French Open 2018: Rafael Nadal’s clay-court exploits in numbers
Rafael Nadal has won 408 ATP matches on clay and claimed 56 titles on his favourite surface as he eyes an 11th French Open title.tennis Updated: May 24, 2018 17:30 IST
Rafael Nadal became the first man to win 10 French Open singles titles last year and the world number one has continued to write his name in the record books this season.
The Spaniard remains peerless on clay, dispatching his rivals with disdain on the red dirt, and it is hard to envisage who will dethrone him at Roland Garros.
Nadal has won three of his four tournaments on his favourite surface since returning from a hip injury, his latest success coming in the Internazionali d’Italia last Sunday.
That triumph put him back on top of the rankings after losing that status with a defeat to Dominic Thiem in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open, which ended his astonishing record of 50 consecutive sets won on a single surface.
Here’s a look at some of the statistics which have earned Nadal the nickname ‘King of Clay’.
56 - The top-ranked player on the planet has racked up a whopping 56 ATP singles titles on clay and has 78 to his name in total.
408 - He can boast an incredible 408 wins on clay, losing just 36 times.
11 - Nadal won a record 11th Monte Carlo Masters title before reaching the same tally at the Barcelona Open and he has an 11th in his sights in the French capital.
8 - Victory over Alexander Zverev in Rome earned him a record eighth title at the Foro Italico.
50 - Nadal surpassed John McEnroe’s tally of 49 sets won in a row in Madrid, the American having held that record - achieved on carpet - since 1984.
21 -The imperious left-hander had won 21 matches on the spin on clay prior to coming unstuck against Thiem, who was the last man to beat him before that on the red dirt 12 months earlier.
10 & 6 - The Mallorca native’s tally of French Open titles is four more than Bjorn Borg, who is next on the Open Era list of men’s champions at Roland Garros.
3 - Nadal regained his title in Paris last year without losing a set for a third time. Ilie Nastase (1973) and Bjorn Borg (1978 and 1980) are the only other men to have done so.
2 - The 31-year-old has lost only two of 81 matches in the second major of the year, going down to Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and Novak Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals.
1 - Nadal is the only man to have won the same grand slam title 10 times.
First Published: May 24, 2018 17:30 IST