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Rafael Nadal's successful European clay-court season helped him close the gap between himself and Roger Federer in the hunt for "Big Titles".

Nadal Inching Closer To Federer's Leading 'Big Title' Count

Spaniard cleaned up on 'Big Titles' during the European clay-court swing

Rafa is gaining on Roger.

After his 11th Roland Garros title, Rafael Nadal now stands only four “Big Titles” away from catching Roger Federer in the chase for “Big Titles” – a combination of Grand Slam, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 and Nitto ATP Finals crowns. Nadal won his 17th Grand Slam crown and 49th Big Title on Sunday when he beat Dominic Thiem for the seventh time in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series (7-3).

The Spaniard also cushioned his Big Title advantage against former No. 1 Novak Djokovic. Nadal now has 49 Big Titles to the Serbian's 47. More than two years ago, after the 2016 Mutua Madrid Open, Djokovic had 45 and Nadal 42.

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 17/52 0/8 32/111 49/171 (3.5)

Novak Djokovic

12/53

5/10

30/102

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

18/150 (8.3)

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.

But Nadal and Djokovic remain even in their Big Title conversion rates. The Spaniard has won 49 Big Titles from 171 opportunities, a conversion rate of 3.5. Djokovic has won 47 Big Titles from 165 chances, also yielding a conversion rate of 3.5. The 36-year-old Federer, though, has won a Big Title every 4.1 chances (53/216).

Nadal's historic Roland Garros crown – no man or woman in the Open Era has won 11 titles at the same Grand Slam tournament – completed another mesmerising European clay-court swing for the Spaniard. He won 26 of his 27 matches, including four titles: his 11th Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell; his 11th Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, his 31st Masters 1000 title; and his eighth Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Nadal's 32nd Masters 1000 triumph.

Nadal and Federer have now won the past six Grand Slams, tying their second longest streak of Grand Slam titles won exclusively by the two legends.

Longest streaks of Grand Slam titles won by Federer and Nadal

Length of streak

Federer’s titles

Nadal’s titles

11 Grand Slams (2005 Roland Garros-2007 US Open)

2005-07 Wimbledon, 2005-07 US Open, 2006-07 Australian Open

2005-07 Roland Garros

6 Grand Slams (2008 Roland Garros-2009 Wimbledon)

2008 US Open, 2009 Roland Garros, 2009 Wimbledon

2008 Roland Garros, 2008 Wimbledon, 2009 Australian Open

6 Grand Slams (2017 Australian Open-present)

2017-18 Australian Open, 2017 Wimbledon

2017 Roland Garros, 2017 US Open, 2018 Roland Garros

4 Grand Slams (2010 Australian Open-2010 US Open)

2010 Australian Open

2010 Roland Garros, 2010 Wimbledon, 2010 US Open