With clay season arriving we are all wondering who is going to be next big thing that will challenge Nadal on clay. One thing for certain, players who won one of the 3 master cup events (Monte Carlo, Rome, Hamburg) would win or be serious contender at French Open. I looked at some data from 1982 (end of Borg’s domination) to 2004 (beginning of Nadal’s domination). And here are some interesting facts. 7 players that won Monte Carlo won the French Open. 9 players that won Rome won the French Open. 4 players that won Hamburg also won the French Open. We all know that Madrid tournament replaced Hamburg in 2009, and will become a new indicator of measuring clay greatness and identifying new champions of the future. However, based on prior results the winner of Italian Open should have a most likely chance of success during the French Open run. There are always some exceptions, Gaudio, Chang and Kafelnikov never won any of the Master Cup series events but all held the French Open trophy. Rios won all 3, but never got close in Paris. Lendl and Kuerten won all 4. In any event, in the next 1.5 month we should see the future French Open Champion emerge by winning one of this tournaments (Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid) and maybe challenge Nadal not this year but in years to come for the ultimate clay court price French Open Crown.