Winning the French Open and Wimbledon titles in succession is no longer one of the toughest feats in tennis, says Rafael Nadal, pointing out that reaching the finals of both has become almost normal.
Nadal swept the two majors back-to-back in 2008 and 2010, as well as winning the French Open and reaching the Wimbledon final in 2006, 2007, and 2011. Roger Federer won both in 2009, and reached the French Open final and won Wimbledon in 2006, as well as 2007. Federer also reached both finals in 2008.
Only four men in the Open era—Nadal, Federer, Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg—have achieved the feat in the Open era, though when Borg and Laver played the Wimbledon grass was faster than it is today.
''If we are thinking about our era, I don't see a big difference of winning Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, because if you're in the final, you really make the same adjustment,'' said the world No. 1. ''I was able to do that five times. Djokovic was able to play the final in Roland Garros, or semifinals, and then win here. So that match will not make a difference.''
But while the top players have generally found success on both grass and clay, Nadal added that the kind of consistency required to do well at both events is even tougher because of the demands of the tour.
''I don't see that win Roland Garros, and Wimbledon, is so difficult—one tournament by itself," he said.
''The tough thing today is mentally and physically you play a long clay-court season. Not only the clay-court season. You are coming from [an] American hard-court season. So one month in America, then one month and a half or two months in Europe, playing on clay. Then mentally if you are able to win Roland Garros, you already played a lot of time at your top, mentally and physically.''
Switching to grass in only two weeks then becomes difficult, observed Nadal. ''But the best players were able to do it very well [recently], the transition,'' he said.
For complete Wimbledon coverage, including updated draws and reports from Steve Tignor, head to our tournament page.