100 for the King: Numbers behind Rafa's latest Paris success

Moments after he hit the century mark, we take a closer look at Nadal's unfathomable body of work at Roland-Garros.

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2020, final, trophy© Cédric Lecocq/FFT
 - Chris Oddo

Never underestimate the King of Clay on his beloved terre battue in Paris.

Open roof, closed roof, spring or fall, it doesn’t seem to matter.

Once again the indomitable Rafael Nadal reigns supreme on the red clay at Roland-Garros, after defeating Novak Djokovic, 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 for his record 13th title. 

Join us for a look inside the numbers of Nadal’s latest mind-boggling triumph.

The century man 

With a lifetime record of 100-2 in Paris, Nadal becomes the first player to achieve triple digit match victories at Roland-Garros. 

Nadal joins a select group of players that have hit the century mark at the same Slam. He is the second male player to claim 100 victories at a single Grand Slam event, and joins Chris Evert (101-12 at the US Open), Roger Federer (102-15 at the Australian Open, 101-13 at Wimbledon), Martina Navratilova (120-14 at Wimbledon) and Serena Williams (106-14 at the US Open) on the complete list.

There was just one statistic that didn’t support the perfect symmetry of Nadal's triumph on Sunday: The 34-year-old contested his 1200th Tour-level match on Sunday in Paris, and won his 999th Tour-level match-win. Number 1,000 will have to wait. 

Roger’s got company 

Nadal joins Federer atop the all-time men’s singles Grand Slam titles list with 20.

The Mallorcan had been behind the Swiss ever since Federer claimed the Wimbledon title in 2003, but thanks to victories in six of his last seven major finals, he’s pulled even. 

Federer tweeted his congratulatory message not long after the final had finished. 

Nadal, speaking to reporters, had this to say about his achievement: 

“Let's see what's going on when we finish our careers," he said. "We keep playing. I don't know what can happen in the future. I am just excited and of course is something that means a lot to me. At the same time share this record between us, that we had an amazing rivalry for such a long time, is something in some way beautiful I really believe.”

Only Margaret Court (24), Serena Williams (23) and Steffi Graf (22) have won more major singles titles than Nadal. The Spaniard has won 20 of the 60 Grand Slam main draws he has participated in, including 13 of 16 at Roland-Garros.

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2020, final© Nicolas Gouhier/FFT

A baker’s dozen in Paris 

Since 2013, Nadal has stood alone in terms of Roland-Garros titles won, but each year in which he adds another Coupe des Mousquetaires to his trophy case, he makes more history. With his 2020 title, Nadal clears Navratilova to become the only professional player - male or female - to win the same tour event 13 times. 

Nadal is six titles clear of Evert (7) for the all-time lead in Roland-Garros singles titles won, and seven clear of the legendary Bjorn Borg (6) for the all-time lead in men’s singles titles won in Paris. 

At the Grand Slams, Nadal has now surpassed Margaret Court, who won 11 Australian Open titles, by two. 

With Sunday’s triumph, Nadal improves his overall record in Grand Slam finals to 20-8, and he raises his record in Roland-Garros finals to 13-0. When Nadal has reached past the quarter-finals in Paris, he has never lost, compiling a 26-0 record in Roland-Garros semi-finals and finals, combined. 

A quartet of undropped sets 

Nadal is now the only men’s singles player in history to win a major without dropping a single set four different times.

He’s done all that work in Paris, starting with his fourth Roland-Garros title, in 2008. Nadal ran the table without dropping a set in 2008 (41 games conceded), then again in 2010 (71 games conceded), 2017 (35 games conceded) and 2020 (53 games conceded). 

The only other men to win a Grand Slam title without dropping a set more than once are Borg (3) and Federer (2). 

Nadal has now won 30 consecutive matches for the third time at Roland-Garros and is eight wins shy of his career-best 39-match winning streak in Paris. He has won Roland-Garros four times in succession on three different occasions. 

Age is just a number 

By winning today’s title in Paris, Nadal now has won his sixth Grand Slam title since turning 30, which leaves him alone as the only man to have won more than five major singles titles beyond the age of 30.

Djokovic (5) is second on the list, and Federer, Rod Laver and Ken Rosewall (4) are tied for third. By winning the title today at the age of 34 years and 130 days, Nadal has become the oldest Roland-Garros men’s singles champion since Andres Gimeno won his lone title in Paris, in 1972.