Happy Birthday Rafael Nadal: His ground-breaking feats
Spanish maestro Rafael Nadal turned 34 on Wednesday. The world number two has not looked back ever since he made his debut at Monte-Carlo Masters in 2003. Nadal, who is known for his ferocious display on clay courts, won his 12th French Open title last year. He also won the US Open later on. Let us have a look at Nadal's incredible feats.
Nadal has secured 19 Grand Slams and 85 ATP singles titles. He has also won a record 35 ATP Masters 1000 titles. As stated, the Spaniard has 12 French Open titles to his name, having registered a significant record of 12-0 in the tournament finals. Nadal also has 11 Monte-Carlo and 9 Rome Masters titles to his name.
Nadal's streak of 81 matches on clay court is the longest on a single surface in Open Era (Men's singles). His astounding spell commenced in 2005 at the Monte-Carlo Masters and came to an end two years later (2007). During the period, Nadal won hard court titles at Masters 1000 Canada, Beijing, Masters 1000 Madrid, Dubai, and Masters 1000 Indian Wells.
Nadal is only the second male player in history to have won at least two Grand Slam titles each on grass (2), hard court (5) and clay court (12), along with former world number one Mats Wilander.
Between 2005 and 2013, Nadal won 46 consecutive matches at the Monte-Carlo Masters. This is a record for consecutive victories at a single tournament (Men's and Women's). Between 2006 and 2008, Nadal defeated his counterpart Roger Federer in three consecutive Monte-Carlo finals, having won seven of eight sets against the Swiss star. Overall, he has won 11 titles at the event.
Nadal completed a Career Golden Slam at 24, the youngest to do so in Open Era. Although Don Budge achieved the feat at the age of 23 in 1938, it was before the Open Era. In 2010, Nadal also completed the Career Grand Slam in just 26 Slam appearances. Notably, Federer took as many as 46 appearances to complete the same.