Carlos Moya has labeled Rafael Nadal an "extra-terrestrial" after the Spaniard won his 10th Monte Carlo Masters title on Sunday (23 April). It was the first time in the Open Era that a player has won a single tournament ten times.
Nadal has been the dominant force on clay ever since his emergence and apart from his dominance in the Principality, he has also won the Barcelona Open on nine occasions. But his biggest achievement has got to be his nine titles in Roland Garros, as it makes up for the bulk of his 14-Grand Slam titles.
Moya, who joined Nadal's coaching team just prior to the start of the 2017 season, is confident that this achievement will be spoken about for a long time. The 40-year-old coach believes the 14-time men's singles Grand Slam champion is clearly one of the favourites to claim his tenth French Open crown later in June, but made it clear their focus will be on the ongoing tournament in Barcelona and the upcoming events in Madrid and Rome prior to second major of the year.
"When I came on the Tour we had seen Borg's six Roland Garros or all the times that Sampras won in Wimbledon," Moya said, as quoted by Tennis World USA. "There were abnormal things, but it overcomes everything. It's unbelievable and it will last for a long time. For many years you will speak about an extra-terrestrial who won ten times in Monte Carlo, nine in Barcelona and especially nine at the Roland Garros."
"It has been a little bit strange start of the year with the first two players in the world who can't play their best tennis," Moya said referring to Murray and Djokovic when asked about Nadal's biggest rival on clay.
"I don't know who can be Nadal's ultimate opponent on clay. This week he took a step forward to be one of the big favourites for Roland Garros, although it's still far away and you need to think step-by-step. Now there is Barcelona, we have to be calm, even if the first week on clay was fantastic."