Looking Back And Rafael Nadal’s 12 French Open Titles


There has been no tennis player who has dominated the singles Grand Slam like Rafael Nadal at the French Open. This Spanish sensation has won an astonishing 12 trophies at Roland Garros so far. He holds the frightening record of 93 wins and 2 losses on the clay of Paris. Let’s take a look at the 15 years of dominance where Rafa has done a dozen on the Parisian red dirt. 

2005-08: King Rafa Announces Himself In French Open

Looking back and Rafael Nadal’s 12 French Open Titles
Image Credit – Twitter

Rafael Nadal was just 19 years of age when the participated in for the first time in the French Open in 2004. Having already dominated the clay spring that year Rafa went on to win the French Open in his maiden attempt. A star was born who would then hold a monopoly on the tournament. 

Rafael Nadal continued his march at Roland Garros winning the title in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Rafa was at his devastating best in the year 2008. He won the tournament with not a singles set lost. In semis, he beat the then world number 3 Novak Djokovic and in the finals, he beat the then world number 1, Roger Federer. Rafa handed a bagel to Roger in the 3rd set of the final. It was in 2008 that Nadal won Wimbledon also and finished the year as world number 1. The Spaniard had truly come of age in the game. 

2010-14: Nadal’s Reign Continues 

Looking back and Rafael Nadal’s 12 French Open Titles
Image Credit – Twitter

Rafael Nadal was beaten by Robin Soderling in the French Open 2009. It was the first defeat the Spaniard had in the tournament in his 5 years of participation. He came back with a renewed vigor in 2010 to once again win the trophy without losing a single set. That year he would beat his 2009 conqueror Robin Soderling in the French Open final. This Spaniard thus had won 5 titles in Paris looked in no mood to stop. Rafael Nadal also won the US Open in 2010 and completed the career Grand Slam. 

Rafa’s march in Paris continued in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He eclipsed Bjorn Borg’s record of 6 French Open titles and went on to win 9 trophies there till 2014. 2015 a defeat to Novak Djokovic prevented the King of Clay to win his 10th title. The wait would go on in 2016 as Nadal had to pull out mid-way in the tournament due to a wrist injury. His great run in Paris seemed to be over. 

2017-2019: Back with a Bang 

How much money the 2019 French Open men's champion will earn
Image Credit – Twitter

Rafael Nadal came roaring back in the French Open 2017.  This made him the first male tennis player ever to win 10 titles at a single Grand Slam event. It was famously called as La Decima in tennis. In 2018 Rafa again defended the title thus taking his trophy collection at the French Open to 11. He was writing an exceptional story on the clay of Paris that had never been imagined so far. 

In 2019 the order remained unchanged in Paris as Rafael Nadal won his 12th title there. He thus surpassed Margaret Court’s Australian Open record by becoming the first-ever player to win 12 trophies at a single Grand Slam. He is an outright favorite of the tournament gets played on its rescheduled dates in September 2020. The Spaniard has truly justified his status as the King of Clay.

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