Back in 2005, an 18-year-old Rafael Nadal made the best possible Roland Garros debut (had to skip Paris in 2003 and 2004 due to injuries), scoring seven wins to conquer the first Major title and add his name to history books.
In the next 14 years, Nadal has been the player to beat in Paris, delivering 92 triumphs from 94 encounters and heading into another final this week after beating Roger Federer in the semis on Friday. Thus, Nadal has become the first player in history with 12 finals at single Major (from incredible 15 appearances), leaving Federer's 11 Wimbledon title matches in the second place.
After three semi-final losses in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, Rafa claimed the title in Rome and he is looking powerful at Roland Garros as well, losing one set en route to another final where he will face Novak Djokovic or Dominic Thiem who are yet to finish their semi-final encounter.
Seven players in the Open era have managed to play at single Grand Slam final at least seven times, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic (not a bad company by any means), with five of them having the opportunity to fight for the same crown at least eight times.
Roger Federer went even further with his stellar Wimbledon campaign over the years, advancing into 11 title encounters that Nadal matched last year in Paris, only to move in front with another incredible run in the previous two weeks.
Also, Nadal has become only the second player after Roger Federer with 12 ATP finals at a single tournament, achieving that last year in Monte Carlo and now in Paris while Roger did that at home in Basel (14 times) and also in Halle.