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By Chris Oddo | Monday, February 24, 2014

 

Presidents have been elected, babies have been born and species discovered. And all the while, Rafael Nadal keeps winning clay-court semifinals.

Photo Source: AFP

Rafael Nadal won his 49th consecutive clay-court semifinal on Saturday at the Rio Open when he saved two match points to defeat Pablo Andujar, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(10).

>>> Video: Nadal Hits Perfect Dropper in Rio Final vs. Dolgopolov

If you read that last paragraph and didn't let out a little groan of appreciation or amazement, maybe you ought to read on, and while doing so, contemplate just how ridiculous of a feat Nadal's clay-court semifinal dominance has become.

Is it as amazing as Roger Federer's Grand Slam semifinal streak, which reached 23? Probably not, but as far as clay court records go, Rafa's dominance at the penultimate level of clay events is quite a monumental achievement.

To put it in perspective, let's take a look at some events that have occurred, both in tennis and out, since Rafael Nadal dropped his last clay-court semifinal in July of 2003 (a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Carlos Moya in Umag).

1. The Olympic games were played in Greece, Italy, China, Canada, Great Britain and Russia.

2. Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2006) were founded.

3. An American male won a Grand Slam and held the No. 1 ranking. Seriously.

4. Kim Clijsters retired, had a baby, came back, won three more Grand Slams, then retired and had another baby.

5. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal won a combined 29 Grand Slams.

6. Rafa turned 18. Rafa switched out of the pirate pants and the sleeveless tops. Rafa turned 21. Rafa won the career Grand Slam. Rafa did a video with Shakira. Rafa won Wimbledon for the first time. Rafa won Wimbledon for the second time. Novak Djokovic owned Rafa then Rafa owned Djokovic back. Rafa turned 27. Rafa won Roland Garros for the eighth time.

7. Wimbledon's Centre Court got a roof over it.

8. Justin Bieber turned 10.

9. A new leopard species was discovered in Borneo.

10. Osama Bin Laden was killed.


 

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