A statue of Rafael Nadal, the 13-time and defending champion at Roland Garros, has finally been erected. It was in the works since it was approved back in 2017, following Nadal’s reclamation of the French Open title. The all-metal statue, commissioned by the French Tennis Federation, stands six meters (20 feet) tall and was built in Paris.
Nadal’s statue will be inaugurated to coincide with the French Open draw Thursday evening. The statue will mark the Spaniard’s insurmountable 13 triumphs on the terre battue at Roland Garros. The statue wears the same color as the red dirt. The structure, erected at Gate 1 on the grounds of the musketeers, resembles the Spanish bull alongside Nadal in action, playing his trademark topspin forehand. The FFT has also placed a life-size terra cotta image of Nadal outside the stadium. Back in 2014, Nike had unveiled a life-sized statue of Rafael Nadal that shows him celebrating. That statue was also sculpted in red, to signify the Spaniard’s clay prowess.
The sculpture comes following a few more changes seen at the French Open, including a retractable roof on top of the Philippe Chatrier court introduced last year. The symbolic and iconic statue couldn’t come at a better time, and perhaps is the least the organizers could have done to recognize the Spanish matador’s exceptional achievements at this event.
Nadal added to his insane streak of French Open titles last Fall when he demolished Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the final. He is looking to further his incredible run at Roland Garros when he descends on the red dirt next week. He has reportedly started practicing at the event on Thursday. Sitting pretty with a ridiculous 100-2 match record at the French Open, Nadal is the overwhelming favorite yet again. Can anyone at all stop him?
Main Photo from Getty.