No one can know how this year’s Roland Garros will turn out; what we do know is that Rafael Nadal will be going for his fifth RG title, with a win placing him only one shy of Bjorn Borg's total.
Another thing we know is that the RG is a two-week test of endurance and is widely considered the toughest major to win in terms of mental and physical fortitude.
Many of the game’s all-time greats, from Jimmy Connors to John McEnroe to Pete Sampras, fell short there, while those with thinner résumés have prospered.
But while many RG champions have traits that are unique to the clay, you’ll soon see that the best clay court players have known considerable crossover success.
Therefore, being a truly great clay court player means being a great player anywhere.
Here we will examine the 10 men and women of the modern era who have known the most success on the surface, find out what made them great, and in the process learn where Nadal ranks in terms of clay court history.
And our list starts with...