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Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros: An ongoing fairytale

ANALYST
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Rafael Nadal - God of the Clay
Rafael Nadal - God of the Clay

There aren't many love affairs better than the one between Rafael Nadal & Roland Garros. He has proved himself time and again as the undisputed King of Clay. With 11 titles at the 2nd Grand Slam of the tennis calendar, he has been an unbeatable force. The fact that Rafa has done it in just 14 appearances in the tournament speaks volumes about his dominance. Today we'll be taking a look at his record-breaking journey by numbers at the French Open:

2005 - Firsts at France

This was the first appearance for Nadal at Roland Garros. Appeared in all 3 other Grand Slams before (AO-2004, US & Wimbledon-2003)

• First Major as seeded player - Seeded 4th

• First Grand Slam title

Matches:

Round 1 - Nadal def. Burgsmüller 6-1, 7-6(4),6-1

Round 2 - Nadal def. Malisse 6-2, 6-2, 6-4

Round 3 - Nadal def. Gasquet(30) 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Round 4 - Nadal def. Grosjean(23) 6-4, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3

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Q/F - Nadal def. Ferrer(20) 7-5, 6-2, 6-0

S/F - Nadal def. Federer(1) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

Final - Nadal def. Puerta 6-7(8-6), 6-3, 6-1, 7-5

Tournament Statistics:

1st Serve % - 69.3%

Aces - 20

Service Games Won % - 83.5%

Return Points Won % - 47.1%

French Open 2005 winner Rafael Nadal
French Open 2005 winner Rafael Nadal

2006 - Not a One-Year Wonder

Missed Australian Open due to foot injury

• Seeded 2nd

Matches:

Round 1 - Nadal def. Soderling 6-2, 7-5, 6-1

Round 2 - Nadal def. Kim 6-2, 6-1, 6-4

Round 3 - Nadal def. Mathieu(29) 6-7(8-6), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Round 4 - Nadal def. Hewitt(14) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2

Q/F - Nadal def. Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 (retired)

S/F - Nadal def. Lujibicic 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(9-7)

Final - Nadal def. Federer(2) 1-6 6-1 6-4 7-6(7-4)

Tournament Statistics:

1st Serve % - 71.7%

Aces - 23

Service Games Won % - 82.6%

Return Points Won % - 45.7%


2007 - Here to Stay

Nadal proved he could put Federer's No.1 spot in jeopardy with a hattrick of French Open titles.

• Seeded 2nd

Matches:

Round 1 - Nadal def. del Potro 7-5, 6-3, 6-2

Round 2 - Nadal def. Cipolla 6-2, 6-1, 6-4

Round 3 - Nadal def. Montanés 6-1, 6-3, 6-2

Round 4 - Nadal def. Hewitt(14) 6-3, 6-1, 7-6(5)

Quarterfinals - Nadal def. Moyà(23) 6-4, 6-3, 6-0

Semifinals - Nadal def. Djokovic(6) 7-5, 6-4, 6-2

Final - Nadal def. Federer(1) 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4

Tournament Statistics:

1st serve % - 72.1%

Aces - 17

Service Games Won % - 88.9%

Return Points Won % - 44.0%

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