'Rafael Nadal physically punishes you on clay', says top analyst

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'Rafael Nadal physically punishes you on clay', says top analyst

With 35 years of next June, Rafael Nadal has played only one tournament in 2021: it is the Australian Open in Melbourne, where he lost in the quarterfinals to Stefanos Tsitsipas after being two sets to zero. Currently number 3 in the ATP world rankings, Rafa has a truly unbeatable record: he is the player who has conquered the most events on the Clay Tour, up to 60.

Among the still active players, in second place, but At a distance nothing short of enormous, the Serbian world number 1, Novak Djokovic, stopped at 15. In the third step here are Roger Federer and Tommy Robredo, at 11. Rafa's is an incredible number, 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 Gómez and Carlos Moya (16).

Considering that Nadal has won a total of 86 titles in his career, we can say that around 70% of these have been won on clay. As for Russian Daniil Medvedev, the Muscovite has yet to win a match in Paris. World No.3 Rafael Nadal didn’t have a great start in this 2021 clay-court season.

The ‘King of Clay’ lost to Andrey Rublev in the quarters of the Monte Carlo Masters 2021 and didn’t look in great form. Following that, he had a tough start in Barcelona and survived two close matches there as well.

Even though Rafael Nadal didn’t have an ideal start this time, Patrick McEnroe believes he can still turn it around. In a recent interview, the former tennis player mentioned that the longer Rafa plays on clay, the more dangerous he becomes on the surface.

Patrick McEnroe comments on Rafael Nadal

“The longer it goes on clay the better Rafael Nadal gets and the more devastating he is,” said Patrick McEnroe in the interview. The former American player even claimed that nobody can match the level of punishment that Nadal gives to his opponents while playing on clay.

He even cited that Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer can punish their counterparts as well. However, he stated that they too can’t match Rafa’s level on clay. “The other two [Federer and Djokovic] will beat the crap out of you.

But not in anything like the same way Rafa physically punishes you on clay,” added the 2-time French Open champion.