In Depth

Rafa Nadal wins tenth French Open – the incredible statistics

The Spaniard's dominance on clay continues as he swats aside Wawrinka to claim a record-breaking title

Rafa Nadal has already earned himself a place in tennis folklore, but a tenth victory in the French Open has taken the tennis legend to another level.

The 31-year-old Spaniard saw off Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in a hopelessly one-sided final in Paris to claim yet another crown.

"Nadal is the first player, man or woman, in the Open era to win ten titles at any grand-slam tournament," says Stuart Fraser in The Times.

"Such dominance at any tournament is staggering, but to do it at the event regarded as the ultimate physical and mental test in tennis almost beggars belief."

Simon Briggs of the Daily Telegraph agrees. "In terms of sporting dynasties, this is an outlier," he says, "In squash, Jahangir Khan went unbeaten between the spring of 1981 and the winter of 1986. The 400m hurdler Ed Moses overcame all-comers for just under a decade, starting in August 1977. But to achieve Nadal's level of dominance in tennis, the most global of sports, is mind-boggling."

The statistics only serve to underline his incredible record:

10 - No other player has won the same Grand Slam ten times in the open era. Only Martina Navratilova comes close – she won nine Wimbledon titles between 1978 and 1990. Among the men, Pete Sampras and Roger Federer are Nadal's closest rivals, with seven Wimbledon titles each. Only one player in all tennis history can match Nadal – Margaret Court won the Australian Open 11 times, but seven of those titles came in the early 1960s before the open era.

2 - Nadal has only ever lost two matches at the French Open in 13 years. He made his debut at Roland Garros in 2005 as a teenager and beat Mariano Puerta in the final. He won again in 2006, 2007 and 2008 but in 2009 he lost to Robin Soderling in the fourth round. The following year he reclaimed the title and won it five years in row. His second loss came in 2015 when he was defeated by Novak Djokovic in the quarter finals. In 2016, the only other year he has not won, he was forced to withdraw from the tournament with a wrist injury.

35 - Nadal lost only 35 games on the way to his tenth French Open title (although his quarter final opponent Pablo Carreno Busta retired in the second set). The most he lost in a single match was eight, against Robin Haase in the second round. He made up for that lapse in the third round, losing only one game in three sets against Nikoloz Basilashvili. It is the second-best performance ever, behind Bjorn Borg who lost only 32 games on his way to the title in 1978.

3 - Borg may still hold the record for games lost, but Nadal has equalled him in one respect – by winning a Grand Slam without dropping a set for the third time. The other occasions came in 2008 and 2010. The only other players to have done it are Federer, Ilie Nastase and Ken Rosewall.

15 - The Spaniard now has 15 Grand Slam titles, placing him second only to Roger Federer, who has 18, on the all-time list. Victory in Paris moved him above Sampras and extends his lead over Djokovic, who has 12 titles.

1 - Winning in Roland Garros has catapulted Nadal to number two in the world rankings. He is likely to overhaul Andy Murray some time this summer and return to the summit of the game. He is still 2,605 points behind Murray, but the Scot has to defend 2,500 points between now and the end of Wimbledon in five weeks. Nadal has no points to defend so could easily overhaul the Scot to become world number one.

Recommended

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career grand slams and big titles
Novak Djokovic has 17 grand slam titles, Rafael Nadal has 19 and Roger Federer has 20
In Depth

Djokovic vs. Nadal vs. Federer: career grand slams and big titles

Back pages: French Open farce creates ‘confusion and anger’
The French Open tennis grand slam is played at Roland Garros in Paris
Daily Briefing

Back pages: French Open farce creates ‘confusion and anger’

In pictures: five big winners from a huge weekend of sport
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady lifts the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LV
View from the terraces

In pictures: five big winners from a huge weekend of sport

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 2 March 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 2 March 2021

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Line of Duty series six returns to BBC One in 2021
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 28 Feb 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 28 Feb 2021