Rafael Nadal didn’t play much tennis in 2020, but he can still look back fondly on a historic year.
The Spaniard had a 27-7 record during the interrupted calendar year.
That equates to a 79% winning record – the third lowest since he made his proper breakthrough in 2005.
But the way he won Roland Garros – without losing a single set – will have put some real gloss on a crazy season.
The success in the delayed Paris event took Nadal on to 20 Grand Slam titles – tying him with Roger Federer.
Many would expect him to overtake his old foe in 2021, with the French Open once again looking like a good bet for the Spaniard.
But with so much else on offer next year, and Nadal in the latter stages of his career at 34, what else can he achieve from January onwards?
Nadal can improve in Melbourne and London
For all of Nadal’s success over the past 15 years, the Australian Open has not been his favourite event.
Only one of his 20 Slams have come in Melbourne, and it arrived all the way back in 2009.
He has finished as runner-up on four occasions since – with painful defeats to Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka lingering in the mind.
If Nadal can add a second title in Australia, or even go far, it will set him up for a mega 2021.
Remarkably, the Spaniard hasn’t won Wimbledon since 2010, and hasn’t even played in the final since 2011.
Adding to his 2008 Olympic gold may be on his mind a few weeks later in Tokyo, while the ATP Finals will be another big goal for Nadal.
But the truth is that Rafa is firmly in the driving seat in the Grand Slam Race with his old buddies Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Win Roland Garros two more times and you feel it’ll be hard for either to catch his overall tally.
That’s probably where his main focus will lie.
In other news, The unfinished business for Rafael Nadal in 2021