French Open: 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal eyes these milestones
The 2022 edition of the French Open is set to begin on May 22. Spanish maestro Rafael Nadal will enter the clay-court tournament with 13 titles. He missed out on a record-extending 14th Roland Garros title last year, having lost to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals. Nadal would want to go all out this time. Here are the records he can break.
- Known as the King of Clay, Nadal owns a total of 13 French Open honors.
- The Spaniard has won seven more titles than second-placed Bjorn Borg in the Open Era.
- Nadal holds the record for winning most titles at a single Grand Slam and on a single surface (clay).
- He has an incredible record of 105-3 at Roland Garros.
Earlier this year, Nadal won his second Australian Open title after beating Daniil Medvedev in the final. Nadal captured his 21st Grand Slam title, now the most in men's singles. He broke a tie with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (20 each). The Spaniard could go the extra mile this time. He is set to secure a record-extending 22nd major title.
At the moment, Nadal is tied with Federer in terms of match-wins at a Grand Slam (joint-most). Nadal has won 105 matches at the French Open, while Federer owns most match-wins at Wimbledon (105). Nadal is set to completely hold this record.
Nadal has featured in 29 Grand Slam finals so far. He is only behind Federer and Djokovic (31 each). If he reaches the French Open final, Nadal will become only the third man to play 30 Grand Slam finals (all-time list). Interestingly, Nadal has played 35 semi-finals and 44 quarter-finals at majors to date. He trails Federer and Djokovic on these lists too.
Over the years, Nadal has ruled the roost on clay courts. He holds the record for most clay-court titles in the Open Era (62). Nadal has a win-loss record of 467-45 on clay courts. He has the third-most wins on this surface (men's singles) after Vilas (681-173) and Manuel Orantes (569-170). The Spaniard would want to extend his dominance on this surface.
In 2021, Djokovic became the first-ever man to defeat Nadal in the semi-finals of French Open. The Serbian won his 30th match against Nadal. Djokovic now has a lead of 30-28 over Nadal in the ATP head-to-head series. However, Nadal has a massive lead over Djokovic (7-2) at the French Open. The Spaniard would surely want to avenge his loss of 2021.