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By Chris Oddo | Tuesday, April 8, 2014

 
Rafael Nadal, 2013 French Open

Rafael Nadal will begin the clay-court season in full next week in Monte Carlo. Here's a look as some of the milestones he's approaching on the surface.

Photo Source: AP

According to Greg Sharko, the ATP's statistical guru, nobody in tennis has been more dominant than Rafael Nadal in the month of April.

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Nadal has won 15 titles in April (8 in Monte Carlo and 7 in Barcelona), which is four more than his next best month (May, 11). The Spaniard will bid for his ninth career Monte Carlo title next week, and he'll look to continue his current April winning streak, which is at five. Nadal's 81-match April winning streak was snapped last year when he lost the Monte Carlo to Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard's domination in April and May shouldn't come as a surprise, as he's widely recognized as the greatest clay-court player in the game's history. What is a surprise is that there are actually 10 players in history who have won more matches than Nadal on the surface (Simply because they've played so many more matches than the 27-year-old on the surface, but nonetheless it's surprising to see Nadal not in the top 10 of all-time clay-court wins yet). Well, that should change soon, as you'll see after the jump.

Here's a look at some other milestones that are on the horizon for Nadal this clay-court season:

Clay-Court Titles:

Nadal will continue his chase to become the ATP's all-time clay-court title leader this season. He's currently three titles behind Guillermo Vilas. Here are the ATP's top five clay-court title holders, both active and all-time.

All-Time:

1. Vilas, 46
2. Nadal, 43
3. Muster, 40
4. Borg/Orantes, 30
5. Lendl/ Nastase 28

Active:

1. Nadal, 43
2. Almagro, 12
3. Ferrer/Robredo, 11
4. Federer/Davydenko,10
5. Djokovic, 8

Clay-Court Wins

Nadal is just two wins away from his 300th win on clay, and with his next win on the surface he'll pass Emilio Sanchez to move into 11th on the all-time list.

Here are the top 12 all-time clay-court match winners:

1. Vilas, 644
2. Orantes, 489
3. Muster, 422
4. Higueras, 376
5. Dibbs, 368
6. Moya, 337
7. Lendl, 329
8. Nastase, 327
9. Gomez, 322
10. Luis-Clerc, 301
11. Sanchez/ Nadal, 298

And here are the top 5 active win leaders on clay:

1. Nadal, 298
2. Ferrer, 267
3. Robredo, 235
4. Almagro, 234
5. Monaco, 199

While Nadal may have competition in the wins and titles categories on clay (at least for now) nobody can compete with the Spaniard when it comes to winning percentage on the dirt. He's lost only 21 matches on clay, and he is the only player with a winning percentage of over .900. Only Bjorg comes even remotely close to Nadal (.863, 39 losses) in this category, but really he is a planet or two away from the king of clay.

Here are the top 5 clay-court winning percentages, all-time

Nadal, 298-21 (.934)
Borg, 246-39 (.863)
Lendl, 329-75 (.814)
Rosewall, 107-27 (.799)
Vilas, 644-163 (.798)

Djokovic has the 8th-best all-time winning percentage (.774) and Federer is 12th (.766).

 

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