After the conclusion of the Miami Open, the ATP calendar now turns to the usual season on European clay-courts: the first milestone is the historical ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo, born in 1897. In 2019, in what turned out to be the last edition before the Coronavirus pandemic, the trophy was lifted by Fabio Fognini against Dusan Lajovic in the final, with the Italian who managed to defeat the Spanish Rafael Nadal, winner here 11 times, an absolute record - in the penultimate match of the tournament.
Also this year, the big favorite for the swing on European red-clay can only be Rafa, thirteen times champion at the Roland Garros (where he hasn't lost since 2015, in 2016 he withdrawn - ed.). The Mallorcan's last success in the Principality of Monaco dates back to 2018, when he defeated Kei Nishikori in the final with a score of 6-3 6-2.
Rafa Nadal, an unbeatable record
35 years-old to go next June, Nadal has played only one tournament in this 2021: it is the Australian Open in Melbourne, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Stefanos Tsitsipas after being two sets to zero.
Today at number 3 in the ATP world rankings, Rafa holds a truly unbeatable record: he is the player to have conquered the largest number of events on the clay Tour, as many as 60. Among the players still active, in second place - but at a distance nothing short of huge, the Serbian world no.1 Novak Djokovic, stopped at 15.
On the third step here are Roger Federer and Tommy Robredo, at 11. It is an incredible figure that of Rafa, who in this ranking also dominates other past champions who are no longer in business: Guillermo Vilas (49), Thomas Muster ( 40), Bjorn Borg and Manuel Orantes (30), Ivan Lendl (28), Ilie Nastase (27), José Luis Clerc (21), Mats Wilander (20), Andrés Gomez and Carlos Moya (16).
Considering that Nadal has won a total of 86 career titles, we can say that around 70% of these have been won on clay. As for the Russian Daniil Medvedev, the Muscovite has yet to win a match in Paris.
Clay titles of the current Top10
Medvedev 0 — enrico maria riva (@enricomariariva) April 10, 2021
Let these numbers sink in for a minute...