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Shark Bites


Djokovic © Getty ImagesTo complete the career Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic may need to defeat six-time champion Rafael Nadal in the Roland Garros final.

ATP stats and information guru Greg Sharko looks at the numbers behind the stories of the ATP World Tour.

Djoker Looks to Make History
Novak Djokovic attempts to become the first man to win four consecutive Grand Slam singles titles since Rod Laver in 1969. Laver is the only player to accomplish the feat twice (1962, ’69). Since then, a player has won three titles in a row on five occasions:

Player 1st 2nd 3rd
Novak Djokovic 2011 Wimbledon 2011 US Open 2012 Aust. Open
4th GS Result: 2012 Roland Garros
Rafael Nadal 2010 Roland Garros 2010 Wimbledon 2010 US Open
4th GS Result: 2011 Aust. Open (QF, l. to Ferrer)
Roger Federer 2006 Wimbledon 2006 US Open 2007 Aust. Open
4th GS Result: 2007 Roland Garros (F, l. to Nadal)
Roger Federer 2005 Wimbledon 2005 US Open 2006 Aust. Open
4th GS Result: 2006 Roland Garros (F, l. to Nadal)
Pete Sampras 1993 Wimbledon 1993 US Open 1994 Aust. Open
4th GS Result: 1994 Roland Garros (QF, l. to Courier)

Big 3 Dominate Grand Slam Titles

Over the past 28 Grand Slam tournaments since 2005 Roland Garros when Rafael Nadal captured his first title, the current top three ranked players on the ATP World Tour have accounted for 27 of the past 28 titles. In the previous 28 Grand Slam tournaments prior to ’05 Roland Garros, there were 15 players who earned a Grand Slam crown.

Here is a comparison of the two eras:

2005 Roland Garros to 2012 Australian Open (4 players)
Player Titles
Roger Federer 12
Rafael Nadal 10
Novak Djokovic 5
Juan Martin del Potro 1

1998 Roland Garros to 2005 Australian Open (15 players)
Player Titles
Andre Agassi 5
Roger Federer 4
Pete Sampras 4
Lleyton Hewitt 2
Gustavo Kuerten 2
Marat Safin 2
Albert Costa 1
Juan Carlos Ferrero 1
Gaston Gaudio 1
Goran Ivanisevic 1
Thomas Johansson 1
Yevgeny Kafelnikov 1
Carlos Moya 1
Patrick Rafter 1
Andy Roddick 1

Nadal on a Roll Going into Roland Garros
For the seventh time in the past eight years, Rafael Nadal won three European clay court titles prior to Roland Garros. For the first time he didn’t drop a set during his three title run this spring, winning all 30 sets in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome.

Here is a year-by-year look since 2005 of Nadal’s pre-Roland Garros results during the European clay court circuit:

Year Clay W-L (Titles) Titles Sets W-L RG Result (Sets W-L)
2012 16-1 (3) 30-0 ????
2011 17-2 (2) 20-0 Champion (21-3)
2010 15-0 (3) 30-2 Champion (21-0)
2009 17-1 (3) 28-1 Fourth Round (10-3)
2008 15-1 (3) 30-3 Champion (21-0)
2007 19-1 (3) 30-1 Champion (21-1)
2006 17-0 (3) 37-6 Champion (20- 3),
includes ret. win (2 sets)
2005 19-1 (3) 37-6 Champion (21-3)

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