French Open Men's Champion 2012: What Makes Rafael Nadal the "King of Clay"?

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French Open Men's Champion 2012: What Makes Rafael Nadal the
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
The 'King of Clay"

Rafael Nadal is the greatest clay court player of all time, having won a record seven French Opens and 36 ATP titles on the surface, but what is it that makes him the “King of Clay"?

TECHNIQUE

Technically Nadal’s game possesses no significant weaknesses and any that do exist are hidden by the strengths of the other areas of his game.

Rafa doesn’t have the greatest serve or possibly even the best backhand, but that doesn’t matter much on a clay court where the serve is often used merely as a way to start the point. Furthermore, the slow-bouncing surface allows Nadal to cover most of the baseline with his unstoppable forehand.

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