World No.2 Tennis star, Rafael Nadal has been named the most dominant playerorteaminthe21st century, following a vote conducted by sports publication, ESPN. Nadal was one of 16 shortlisted and went head to-head with various legends in the voting rounds en route to the final.
The process was held over two weeks. During those rounds, Nadal beat off competition from LA Lakers legend; Kobe Bryant, boxer Floyd Mayweather and swimmer Michael Phelps.
In the final, Nadal was against athletics great Usain Bolt. The only person in history to win a gold medal in the 100M and 200M in three consecutive Olympic Games (2008-2016). Bolt is also a 14-time World Championships medallist with 11 of them being gold.
ESPN hasn’t published any figures concerning how many voted but has declared Nadal the overall winner.
The vote is in recognition of Nadal’s record at the FrenchOpen. He had won the Grand Slam a record 12 times, including 2005, when he made his debut in the tournament at the age of 18.Overall, he has won 93 out of 95 matches played there with his only losses being to Robin Soderling in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in 2015. At that tournament alone, he has made $22,051,715 in prize money, which is almost $14M more than Djokovic.
“What I have to do today is not think about if it’s incredible, because it’s a real thing for me. Even if it’s something I never dreamed about five, six, eight years ago, it’s happening today. And my goal is just try to keep going,” Nadal said after lifting the 2019 Roland Garros trophy. “It’s not about having excess ambition, but it’s about just trying to keep enjoying the things that I am doing.”