Each day of the week we'll highlight one of the most intriguing numbers or stats of the day...
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Stat of the Day: Nadal now 40-0 vs. qualifiers on clay
Winning a few extra matches doesn’t seem to help prepare anyone for the King of Clay.
Published May 06, 2021
Alexei Popyrin was playing some of his best tennis in Madrid. He won four matches in a row—two in qualifying and two in the main draw—to reach the round of 16 at a Masters 1000 event for the first time. Along the way he even took out No. 18-ranked Jannik Sinner for his third career Top 20 win.
None of that momentum mattered against the King of Clay, though.
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal took out the No. 76-ranked Popyrin, 6-3, 6-3, in an hour and 19 minutes, and in doing so improved to an incredible 40-0 in his career against qualifiers on clay.
The Spaniard is also 10-0 against Australians on clay now.
“His power on the shots is amazing,” Nadal said of Popyrin after the match. “I mean, if he is able to control a little bit the mistakes, then it’s going to be very difficult to beat him, no? He has an amazing serve and amazing shots from everywhere. Let’s see what’s going on in the future. If he is able to work the proper way, he’s going to be in the high positions of the rankings fighting for things.”
Nadal is now through to the quarterfinals of Madrid for the 15th time. He’s a five-time champion, winning it once when it was held on indoor hard courts (in 2005) and four more times since it switched to clay in 2009 (in 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2017). He’s now 54-12 in his career at the event.