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30 for 30: Rafa's RG records celebrated on his birthday

By Julien Pichené   on   Friday 03 June 2016
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On his 30th birthday, takes a look back at 30 of the Spaniard's records at Roland-Garros, his most prolific Grand Slam tournament.

Rafael Nadal in numbers at Roland-Garros

> 9 singles titles, the same number as Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl and Gustavo Kuerten combined.

> 9 finals contested, three more than Bjorn Borg, who had been the record-holder since 1981.

> 9 semi-finals played, two more than trophy holder Henri Cochet, whose record was beaten by Rafael Nadal in 2013.

> A title won at each of his first four tournaments, beating Bjorn Borg, who "only" won two of his first four tournaments.

> 72 total matches won in the 12 years he played here. The Spaniard is far ahead of Roger Federer, a distant second with 65 victories.

> 56 matches played on Philippe-Chatrier Court, a record he currently shares with six-time winner German Steffi Graf.

> 53 matches won on Philippe-Chatrier Court, an all-time record across all eras.

> 16 matches played on Suzanne-Lenglen Court, where he won every match.

> The only Roland-Garros champion never to have played a single match on an outside court.

> The only player since Michael Chang in 1989 to have won the tournament before his 20th birthday (the day of his second win, 11 June 2006, he was 20 years and 8 days old).

> The only player since Mats Wilander to have won the tournament the first time he entered (in 2005).

> 39 consecutive matches won between 2010 and 2015, 11 more than Bjorn Borg, who held the previous record with 28 consecutive matches won between 1978 and 1981.

> 53 matches won three sets to love, 9 more than Roger Federer and 22 more than Bjorn Borg.

> 97.29% win rate, the best in the Open Era. Rafael Nadal leads Bjorn Borg, who comes in second with a 96.07% win rate at Roland-Garros.

> Has won 92.3% of sets played. For 74 matches played at Roland-Garros, Rafael Nadal dropped only 18 sets (to 11 different opponents). This is the best win rate among players having played at least 50 matches at Roland-Garros.

> Only 2.7% of his matches have gone to five sets, the lowest rate among players having played over 50 matches. Only Novak Djokovic and John Isner crossed swords with the Spaniard for 5 sets at Roland-Garros. They both lost.

> The only player to have played at Roland-Garros at least 10 times and to never have lost (excluding this year’s withdrawal) before the round of 16.

> The only player to have made as many finals without ever dropping a set. In 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, the Spaniard won his first six matches in three sets.

> Along with Bjorn Borg, the only other player to have won the title twice without losing a single set. In 2008 and 2010, he went 21 for 21.

> The only player to have played five finals in a row (2010 to 2014).

> He has beaten a world No.1 player at Roland-Garros more times than any other player (Roger Federer in 2005-2008 and Novak Djokovic in 2012, 2014)

> The player who has lost the fewest games upon reaching the semi-finals. In 2008, the man from Mallorca lost just 25 games during his first five rounds.

> The player who has most often celebrated his birthday during the tournament. He has blown out 241 candles in all.

Rafa on clay

> 81 consecutive matches won between Monte Carlo 2005 and Hamburg 2007. It was at Roland-Garros, after his first-round victory in 2006 against Robin Soderling, that Rafa beat the previous record of 53 straight wins held since 1977 by Guillermo Vilas.

> The first player since Bjorn Borg in 1978 not to have lost a single match on clay during an entire season. In 2006, Nadal won four back-to-back clay tournaments: Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland-Garros. In 2010, he repeated this feat with Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Rome and Roland-Garros.

> 7-time Monte Carlo-Roland-Garros double winner (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012): more than Borg, Nastase and Muster put together.

> 6-time Rome-Roland-Garros double winner (2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2013): three times as many as Bjorn Borg.

> The only player ever to win the clay season’s four biggest tournaments in the same year. In 2010, Rafa won back-to-back tournaments at Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Rome and Roland-Garros.

> Rafa is tied with Guillermo Vilas for the most titles on clay. Rafa matched the Argentinian’s 49 career titles with his mid-April win in Barcelona.

> The best win-loss record on clay in the Open Era. Rafael Nadal has won an incredible 91.47% of his matches played on clay.

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