Times change and Tennis moves on but Rafael Nadal’s legacy on clay and particularly at Roland Garros will forever be an unmatched phenomenon.

Tennis moves on quicker than any other individual sport, there isn’t much time with the demand of the tour to celebrate success and take your foot off the accelerator. Winning titles is a major part of the sport but as is keeping with the sport as it moves on and no one has done that better than Rafael Nadal.

Not only is his record on clay simply outstanding but his record at Roland Garros is an unmatched phenomenon. It’s one of those records that I can never seen being beaten and his numbers to date on clay are crazy:

100 wins at Roland Garros
2 defeats at Roland Garros
13 Roland Garros titles
445 career singles wins on clay
40 career singles defeats on clay
11 Monte-Carlo Masters titles
5 Madrid Open titles
9 Italian Open titles
60 clay court singles titles

Since his tour debut in 2003, 18 years ago he has just lost 40 matches on clay which is about 2.2 a year and average one defeat for every eleven matches won and it takes seven to win a major and five to win a Masters title.

Year on year Rafa just comes back and wins at Roland Garros time and time again. Surprisingly it was the last of the four majors that Rafa first appeared in back in 2005 and since then it’s been a hell of story.

He’s played for sixteen consecutive years at Roland Garros, won thirteen titles and lost two matches in sixteen years. In 2016 he did go out in the third round but withdrew injured.

Since 2010 he has missed over 20 Masters 1000 events and plenty of tennis due to injury but still boasts an outstanding record of 35 Masters titles which is only bettered by Djokovic on 36 but year in year out turns up in Paris and keeps his crown as the King of Clay.

Challenges have come in: Roger, Novak, Andy, Stan, Dominic and many others have turned up looking to challenge the Spaniard but as tennis moves on as has he. Time and time again he gets better.

I really don’t think we will ever see a player dominant a surface like him again, the scary thing? There is more to come. He’s been written off but he is looking to improve all the time.

He’s physical and mental giant in tennis, you never see him lose his cool at all and he is always incredibly professional.

A true phenomenon.

image credit – AP

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