Rafa’s Dozen: Relive Nadal’s 12 Roland Garros Titles | ATP Tour

Winning a Grand Slam is an extraordinary task, however winning 12 at one occasion is otherworldly.

Rafael Nadal has actually raised the Coupes des Mousquetaires at Roland Garros on 12 celebrations, thriving at the clay-court significant more regularly than any other gamer in history. ATPTour com recalls at his lots victories in Paris, from his first crown as a teen in 2005 to his most current as a 33- year-old guy in 2019.

Despite having actually never ever dipped into Roland Garros in the past, Nadal got here as the hot preferred after getting ATP Masters 1000 titles in Monte-Carlo and Rome, in addition to thriving on house soil inBarcelona After beating Roger Federer in a four-set semi-final on his 19 th birthday, he got the very first Grand Slam title of his profession by beating Mariano Puerta 6-7( 6 ), 6-3, 6-1, 7-5.

“Everything happened very quickly,” Nadal showed years later on. “I went from beingNo 50 in the [FedEx ATP Rankings] to combating to win RolandGarros I believe in my head I absorbed that well, calmly. I believe I had actually been effectively informed to be prepared in case something like that occurred. I accepted whatever as if it were regular and I believe that that was among the secrets to being able to continue with the exact same strength of work, enthusiasm and inspiration.”

Nadal’s path to safeguarding his title was not without problem. In the 3rd round, he required 4 hours and 53 minutes to make it through house favourite Paul-Henri Mathieu 5-7, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4, a match which stays the longest he’s ever dipped into this occasion. But the Spaniard thrived in Paris when again by beating Federer 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6( 4 ).

He likewise set a brand-new record that year. By whipping Robin Soderling in the preliminary, Nadal won 54 straight matches on clay and exceeded Guillermo Vilas’ record for many successive success on the surface area.

“He always seemed to me a spectacular tennis player. He is able to deal with competitiveness with maturity,” stated three-time Roland Garros champ Gustavo Kuerten to ATPTour com in2012 “That’s how Nadal won the tournament.”


For his Roland Garros hat technique, Nadal when again lasted longer than Federer in the last and dominated 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. At age 21, he ended up being the youngest gamer to make 3 titles inParis The Spaniard didn’t drop a set en path to the last, scoring noteworthy wins over Juan Martin del Potro, Lleyton Hewitt, Carlos Moya and Novak Djokovic along the method.

“In 2007, I started to feel that Nadal was a better player than Federer on clay,” said Moya, now Nadal’s current coach, to ATPTour.com in 2012. “That was the first year I felt that Rafa was controlling the match, controlling the point, and the way he was losing that set against Federer was because he was not playing at his best. When he was playing at his best, he was finding his way to beat Federer.”

Nadal equated to Bjorn Borg’s 4 successive titles (1978-1981) at Roland Garros with a perfect display screen of tennis. He didn’t drop a set throughout the fortnight, alleviating past Djokovic 6-4, 6-2, 7-6( 3) in the semi-finals prior to routing Federer 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 in the champion match.

“The most amazing thing obviously is the guy comes in, three-time champion, and that was probably from start to finish his most dominant performance,” stated Brad Gilbert to ATPTour com in2012 “It just kind of had that feeling they’re just watching it from afar, that nobody had a shot the way he was playing at the moment.”


Having suffered his very first defeat to at Roland Garros the previous year at the hands of Soderling, Nadal acquired vengeance by recovering the prize with a dominant 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win versus him in the last. Once once again, the Spaniard won the Coupes des Mousquetaires without dropping a set throughout the competition.

“I think that win, that final against Soderling, sort of got his career back on track,” stated three-time Roland Garros champ Mats Wilander to ATPTour com in2012 “It was the match that made him believe that he’s not done and it transformed his game.”

By winning his 6th title in Paris, Nadal connected Borg’s record for many songs titles at this occasion. His course was less uncomplicated than in previous years, however. He was down two-sets-to-one in his opening round versus John Isner prior to resisting to win in 5 sets, then lasted longer than an inspired Federer in the last to score a 7-5, 7-6( 3 ), 5-7, 6-1 triumph.

“Nadal ensures his opponents have to deal with a variety of spins, and his margin for error in these long rallies is incomprehensible,” described 1999 Roland Garros champ Andre Agassi to ATPTour com in2012 “He strikes near to the lines to move his challenger around the court. He strikes his forehand so he puts it above his challenger’s shoulder and Nadal is regularly fantastic in defence.

“That is why Nadal is so tricky to beat in five sets, especially at Roland Garros. He is like a boxer who constantly jabs. It totally wears an opponent down.”

In a last that ended on Monday due to rain, Nadal beat Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 and broke Borg’s record with his seventh Roland Garros title. He raised his level with each match, travelling previous buddy Juan Monaco in the 4th round prior to alleviating previous fellow compatriots Nicolas Almagro and David Ferrer in the quarter-finals and semi-finals, respectively.

“For me, it’s really an honour,” the Mallorcan stated after his triumph. “Borg is one of the greatest of history, so for me, the comparison with the great Bjorn is fantastic.”

In 2013, Nadal ended up being the very first gamer to win the exact same Grand Slam 8 times. He was required to rally from a set down in his very first 2 rounds versus Daniel Brands and Martin Klizan, then dug deep versus Djokovic in the semi-finals to dominate 9-7 in the 5th set. Nadal conserved his finest for last to blitz Ferrer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in the last.

“The sensation on court was fantastic. The match[es] versus David are constantly challenging,” Nadal stated. “I believe ball game is a lot easier than what the match was today. I believe for minutes I played fantastic. I believe a couple of minutes in the match, I dipped into really, really high level.

“Eight times here is a lot. I never thought about that. But I will keep practising with the same passion and intensity to bring my tennis to the highest level possible.”


Nadal was pressed early on in his quarter-final versus Ferrer prior to discovering a brand-new equipment and travelling to 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1 win. He then equated to Pete Sampras’ mark of 14 Grand Slam titles when he sealed his ninth Roland Garros crown, putting him in a tie for 2nd put on the all-time list, by when again beating Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 in a thrilling last

“Federer has 17 and I have [won] 14 Grand Slams,” statedNadal “[Breaking the record], it’s not a source of inspiration for me. I’ll follow my own course. Then when my profession is over, we’ll count. I do not truly care that much about the records. I’ll still have fun with a great deal of strength. I’ll still be encouraged.

“To me, winning is the result, the equivalent of lots of effort. Therefore, I feel more serene and personally I’m very satisfied.”

Nadal was not able to raise the Coupes des Mousquetaires in his previous 2 efforts, withdrawing prior to the 3rd round in 2016 due to a wrist injury and being up to Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals. But it just made his 2017 accomplishment that much sweeter. He stormed to the title without dropping a set and controlled Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in the champion match to make his 10 th Roland Garros crown, a task described as “La Decima”.

“It’s been wonderful, all the important things that have actually occurred in this competition for me. I’m so really pleased for whatever,” Nadal stated. “Today was an extremely essential day for me. There have actually been some hard minutes [and] injuries, so it’s fantastic to have huge success like this once again.”

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Nadal’s streak of 37 successive sets won ended in the quarter-finals versus Diego Schwartzman, however he held back the Argentine to advance 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. In the last, Nadal beat Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 to protect his crown and hold the Coupes des Mousquetaires for an 11 th time.

“Coming back and to have the chance to win in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona, Rome, and now especially here, it’s very emotional for me,” Nadal stated. “It was an extremely unique minute and well gotten, that minute or more minutes of the crowd supporting me. That sensation because minute was challenging to explain it. Very psychological for me.


Nadal and Federer had actually not fulfilled at Roland Garros given that 2011, however they reunited on Court Philippe Chatrier in 2019 as the Spaniard scored a persuading 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 triumph in the semi-finals. Nadal and Thiem took on once again in the last and the Spaniard thrived when again with a spectacular 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 efficiency. Nadal’s 12 th title in Paris made him the very first gamer in history to win 12 titles from a person Grand Slam competition, surpassing Margaret Court’s 11 titles at the Australian Open.

“What I have to do today is not think about if it’s incredible, because it’s a real thing for me. Even if it’s something I never dreamed about five, six, eight years ago, it’s happening today. And my goal is just try to keep going,” Nadal said. “It’s not about having excess ambition, but it’s about just trying to keep enjoying the things that I am doing.”


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