Rafael Nadal - The God of Clay

As a Roger Federer fan, it was customary to dislike Nadal or at least see him as a bitter rival over the years.

But my heart has warmed to him as both players have gotten older. Not many expected Nadal’s dominance on clay to continue after two consecutive years without winning, in 2015 and 2016 (the first time in his career). But 2017 saw Nadal win his own décima and write a new chapter in the record books.

Rafa’s supremacy on clay is staggering. Here are some stats from his most recent run (since 29th May 2017 and still going):

  • 46 consecutive sets won
  • 11 sets won 6-1
  • 6 sets won 6-0
  • 1 set losing more than 4 games
  • 96 games lost in 46 sets
  • Average of 2.09 games lost/set

(courtesy of Jonathan Newman on Twitter)

And some more:

  • 53–8 record in clay court tournament finals
  • Only lost two best-of-5 matches on clay
  • 10 French Opens, 11 Monte-Carlo Masters, 11 Barcelona Opens and 7 Rome Masters
  • The first and only male player in the Open Era to win a single tournament 11 times.

Bow down to the God of Clay.

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