Who rules on clay ahead of RG?
Number-crunch any digits from 0 to 429, and it all adds up to sheer brilliance for Rafael Nadal.
King of Clay, Rafael Nadal, stormed onto the scene by winning Roland-Garros on debut as a 19-year-old in 2005.
He's been ruling the red dirt ever since, pulling off inconceivable feats and hitting unthinkable milestones. Here's a look at all the stats and figures surrounding Mallorca's Raging Bull.
0 — Nadal has never been taken to five sets in his 11 Roland-Garros finals.
He has never lost consecutive matches on clay in his 17-season career.
1 — The Spaniard always walks on court with one racquet in hand (this is just one of his 19 idiosyncratic on-court rituals).
Nadal is the first player ever to complete the “Clay Slam” - the three clay Masters 1000 events (Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid) plus Roland-Garros in the same calendar year (2010).
He has only once lost a tiebreak at Roland-Garros (and won 11).
If he is victorious at RG19, he will be the first male player to win 12 singles titles at any Tour-level event .
2 — Only twice has the man from Mallorca lost a match at Roland-Garros – against Swede Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009 and against Djokovic in the quarter-finals in 2015.
Two water bottles, one cold, one warm, form part of Nadal's rituals that he says keep him in the right mindset. He places both by his chair; when play ends, he moves the bottles so that the labels face the baseline of the end he is playing.
3 — He likes the ball kids to give him three balls to decide from before he serves.
4 — Nadal was the fourth of five men in the Open Era to win three or more Grand Slams after their 30th birthday. The others are Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Four times the Spaniard has ended the year ranked world No.1 (2008, 2010, 2013, 2017).
8 — Nadal tops the list for the most successful title defences at a single Grand Slam event in the Open Era with eight at Roland-Garros.
11 — The King of Clay is the sole player in history to win 11 titles at Roland-Garros and the only male player in history to win the same Grand Slam tournament 11 times.
Nadal is also the first player to win 11 titles at three different tournaments, having also completed La Undécima at Monte Carlo and Barcelona in 2018.
13 — The number of years between his first Grand Slam title win in 2005 and his most recent victory at Roland-Garros in 2018.
17 — The number of Grand Slam singles titles now held by Nadal, which puts him second on the men's all-time list behind Federer (20) and ahead of Djokovic (15).
24 — Nadal was only 24 when he became the youngest man in the Open Era to complete a career Grand Slam in 2010.
25 — The number of Grand Slam finals contested by Nadal, extending his position at second on the men's Open Era leaderboard, behind Federer (30) and ahead of Djokovic (21).
30-0 — The numbers Nadal's opponents do not want to see on the scoreboard when he is serving. In the five key clay-court events over the past four years, the Spaniard has only lost his serve 12 times out of 424 games after going 30-0 up. (Source: ATP).
33 — Nadal will enter the tournament aged 32, but his birthday falls on June 3. He is accustomed to sharing his celebrations with his Roland-Garros family.
34 — The record number of Masters 1000 titles Nadal holds.
50 — The number of consecutive sets won on clay by Nadal, breaking the previous record for most consecutive sets won on a single surface by John McEnroe (who won 49 on carpet in 1984). The Spaniard's streak began at RG17 and was ended by Dominic Thiem, who beat him in the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open in 2018.
58 — The record number of titles won by Nadal on clay.
78 — of Nadal’s 86 victories at Roland-Garros have come when he has won the first set.
81 — The maestro from Mallorca has won 81 career titles. This places him fourth on the all-time list behind Jimmy Connors (109), Federer (97) and Ivan Lendl (94).
91.7 — This is the percentage of matches Nadal has won on clay.
111 — The number of best-of-five set matches on clay won by Nadal (with just those two defeats to Soderling and Djokovic).
253 — Nadal's tally of Grand Slam match-wins.
290 — Grand Slam matches contested.
429 — Nadal's record number of total match wins on clay... sure to continue rising...
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