© ATP World Tour

Rafael Nadal is now in second place on the "Big Title Kings" leaderboard.

Nadal Surges Ahead of Djokovic On 'Big Titles' Leaderboard

Spaniard bolsters his Big Title conversion rate as well

Two down, one more to go.

Rafael Nadal may have stumbled in his bid to sweep all four “Big Titles” on clay, a feat he accomplished in 2010 when he won the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, the Mutua Madrid Open, the Internazionali BNL d'Italia and Roland Garros. Nadal fell to Dominic Thiem in the Madrid quarter-finals earlier this month.

But the 31-year-old Spaniard has still added two more Big Titles – a combination of Grand Slam, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Nitto ATP Finals crowns – to his haul as the European clay-court season enters its final three weeks.

Winning Two Out Of Three Masters 1000 Titles On Clay

Player

Year(s)

Rafael Nadal

2005-09, 2012-13, 2017-18

Novak Djokovic

2011, 2015

Thomas Muster

1995-96

Gustavo Kuerten

1999

Andrei Medvedev

1994

*Madrid transitioned from hard court to clay in 2009

Nadal won Masters 1000 title No. 31 in Monte-Carlo last month, and on Sunday, the Spaniard celebrated his 32nd Masters 1000 crown, beating Alexander Zverev in the Rome final 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. Nadal's eighth Rome crown further padded his lead against Novak Djokovic (30) and Roger Federer (27) on the all-time Masters 1000 titles leaderboard. Before the clay-court swing began, Nadal and Djokovic were even at 30 all.

You May Also Like: Rafa Reigns In Rome, Returns To No. 1

Nadal also has snuck ahead of Djokovic in two other areas: his overall Big Title count and his improved Big Title conversion rate. Nadal now has 48 Big Titles to Djokovic's 47, and the Spaniard has won one Big Title every 3.47 opportunities, while Djokovic, who lost to Nadal in the Rome semi-finals, has won an average of one Big Title every 3.51 chances.

“It means a lot to win in Rome here again,” Nadal said.

Both Nadal and Djokovic remain ahead of the all-time Big Titles leader, Roger Federer, with their superior conversion rates. Federer has won one Big Title every 4.1 opportunities.

Current and Former Champions' Big Titles Won (Records Since 1990) 

Player

Grand Slams

Nitto ATP Finals

1000s

Total (Avg)

Roger Federer

20/72

6/15

27/129

53/216 (4.1)

Rafael Nadal 16/51 0/8 32/110 48/167 (3.5)

Novak Djokovic

12/52

5/10

30/103

47/165 (3.5)

Pete Sampras

14/52

5/11

11/83

30/146 (4.9)

Andre Agassi

8/61

1/13

17/90

26/164 (6.3)

Andy Murray

3/46

1/8

14/96

18/148 (8.2)

Boris Becker*

2/26

2/6

5/51

9/83 (9.2)

Thomas Muster

1/29

0/4

8/53

9/86 (9.6)

Gustavo Kuerten

3/33

1/3

5/67

9/103 (11.4)

Jim Courier

4/38

0/4

5/71

9/113 (12.6)

Stefan Edberg**

3/28

0/4

1/24

4/56 (14)

Marcelo Rios

0/26

0/1

5/56

5/83 (16.6)

Michael Chang

1/50

0/6

7/86

8/142 (17.8)

Marat Safin

2/41

0/3

5/87

7/131 (18.7)

Andy Roddick

1/46

0/6

5/75

6/127 (21.2)

* Becker's four other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.
** Edberg's three other Grand Slam titles came before 1990.  

The next – and final – Big Title up for grabs on clay this year will be Roland Garros, which begins Sunday. Nadal will be going for his 11th Roland Garros title and his 17th Grand Slam crown.

But don't count out Djokovic, who won Roland Garros in 2016 to become the eighth man to win the career Grand Slam and the third man to hold all four major championships at once. The Serbian reached his first quarter-final and semi-final of the season in Rome before falling to Nadal 7-6(4), 6-3 during their 51st FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.

Read & Watch: Nadal Survives Battle Against Djokovic

I don't think that there was too much of a difference, which is great news for me. Because Rafa is, of course, the best player ever to play tennis on clay courts. And he's in great, great form,” Djokovic said after losing to Nadal in Rome.

I've played four matches here. I didn't really expect anything coming into this tournament, when it comes to results, because I didn't have many great results in the last period. So I'm pleased with how I've played the last three days, very pleased. And hopefully Roland Garros can be just a continuation of this run.”

More stories like this in: