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Rafa Roundup: Nadal and Gasol raise more than €14m for Red Cross

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Rafael Nadal and the NBA’s Pau Gasol have announced that their Red Cross campaign has been successful in raising €14 million, more than their goal of €11 million.

The campaign also asked other Spanish sports figures to help with coronavirus fundraising in Spain, one of the most affected counties in Europe.

“I think that between all of us we have achieved something important,” said Nadal. “Not only the funds, which is more than 14 million, so the goal has been fully achieved, but the togetherness that we have shown.”

From 2005 to 2019, Rafael Nadal has lifted 12 titles and won 93 of his 95 matches at Roland Garros. If the city of Paris dedicated a street to their adopted Spanish son, it would be apropos to make sure it went only one way.

“Rafa is fine playing 10-12 events a year, making sure he is up for the French, getting his matches in, playing the Masters Series events on clay. Going into the US Open with very few hardcourt matches, Rafa feels comfortable about it. I think that he used to feel the desperation to take reps on surfaces that weren’t clay and now he is comfortable enough at the ripe old age of 34 to kind of go and trust the process.”

“He is going to have to grind through the first couple of rounds to gain form. But then once he does that, he is a legitimate contender at any Slam. As long as Rafa is healthy, you got to think he’ll win one Slam a year at least.”

Remember Rafael Nadal’s capris? Or the year his French Open final victory was played across two days?

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Novak Djokovic Set to Surpass Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in Another Elite Record

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All in all, it has been another fabulous year for World No.1 Novak Djokovic. One Grand Slam title, two Masters 1000 titles and he has consolidated his position at the number one spot in the ATP rankings. Djokovic is eyeing another record that he could match at the end of the 2020 season.

Djokovic now will most likely match Pete Sampras’ record of having the most number of year-end World No.1. Sampras has held the year-end number one ranking six times in his career. The ‘big 3’ of Novak DjokovicRafael Nadal, and Roger Federer are tied with five. So Djokovic could jump his arch-rivals and go equal with Sampras.

Novak Djokovic in the 2020 season till now

The Serbian jumped Nadal in the rankings early on in the season. After a bad Australian Open, Nadal lost a considerable amount of points and Djokovic won the Australian Open which helped him regain the number one ranking. After the season restart, Djokovic won the Cincinnati Masters which earned him points. Later he added the Italian Open and then by reaching the finals at French Open 2020, it helped Djokovic forge a huge gap from second-place Rafael Nadal. Djokovic is currently on 11,740 points to Nadal’s 9850.

Last year it was Nadal who held the year-end number one ranking which tied him level with Federer and Djokovic. Surprisingly Federer held the year-end number one ranking back in 2009 and since has reached the World No.1 ranking but has failed to stay on it till the end of the season.

Barring 2016, the big 3 have held the year-end number one ranking since 2004. In 2016 after a magical year from Andy Murray, the Brit held the number one ranking for the first time and ended the season ranked number one. He had won 9 titles including one Grand Slam title and he retained his Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

MASON, OH – AUGUST 19: Novak Djokovic of Serbis celebrates his win over Roger Federer of Switzerland during the men’s final of the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 19, 2018 in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

With the year-end number one ranking almost a certain for Djokovic, the Serbian has a longer goal of surpassing Federer’s record of most weeks as World No.1. Djokovic is into his 291st week as World No.1 and he is just 19 short of Federer’s 310.

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