The clay-court season has been Rafael Nadal’s time to shine for nearly 15 years. Should 2019 be any different? Many fans and pundits believe that the Spaniard is poised to continue his feast of titles and ATP Rankings points. The tennis world will certainly be watching Wednesday as Rafa plays his opening match at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters against countryman Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Spaniard has racked up 51,475 ATP Rankings points during the European spring clay swing from 2005-2018. He first earned more than 5,000 ATP Rankings points during this stretch in 2010, when he became the first and only player to complete the “Clay Slam” by winning Monte-Carlo, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros.
Nadal’s Spring Clay Points
Note: Points values at tournaments increased to current levels in 2008.
During the past 14 years, the Spaniard has earned more ATP Rankings points during the eight-week spring clay swing than almost every other player has earned throughout 14 full seasons. Only Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Andy Murray have earned more than 51,475 points from 2005-2018. The “Big Four” and David Ferrer are the only active players who have earned more than 40,000 ATP Rankings points during this time.
Total ATP Rankings Points From 2005-2018
Juan Martin del Potro
Nadal has amassed 46 titles during the European spring clay swing, including 11 Roland Garros titles and 24 ATP Masters 1000 crowns. He holds the record for most titles (11) at any Grand Slam (Roland Garros), Masters 1000 (Monte-Carlo) and 500-level event (Barcelona). Monte-Carlo has been Nadal’s strongest Masters 1000 event by far, allowing him to hold the records for the most consecutive titles at any single tournament (8) and longest match-wins streak at any event (46).
The World No. 2 will look to add to his ATP Rankings tally when he starts his 2019 clay-court campaign Wednesday at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters where he seeks an unprecedented 12th title at the event. He is also looking to add to the record 33 Masters 1000 titles he has won.
“This has always been a very special place for me,” said Nadal of Monte-Carlo during the draw ceremony. “I watched all of the great champions here as a kid, so it was always a dream for me to be here.”
After Nadal’s amazing run in last year’s spring clay swing, which saw him win four titles and post a 24-1 record, he will need to produce an equally impressive display this year if he wants to stay competitive in his quest to regain the No. 1 ATP Ranking. If history is any indication, the Spaniard should produce plenty of memorable moments over the next two months.
Source: ATP World Tour