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10 most significant records created by Rafael Nadal in the decade that was 2010-2019

  • Looking back at Nadal's 10 most important records in the period 2010-2019.
ANALYST
Feature
Modified 28 Dec 2019, 20:51 IST

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal is one part of men's tennis' illustrious Big 3 trifecta.

The Spaniard's 83.2% career win-loss record is the best of any player to have played over 200 singles matches. Nadal became the first player after Roger Federer to reach 5 finals at each of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments when he beat first-time Slam finalist Matteo Berrettini of Italy to reach his 5th title match at the 2019 US Open.

In a pulsating final against Russian Daniil Medvedev, Nadal squandered a two-set and a break lead before surviving multiple break points on serve in the fifth set to close out a hard-fought win and seal his 19th Grand Slam title, and 4th at the US Open. In the process, the Spaniard pulled to within one of Federer's all-time tally of 20 major titles.

You may also like: 2019 ended 20-19 for Federer and Nadal atop the Slam leaderboard. Would 2020 end 20-20?

The all-time Masters 1000 title leader with 35 titles, Nadal is the title leader at 3 tournaments - Monte Carlo (12), Rome (9) and Madrid (5) - and is also the first player to reach Masters finals in 15 consecutive years (2005 to 2019).

Among a plethora of records during his illustrious career, Nadal (160-16) recorded the best win-loss record (90.9%) of any player during the decade that was 2010-2019. The following 10 achievements during the decade particularly stand out.

#1 First player to win 18 Masters 1000 titles

Nadal exults after his 5th Roland Garros title in 2010
Nadal exults after his 5th Roland Garros title in 2010

Following wins over David Ferrer and Ernests Gulbis in the finals of Monte Carlo 2010 and Rome 2010 respectively, Nadal moved level with Andre Agassi's then leading tally of 17 Masters 1000 titles.

A straight-sets victory over defending champion Roger Federer in the Madrid final made Nadal the first player to win 18 Masters 1000 titles. It also made the Spaniard the first to win 3 claycourt Masters 1000 tournaments and the first to win 3 consecutive tournaments in the category.

A triumph at Roland Garros a few weeks later made Nadal the first player to sweep all the big claycourt titles (Masters 1000-3, Grand Slam-1) in a season.

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#2 First player to win 3 Grand Slam titles on 3 different surfaces in a calendar year

Novak Djokovic (left) and Nadal pose after the 2010 US Open final
Novak Djokovic (left) and Nadal pose after the 2010 US Open final

In the banner season that was 2010, Nadal won his 5th title at Roland Garros (defeated Robin Soderling), 2nd title at Wimbledon and 1st at the US Open (defeated Novak Djokovic). That made him the youngest of 4 players to achieve the coveted career Grand Slam (the feat of winning all 4 Grand Slam tournaments during the course of one's career).

In the process, Nadal emulated Rod Laver (1969) as the only player in the Open Era to win 3 consecutive Grand Slam titles in a calendar year, and the first to win 3 Grand Slam titles in a season on as many surfaces.

You may also like: Nadal's top-5 wins at the US Open


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Published 28 Dec 2019, 20:51 IST
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