Madrid Open: Rafael Nadal on the brink of breaking John McEnroe's record
What's the story?
Just when spring comes knocking every year, Nadal blooms and shines across the dusty clay courts of Europe. This year has been no different with Nadal in hot pursuit of his La Undécima dream.
The Mallorcan has been piling up the records during this season, collecting his 11th titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Not just that, with this incredible performance Nadal is inches away from breaking a 1984 record of the legendary John McEnroe if he has a successful run at the ongoing Madrid Open.
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The Spaniard, who is just a month shy of celebrating his 32nd birthday has been the King Of Clay for time eternal. Nobody in the history of tennis has been able to excel on the clay court like he has, winning some 10 French Open titles, a feat few can repeat. However, he needs to win the Madrid Open to steer ahead of Roger Federer in the ATP rankings.
The heart of the matter
There are many things at play when Nadal takes the court. Records tumble and fall as he sweeps a backhand and ahead of his Madrid Open journey, things look promising. With Nadal's current performance on the clay courts of Monte Carlo and Barcelona, he has been able to secure a fantastic 19 consecutive match winning streak and galloped to a commendable 46 consecutive set wins.
McEnroe is just three sets ahead of Nadal, having had secured 49 consecutive set wins in his stellar year of 1984. If that is not the only prospective record to be recreated, there is more. On Sunday, if the 16-time Grand Slam champion manages to lift the Madrid Open trophy then he will bypass 7-time Grand Slam winner John McEnroe's record of 77 ATP career titles and claim his 78th one at Madrid.
With Nadal placed on a clay court, the chances of him breaking and recreating these records seem more favourable than ever. Nadal, who is a five-time champion in Madrid, begins his campaign at the Caja Magica against Gael Monfils on Wednesday.
When it comes to the clay court season, Rafael Nadal is the rightful king and he proves it every time, every year. He is an unstoppable force over here and records tumble and crash like dominoes on this surface when he plays. Come Sunday we'll get to know how many records he will get crowned with and assuredly, the odds are ever in his favour.