The career of Rafael Nadal is legendary already, but by winning an incredible 10th French Open title, he made it that much more legendary - here are 10 things he achieved with his latest win in Paris:
1. He’s the first man ever to win the same major 10 times. This is the big stat - but it’s even more incredible than it first seems given no other man has won the same major more than seven times.
2. He lost just 35 games en route to the title. It’s the second-fewest games a man has lost en route to a major in the Open Era with best of five format. Bjorn Borg lost 32 at the 1978 French Open.
3. He passed Sampras for second place on the all-time list for most Grand Slam titles. With his 15th major, he finally passed Pete Sampras - whom he’d been tied with at 14 majors for three years.
4. He’s within three Grand Slam titles of Federer’s record again. Going into 2017, Roger Federer led Nadal 17-14 in majors, and extended that to 18-14 by winning the Australian Open. Nadal has now closed the gap to three majors again, 18-15. And Wimbledon is right around the corner…
5. He passed Djokovic for second-most major finals. Nadal and Novak Djokovic were tied at 21, but with his 22nd, the Spaniard passes him for second-most major finals all-time. Federer has 28.
6. He’s the first man to beat Wawrinka in a major final. Stan Wawrinka had put together a perfect 3-0 record in major finals over the last few years, even beating the reigning World No.1 in all three of those finals - but Nadal put an abrupt end to that perfect 3-0 start with a 6-2 6-3 6-1 demolition job.
7. He’s won eight of his last nine matches against Top 5 players at majors. With his win over the No.3-ranked Wawrinka in the final, he continued his dominance over Top 5 players at majors - his only loss in the last five years came against a No.1-ranked Djokovic at the 2015 French Open.
8. He extended his record for most clay court titles. The 2017 French Open was Nadal’s 53rd career clay court title - no other man in the Open Era even has 50 (Guillermo Vilas is next with 49).
9. He kept the dominance of the Big Four at majors alive. The Big Four have won 44 of the last 49 majors, the only exceptions in the last 12 years being Juan Martin del Potro (2009 US Open), Marin Cilic (2014 US Open) and Wawrinka (2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open).
10. He kept the dominance of the Big Four in the Top 2 alive. With Nadal replacing Djokovic at No.2 - and keeping Wawrinka out - the Big Four have maintained their complete monopoly on the Top 2, holding both the No.1 and No.2 ranking every week since July 25, 2005. Every. Single. Week.
Read more articles by John Berkok.