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Second Serve - A Tennis Now Blog

Second Serve

 

By Nick Georgandis

Here's a interesting stat for you next time you want to blow the minds of your fellow Rafa-holics and Djoko-maniacs.
 
Since the beginning of the 2010 season through yesterday's second-round match at the Barcelona Open, Rafael Nadal has played 97 matches on clay courts, and has won 92 of them.
 
That's a winning percentage of 94.85% by the way.
 
Six of those matches have come against Novak Djokovic, and with the Serbian's victory last Sunday at Monte Carlo, the current No. 1 has split those six matches with the Spaniard.
 
That means that over the last four seasons, Nadal is 3-3 against Djokovic on clay, 89-2 against everyone else.
 
Djokovic's three wins are the most of any player against Nadal on clay; Roger Federer has two - one in 2009, the other in 2007. No other player has beaten Nadal more than once on clay. He's a staggering 249-11 with 38 titles on the surface since his emergence in 2005, when he exploded to a 50-2 record and nine titles on the red stuff.
 
Since then, he's never lost more than two matches in a season on clay, a streak that is now seriously threatened given that he's already lost twice, with the remainder of Barcelona, along with Madrid, Rome and of course, Roland Garros, yet to be played.
 
Nadal's "worst" winning percentage on clay since 2005 came in 2009, when he was just 29-2 (93.56%)and won a meager three titles. This of course, was the season when Robin Soderling upset Nadal in the French Open quarterfinals, paving the way for Roger Federer's victory to complete his career Grand Slam.
 
Twice in that time span, Nadal has gone undefeated on clay - 2006 (26-0, 4 titles) and 2010 (22-0, 4 titles).
 
In the entire stretch, he's lost to players outside the Top 20 just four times - the aforementioned Soderling in 2009, #47 Igor Andreev in 2005, #23 Juan Carlos Ferrero in 2008 (his only loss that year against 24 wins) and #73 Horacio Zeballos earlier this season.
 

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