Rafael Nadal will return for Roland Garros: Looking at the records which show his dominance in France

published: Jan, 15, 2024

by: TC Staff

Rafael Nadal’s playing days appear to be fast running out, although he’ll surely record one final outing at his favoured French Open this year, where he’s been incredibly dominant throughout his career.

Nadal’s return will come at the venue he has dominated at

Nadal was due to return to the Grand Slam fold for the Australian Open this year, after missing three straight major events prior. However, a further injury setback now means his return to the court will come in what will likely be his final appearance at the French Open this May.

In Nadal’s absence in Australia, Novak Djokovic is a clear favourite to extend his lead of Grand Slam triumphs over the Spaniard. The Australian Open tennis odds currently offer the Serbian at a price of 11/10 to secure a landmark 25th major victory.

Nadal’s chances of reclaiming the Grand Slam title record are all but over, although his historical greatness in France will surely not ever be beaten.

Roland Garros is a venue where Nadal has set many records that will probably never be broken by a future player.

It’s extremely fitting that the Spanish player’s potential final Grand Slam appearance could come at a location where he has achieved the majority of his legacy-defining success.

Record French Open champion

Undoubtedly, the most significant record that Nadal still holds in the sport relates to his French Open title haul.

The Spaniard has won at Roland Garros on 14 occasions, which makes up a huge amount of his 22 Grand Slam victories overall.

Historically, only one other player has soared to the same heights at the French Open. Max Decugis established his reputation at this esteemed tournament many decades ago.

The most successful active player on French soil is Nadal’s huge rival, Djokovic, with three victories to his name. While the Serbian has surpassed Nadal’s overall Grand Slam records, his French Open legacy will never realistically compare.

Longest win streak on clay surface

Nadal is regarded for playing his greatest tennis on clay surface. That particular surface, most commonly used in France, is seen as one of the most difficult to play on for most players. However, Nadal’s forehand strike has allowed him to dominate on the surface – this advantage allows him to slow down players with the most aggressive play styles.

His skill on clay surfaces has seen him secure a record for the longest win streak on clay courts between 2005 and 2007, in a period which incorporated his opening two victories at Roland Garros.

The run began in the 2005 Monte Carlo Masters and lasted until the Hamburg Open in 2007, following 81-straight triumphs on clay courts.

Four Roland Garros wins without dropping a set

Out of Nadal’s 14 French Open wins, four of those triumphs particularly stand out – the Spanish legend didn’t drop a set in the victorious runs of 2008, 2010, 2017 and 2020.

The first time Nadal achieved the invincible feat, back in 2008, was the most impressive as he comfortably dispatched Djokovic and Roger Federer in straight sets in the semi-final and final.

While Nadal may not retire as the greatest player of all time, his dominance in France is unparalleled when considering the leading players in history across all of the individual events.

Djokovic has stolen some of his significant records in recent years, but he will without a doubt never match the single venue and surface dominance that Nadal has put up throughout his illustrious career.

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TC Staff

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