Rafael Nadal has been famously referred to as the King of Clay. The Spanish sensation has won 59 titles on the red dirt, which is the most by any player. Rafa’s dominance on the slow surface can be understood by his amazing win percentage of more the 91 there. In this article, we look at the 3 clay court tennis tournaments where the Man from Mallorca has won more than 10 titles and continues to dominate with an iron fist.
The French Open: 12 Trophies
Never have any tennis tournaments been dominated by a single player like Rafael Nadal has done at the Roland Garros championships. Nadal won his maiden French Open in 2005 as a 19-year-old. That was his maiden attempt at the Parisian Slam. In the next 4 years, Rafael Nadal would dominate the French Open like all the other clay court tennis tournaments winning 4 titles back to back there. In 2009, an injured Rafa lost to Robin Soderling in the 4th round.
From 2010 to 2014, Rafa again dominated Roland Garros winning 5 successive titles there. After a barren run of 2015-2016, he again came back to win the tournament from 2017 to 2019. Nadal has thus won an astonishing 12 French Championships so far. He will be defending his title in September this year and fight for a record-extending 13 championship at Court Philippe Chatrier. He has just lost 2 times out of the 95 matches played there till now.
Monte Carlo Masters: 11 Titles
Rafael Nadal’s reign at the Monte Carlo country club has been equally impressive as other clay-court tennis tournaments. The Spanish sensation won the title in 2005 for the first time. He would not lose a match there till 2012 when he had already grabbed 8 successive titles. In 2013, Rafa lost in the final to rival Novak Djokovic and after that did not progress to the finals in the next 2 years.
From 2016 to 2018, Rafael Nadal won another 3 back to back trophies there. He could not defend his title in 2019. But this still is a favorite to win this Masters event a few times more before retiring. Monte Carlo is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the ATP calendar and Rafa has been ruthless there.
11 Titles In Barcelona Open Tennis Tournaments
It is not just the Grand Slams and Masters 1000s that Rafael Nadal has dominated on the clay. He has been excellent in the ATP 500 tennis tournaments also. At his home event of the Barcelona Open, he has lifted 11 trophies. Nadal won this title 5 successive times from 2005 to 2009. More success would come from 2011 to 2013 and then again from 2016 to 2018.
The great champion has been so revered for his achievement that the Barcelona Open named a tennis court after him famous known as Rafael Nadal Court. Apart from the success in these 3 tennis tournaments, the King of Clay has won 9 titles at the Italian Open, where he could also touch the magical figure of 10 title wins. Rafa’s legend on the red clay has been a never seen story in tennis and could never be repeated in the game.