Rafael Nadal is widely regarded as one of the best players in the history of the game.
He has won a record 22 Majors – including 14 at Roland Garros – and 36 Masters 1000 titles. The 36-year-old is one of just five players in the Open Era to win a career Grand Slam (winning each Major once) and one of only two to win each Major twice.
Making his ATP tour debut in 2001, the legendary left-hander is still going strong. Nadal has won two Majors this year – the Australian Open and Roland Garros – to take sole leadership of the men’s singles Grand Slam title leaderboard in the Open Era.
Nadal’s singles win tally of 1063 is surpassed by only three other players – Ivan Lendl (1068), Roger Federer (1251) and Jimmy Connors (1274). However, in terms of dominating wins, no player has had a greater % of points won in victories than the Spaniard in the last three decades.
The Mallorcan wins 56.4% of his points in wins, which is better than his Big Three peers – Novak Djokovic (56.12%) and Roger Federer (55.91%).
Nadal is well known for his warrior-like mentality and for playing each point as if his life depended on it. Earlier this year, the Spaniard was on the brink of a fifth Australian Open final loss, trailing Daniil Medvedev by two sets and a break.
However, in a stunning reversal of fortunes, Nadal turned the match on its head in what turned out to be the second longest men’s singles Grand Slam final of the Open Era. In the process, he broke ties with Federer and Novak Djokovic to become the first male player to win 21 Majors.
Nadal’s win also meant Medvedev failed to become the first male player in the Open Era to win his first two Majors in back-to-back tournaments.
How Rafael Nadal has fared this year?
Returning from a near six-month injury layoff, Rafael Nadal embarked on his best start to an ATP season. He won his first 20 matches of the year, winning three titles, before his perfect start was ended by Taylor Fritz in the Indian Wells final.
In that tournament, Nadal endured a rib injury that forced him to make a belated start to his claycourt campaign. Missing Monte Carlo and Barcelona, the Spaniard endured early losses in Madrid and Rome, where he seemed afflicted by a foot issue.
It meant he entered Roland Garros for the first time without winning a claycourt title. That mattered little, however, as Nadal dethroned defending champion Djokovic in the quarterfinals before winning a record-extending 14th title at the tournament.
On his next stop at Wimbledon, Nadal reached his third-straight semifinal. In an epic five-set quarterfinal against Fritz, the Spaniard battled an abdominal tear to triumph in a fifth-set tiebreak. That once again brought to the fore Nadal’s penchant for never throwing in the towel.