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Rafael Nadal: 20 stats in celebration of his 20th Grand Slam title
From his 13th Roland Garros title to his 21st career win over a No. 1, and his 60th clay-court title to his 100-2 record in Paris, the Spaniard continues to rewrite the history books.
Published Oct 13, 2020
Some doubted if he could do it this year—he skipped the US Open, lost in Rome, the conditions were different than the ones he’s used to—but Rafael Nadal silenced them all, sliding to another Roland Garros title without even dropping a set, beating Novak Djokovic in the final, 6-0, 6-2, 7-5.
Here are 20 stats about the Spaniard’s latest (and maybe most historic) win in Paris.
He won his 20th career Grand Slam title, tying Roger Federer’s all-time record. Among a laundry list of big stats, this was the biggest one—the two are now co-GOATs, at least for the time being.
The Grand Slam race is now 20-20-17 instead of 20-19-18. If he had lost to Djokovic in the final, the Serb would’ve been just one major behind him—by winning the final, he’s now three ahead.
He’s now won exactly one of every three Grand Slams he’s played. Nadal was playing the 60th Grand Slam of his career at 2020 Roland Garros, and he’s now won 20 of them—exactly one in three.
He won Roland Garros for the 13th time. Only one other player in history, male or female, has won double digit titles at the same Grand Slam: Margaret Court won the Australian Open 11 times.
He became the first player in the Open Era, male or female, to win the same tour-level event 13 times. He broke a tie with Martina Navratilova, who won the WTA event in Chicago 12 times.
He improved to 100-2 in his career at Roland Garros. That’s a .980 winning percentage, his only two losses coming to Robin Soderling (fourth round in 2009) and Djokovic (quarterfinals in 2015).
He became the first player ever, male or female, to win 100 matches at Roland Garros. Players had done it at the other three majors—Federer at the Australian Open, Navratilova and Federer at Wimbledon, Chris Evert and Serena Williams at the US Open—but nobody had done it in Paris.
He’s now 13-0 in finals at Roland Garros. It’s by far the best perfect record in finals at a specific Grand Slam by a man or woman in tennis history. The best any other player has done is 8-0.
He’s now a combined 26-0 in semifinals and finals at Roland Garros. When he gets past the quarterfinals on the terre battue, watch out—he’s only dropped 10 sets in those 26 matches, too.
He improved to 20-8 in Grand Slam finals. Broken down by Grand Slam that’s 1-4 in Australian Open finals, 13-0 in Roland Garros finals, 2-3 in Wimbledon finals and 4-1 in US Open finals.
He handed Djokovic his worst loss in a Grand Slam final in his career. The Serb only won seven games—the fewest games he had won in any of his previous 26 Grand Slam finals was 13.
He bageled Djokovic for just the second time. Only two of the 149 sets they’ve played against each other have been bagels, and it’s Nadal who inflicted both of them—in the first set of his 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win in the Rome final in 2019, and in the first set of his win in the Roland Garros final in 2020.
He improved to 10-6 against Djokovic at Grand Slams. Djokovic still leads his overall head-to-heads against both Nadal (29-27) and Federer (27-23), but Nadal has the upper hand over the other two members of the Big 3 at Grand Slams, leading both Djokovic (10-6) and Federer (10-4).
He improved to 49-0 as the No. 2 seed at Roland Garros. He’s now gone all the way to the title all seven times he’s been the second seed: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2019 and 2020.
He’s now on a 30-match winning streak at the clay-court major. He went 2-0 in 2016 before having to withdraw with a wrist injury, then went 7-0 in 2017, 7-0 in 2018, 7-0 in 2019 and 7-0 in 2020.
He won his 60th career ATP title on clay. He was already the only man to win 50 or more career ATP titles on clay. Next on the list is Guillermo Vilas, who won 49 career ATP titles on clay.
He’s the first man in the Open Era to win four majors without dropping a set. He also achieved the feat at Roland Garros in 2008, 2010 and 2017. He had been tied with Bjorn Borg at three.
He’s now the fourth player in the Open Era, male or female, to win majors in three different decades. He won six in the 2000s, 13 in the 2010s and now one in the 2020s. He joins Navratilova (1970s, 1980s, 1990s), Serena (1990s, 2000s, 2010s) and Djokovic (2000s, 2010s, 2020s).
His win over Djokovic was his 21st career win over a No. 1. That’s more than any other man or woman since ATP and WTA rankings began in the 1970s. Boris Becker has the next-most with 19.
He prevented Djokovic from becoming the first man in the Open Era to have a Double Career Slam. Had Djokovic won in Paris, he would’ve won every major at least twice, something no man has done in the Open Era. Nadal can now become the first to do it if he wins the 2021 Australian Open.