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anointedone
06-10-2008, 11:09 AM
This is something to put Nadal's very special place in the history of clay court history in perspective:

French Open titles:

1. Bjorn Borg- 6
2-two way tie. Henri Cochet- 4
2-two way tie. Rafael Nadal- 4 (almost exactly 22 years old)
3- four way tie. Rene Lacoste- 3
3-four way tie. Mats Wilander- 3
3-four way tie. Ivan Lendl- 3
3- four way tie. Gustavo Kuerten- 3

The French Open has been a full fledged slam, open to players from countries outside France, since 1925. Only 7 men in history have won 3 French Open titles. Nadal is one of only 3 in history to win 4, at the tender age of 22.

Monte Carlo titles:

1. Rafael Nadal- 4
2-two way tie. Thomas Muster- 3
2-two way tie. Bjorn Borg- 3

This event in fairness is very different then the French Open in the sense it has only been in existence since 1974. So not nearly as long a history and many great players who did not have the opportunity to play it. Still in existence for 34 years now, covering all of Borg, Wilander, Lendl, Vilas, Panatta, Muster, Bruguera, Courier, Kuerten, Rafa is still one of only 3 men to win this prestigious title atleast 3 times, and the only to win it 4. Again at the tender age of 22.


Rome titles:

1. Rafael Nadal- 3
2-six way tie. Bjorn Borg- 2
2-six way tie. Vitas Gerulaitis- 2
2-six way tie. Andres Gomez- 2
2-six way tie. Ivan Lendl- 2
2-six way tie. Jim Courier- 2
2-six way tie. Thomas Muster- 2

Again only in existence since 1974 but Rafa is the only man in history to win 3 titles here, and again at only 22.

urban
06-10-2008, 11:26 AM
Rome is in existence since 1930, when Tilden beat an Italian count De Mopurgo, whom he intensely disliked. MC is in existence since the early 1900s, but got his current status since ca. 1975, with the emergence of Nastase and Borg. Hamburg was traditionally the third biggest clay event, with BHC at Bournemouth the next in line.

anointedone
06-10-2008, 11:27 AM
I mean with its current Masters status and importance of course. Those events were around before but on the scale of importance they only reached the top when they gained their current Masters event status.

dh003i
06-10-2008, 11:38 AM
I agree, he's 2nd greatest on clay right now, all time.

On grass, it's

#1: 2-way tie: Sampras and Renshaw (7 titles)
#2: 2-way tie: Borg and Federer, Lawrence Doherty (5 titles)
#3: 3-way tie:Rod Laver, Reginald Doherty, Anthony Wilding (4 titles)
#4: 5-way tie: Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, John McEnroe, John Newcombe, Boris Becker (3 titles)

Yes, I looked at the Wimbledon Wiki champions list for some of those players in the early 1900s or late 1800s. Interesting reading up on some of the really old ones. But Renshaw I've known about for a while.

CyBorg
06-10-2008, 11:48 AM
Rome was huge in the early 70s but dropped in popularity sometime around the mid-70s. Borg skipped it in most years.

CyBorg
06-10-2008, 11:49 AM
I agree, he's 2nd greatest on clay right now, all time.

On grass, it's

#1: 2-way tie: Sampras and Renshaw (7 titles)
#2: 2-way tie: Borg and Federer, Lawrence Doherty (5 titles)
#3: 3-way tie:Rod Laver, Reginald Doherty, Anthony Wilding (4 titles)
#4: 5-way tie: Bill Tilden, Fred Perry, John McEnroe, John Newcombe, Boris Becker (3 titles)

Yes, I looked at the Wimbledon Wiki champions list for some of those players in the early 1900s or late 1800s. Interesting reading up on some of the really old ones. But Renshaw I've known about for a while.

Renshaw played only one match a year to defend those titles. The totals for the likes of Laver are skewed by the pro/amateur split.

Rosewall and Cochet are also more accomplished than Nadal on clay, although Nadal is off to a terrific start of course.

CyBorg
06-10-2008, 11:51 AM
Also 22 is not a 'tender' age for clay courters, historically speaking. If anything this tends to be a 'peak' age, particularly if we look at the longevity of most clay courters going back about 30 years or so.

Kent Carlsson was done at about 21.

dh003i
06-10-2008, 11:57 AM
Renshaw played only one match a year to defend those titles. The totals for the likes of Laver are skewed by the pro/amateur split.

Rosewall and Cochet are also more accomplished than Nadal on clay, although Nadal is off to a terrific start of course.

There was still fierce competitions in the amateur tennis tourneys.

Also, only playing one match a year to defend titles arguably makes it more difficult in a way...you then have to summon form, may be rusty, etc. It isn't clear that such should diminish the accomplishment.

CyBorg
06-10-2008, 11:58 AM
Rosewall as a pro:

- beat Lew Hoad on clay at the French pro in 1958
- beat Hoad again at the French pro in 1960
- beat Gonzales at the French pro in 1961
- defeated Gimeno at the French pro in 1962

The French pro then moved to wood, so it's harder to assess Rosewall's success on the surface up until the Open era, but he still won numerous titles on the surface in those years

- in 1968 he beat Rod Laver at the French Open, then losing to Laver in the rematch the following year

There are probably some clay events I am not aware of and some posters here may be able to fill in the blanks.

CyBorg
06-10-2008, 12:00 PM
Also, only playing one match a year to defend titles arguably makes it more difficult in a way...you then have to summon form, may be rusty, etc. It isn't clear that such should diminish the accomplishment.

It's hard to say, but I would think that playing seven men is harder than one. Rustiness is a factor, but only if Renshaw played absolutely no tennis between these finals.;)