The clay-court season has been Rafael Nadal’s time to shine for nearly 15 years, but the numbers he has put up during this portion of the year prove how successful he’s been.
Nadal has racked up 51,475 ATP Rankings points during the European spring clay swing from 2005-2018. He first earned more than 5,000 ATP Rankings points during this stretch in 2010, when he became the first and only player to complete the “Clay Slam” by winning Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros.
The Spaniard earned more ATP Rankings points during this period than almost every player did throughout the entire year. Only Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have earned more than 51,475 points from 2005-2018. The “Big Four” and David Ferrer are the only active players who have earned more than 40,000 ATP Rankings points during this time.
Nadal has amassed 46 titles during the European clay swing, including 11 Roland Garros titles and 24 ATP Masters 1000 crowns. He holds the record for most titles (11) at any Grand Slam (Roland Garros), Masters 1000 (Monte-Carlo) and 500-level event (Barcelona). Monte-Carlo has been Nadal’s strongest Masters 1000 event by far, allowing him to hold the records for the most consecutive titles at any single tournament (8) and longest winning streak at any event (46).
The World No. 2 will look to add to his ATP Rankings tally when he starts his 2019 clay-court campaign next week at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters. The Spaniard seeks an unprecedented 12th title at this event and will start the week against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain or John Millman of Australia.
“This has always been a very special place for me,” said Nadal during the draw ceremony. “I watched all of the great champions here as a kid, so it was always a dream for me to be here.”
After Nadal’s amazing run in last year’s spring clay swing, which saw him win four titles and post a 24-1 record, he will need to produce an equally impressive display this year if he wants to stay competitive in his quest to regain the No. 1 ranking. If history is any indication, the Spaniard should produce plenty of memorable moments over the next few months.