped him see that through easily. 

“On clay, for sure,” Marterer declared when asked whether the 14-time French Open champion is the greatest of all time.

Talking about the match, Marterer said, “It was indeed the biggest match of my career. I remember I was so nervous that day. I saw what makes the difference like he’s not giving you anything. Even if the match takes a little longer, even if it gets a little closer, he is at a hundred percent through pretty much every game. You have to do good for five straight sets. It’s a challenge that not many achieved, especially at the French Open.”

Marterer is currently in Pune for the Maharashtra Open 2023, where he is aiming to get back into the top 50 rankings in the world (current ranking 159). The 27-year-old is yet to win an ATP title and acknowledged that a good performance here could do him a world of good.