10 stats to get you primed for Rafael Nadal’s return to the clay, whenever it happens…

The King of Clay has yet to take his talents to the clay in 2022, but when he does he’ll be looking to rewrite the record books once again.

Nadal Roland Garros Nadal Roland Garros

105 – Nadal’s Roland-Garros win total

Nadal and Roger Federer are currently tied for the all-time lead in men’s singles victories at a single Grand Slam. Federer has 105 at Wimbledon (105-12), and Nadal has 105 at Roland-Garros.

464-43 – Nadal’s all time record on clay 

Nadal’s winning percentage on the clay is the highest all-time. Nobody else compares. You’ll find out more about that down the page…

7 – Players that own more than one victory over Nadal on clay

It’s barely a handful of players that have defeated Nadal more than once on clay. Here they are in order of most victories: 

  • Novak Djokovic, 9-19 
  • Dominic Thiem, 4-8
  • Fabio Fognini, 3-6 
  • Gaston Gaudio, 3-3
  • David Ferrer, 2-20 
  • Roger Federer, 2-14
  • Andy Murray, 2-7

62 titles on clay

Nadal now has 91 titles overall, so his clay titles represent more than a third of his overall trophy haul on tour.

4 – Tournaments won 10 or more times

More than two-thirds of Nadal’s clay titles (46 of 62) have come from Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland-Garros. He has also won four at Madrid (on clay, one came on hard). 

  • Monte-Carlo – 11 
  • Barcelona – 12 
  • Rome – 10
  • Roland-Garros – 13 

0 – Losing streaks on clay

Nadal has never had a losing streak on clay. NEVER! 

125-3 – Nadal’s record in best-of-five set matches on clay

Just three times has Nadal lost a best-of-five match on clay, including the last one he played, against Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals at Roland-Garros last year. Robin Soderling, who knocked Nadal out of Roland-Garros in four sets in the fourth round at Roland-Garros in 2009, was the first to defeat Nadal in a best-of-five contest on clay.

Djokovic is the only man to own two wins over Nadal in a best-of-five match on clay, and at Roland-Garros. The Serb also defeated Nadal in the quarter-finals in Paris in 2015.

Rafael Nadal, Roland-Garros
Rafael Nadal after winning Roland-Garros in 2013 (Panoramic)

91.3 – Nadal’s winning percentage on clay

Two players have achieved more match victories than Nadal in ATP history, but they don’t compare to the King of Clay in terms of winning percentage. 

  • Guillermo Vilas – 659 – 162 (80.3%) 
  • Manuel Orantes – 502 – 150 (77%) 
  • Rafael Nadal – 463 – 43 (91.3%)

98-22 vs the top-10 on clay

Nadal has dominated the top-10 on clay over the course of his career, and he is now two top-10 wins shy of earning 100 top-10 wins on his beloved clay. If you’re scoring at home, Nadal is 55-14 against the top-5 and a remarkable 17-6 against reigning world No 1 players on clay.

52-1 against players outside of the top-100 on clay

Not surprisingly, Nadal has also dominated players ranked outside the top-100. The Spaniard only has one blemish on his record on clay against players ranked higher than 100. Olivier Mutis of France (who peaked at 71 in the rankings) defeated Nadal 6-3, 6-3 in the round of 16 at Palermo in 2004. 

Oldest Roland-Garros men’s singles champion? Stay tuned…

There are a few records that Nadal has yet to achieve on clay. In 2020 Nadal became the third-oldest men’s singles champion in Roland-Garros history, but he has yet to tackle the record that was set by Andres Gimeno, who won the title at 34 years and 306 days in 1972. Nadal will turn 36 in Paris this year.

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