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Rafael Nadal© Getty Images

ATP World Tour stats and information guru Greg Sharko takes a special look at Rafael Nadal as the Spaniard chases a fifth ROLAND GARROS title.

CLAY-COURT DOMINATOR

Heading into ROLAND GARROS, Rafael Nadal has compiled an outstanding 150-5 match record on clay since 2005 and in his career is 25-2 in clay-court finals, losing twice to Federer. Nadal's streak of 33 consecutive match wins on clay ended with his loss to Federer in Madrid. It was his first loss on clay since falling to countryman Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second round in Rome on 7 May, 2008. In addition, since the beginning of 2008 Monte-Carlo when he won his first title of the season through his most recent tournament this year in Madrid, Nadal owns an overall record of 101-9 on all surfaces with 13 titles. Here is a breakdown of his clay-court success:

  W/L Titles Losses
2009 19/1 3 Roger Federer, Madrid Final
2008 24/1 4 Juan Carlos Ferrero, Rome 2nd Rd.
2007 31/1 5 Roger Federer, Hamburg Final
2006 26/0 4 -
2005 50/2 8 Gaston Gaudio, Buenos Aires QF; Igor Andreev, Valencia QF


REIGNING ROLAND GARROS CHAMPION

Nadal is trying to become the first man to win the ROLAND GARROS title five consecutive years. He and Bjorn Borg (1978-81) are the only players to capture the title four straight years. Nadal is 28-0 lifetime at ROLAND GARROS and he has never been extended to a fifth set in Paris. Borg compiled a 49-2 career record in eight appearances in Paris.

Here are a few tidbits on Nadal's dominance in Paris:
* Nadal has won 21 of his 28 ROLAND GARROS matches in straight sets. Overall, he is 45-0 lifetime in best-of-five set matches on clay.
* Of the 83 sets he’s won, 39 have been by a 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2 score. He’s lost only one set by a 6-0, 6-1 or 6-2 score (1-6 first set to Roger Federer in 2006 final).
* Nadal’s dominance on clay was never as clear as it was in 2008 when he won all 21 sets he played, including nine 6-1 sets and three 6-0 bagels. Only semi-final opponent Novak Djokovic could extend Nadal to a tie-break at the ’08 French (third set).

Comparing Nadal & Borg during four-year title runs in Paris:

Nadal

  Sets W/L (Percentage)
2008 21/0 (100 per cent)
2007 21/1 (96 per cent)
2006 20/3 (87 per cent) +
2005 21/3 (88 per cent)
Total 83/7 (92 per cent)

+ Won two sets vs. Novak Djokovic, who retired in QF

Borg

  Sets W/L (Percentage)
1981 21/2 (91 per cent)
1980 21/0 (100 per cent)
1979 21/3 (88 per cent)
1978 21/0 (100 per cent)
Total 84/5 (94 per cent)


WHO HAS BEATEN THE KING OF CLAY?

Seven of the 12 players who have beaten Nadal during his career in 191 matches on clay are in this year’s ROLAND GARROS main draw. Of the seven, only wild card Gaston Gaudio (three times) and No. 2 Roger Federer (twice) have posted more than one win against the Spaniard on clay. Here are the players who have wins over Nadal on clay:

2009 Madrid Final, lost to Roger Federer 6-4, 6-4
2008 Rome 2nd Rd., lost to Juan Carlos Ferrrero 7-5, 6-1
2007 Hamburg Final, lost to Roger Federer 2-6, 6-2, 6-0
2005 Valencia QF, lost to Igor Andreev 7-5, 6-2
2005 Buenos Aires QF, lost to Gaston Gaudio 0-6, 6-0, 6-1
2004 Stuttgart QF, lost to David Ferrer 6-3, 6-7(3), 7-5
2004 Bastad QF, lost to Gaston Gaudio 6-2, 6-3
2003 Stuttgart 2nd Rd., lost to Fernando Gonzalez 6-2, 3-6, 6-2
2003 Bastad QF, lost to Nicolas Lapentti 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(6)
2003 Hamburg 3rd Rd. , lost to Gaston Gaudio 6-2, 6-2

Nadal is 125-10 lifetime on clay against opponents in the main draw.

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