Rafael Nadal makes impossible possible at French Open, says Gustavo Kuerten

Gustavo Kuerten does not feel Roger Federer has any chance of claiming a win against Rafael Nadal at the French Open.

Published : Jun 08, 2019 14:27 IST

Rafael Nadal has made the impossible possible at the French Open and is able to overcome Roger Federer in "routine" fashion on clay, says three-time Roland Garros champion Gustavo Kuerten.

The 'King of Clay' was in stunning form as he saw off Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 on Court Philippe-Chatrier on Friday, extending his 100 per cent record against the Swiss in Paris to six matches. Nadal now has a chance to become the first player to win the same Grand Slam on 12 separate occasions, though he will not learn of his opponent until Saturday with Novak Djokovic's match against Dominic Thiem held over due to rain.

WATCH | Federer: 'There's no one like Nadal on clay'

Kuerten was in awe of Nadal's achievements in Paris and he does not believe Federer, who was featuring at the French Open for the first time since 2015, will add to his two victories over Nadal on clay — the last of which came in 2009.

'Once-of-an-era rivalry'

"It's a once-of-an-era rivalry. These guys are completely perfect inside and outside the court, so that is great too. And we are so lucky to have them so long in the courts," Kuerten told Omnisport in Paris.

"And, of course, Nadal we know he's the great favourite against everybody. Doesn't matter if it's the best of all time like Roger or whoever comes in at the other side. Here at the French Open he just feels himself. Convicted and ready, much better than the others and it makes the impossible become possible. And we can see a domination like, or even higher, than his best times on court."

Superhuman Nadal

Asked how impressive claiming six wins out of as many matches against Federer at the French Open is, Kuerten said: "For a human being it's impossible, and for Nadal it's normal.

Read | Federer has another three years in him, says Kuerten

"I think if they play 10 times here at French Open he's going to beat Roger every single time, especially over the next years. Now on clay for him it's the place he's preparing better and getting ready for.

"Roger is the other way around. He came this year after a long time and he knows it's more and more difficult every single year to be really successful, especially against Rafa on this surface.

"So at the end it's massive. You don't realise it can be possible but on his side, especially [on Friday] you see it's routine for him. He knows he can go there and beat Roger six out of six times. That's the reality.

"I don't see Federer or other guys beating him. Of course, the young players would have a better and better chance in the future. But I thought like that five years ago and it didn't happen, so perhaps they need to wait for their future become real another three or five years."

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