Rafael Nadal's Wins at Monte Carlo and Barcelona Show He Is Untouchable on Clay

Vee JayAnalyst IApril 25, 2011

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 24:  Rafael Nadal of Spain serves to David Ferrer during the final match on day seven of the ATP 500 World Tour Barcelona Open Banco Sabadell 2011 tennis tournament at the Real Club de Tenis on April 24, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Nadal won the match in two sets , 6-2, 6-4.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal made history last week when he won Monte Carlo for the seventh successive time, breaking his own record of six set last year. He also broke his own record of 18 for number of Masters titles won.

He created history again this Sunday by winning the Barcelona title for the sixth time, and he is the only player in the Open Era to have won two ATP tournaments at least six times.

In both of the title matches he defeated fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in straight sets.

His career clay-court match win/loss record is now a phenomenal 213-16.

He has 31 clay-court titles, he has overhauled Bjorn Borg's tally of 30 and he is third behind Guillermo Vilas and Thomas Muster, who notched up 45 and 40 titles respectively.

He now has an unbroken run of 34 wins on clay after his seismic loss to Robin Soderling in 2009 in the fourth round at Roland Garros.

With the latest win, Nadal has served notice that he is still the king of clay.

Ferrer himself is in awesome form on clay and has proved second best only to Nadal.

Novak Djokovic, the hottest player this season, is yet to start his clay-court season. Andy Murray made a surprisingly good display of clay-court tennis at Monte Carlo, taking a set off the king himself.

All the top players are likely to be in action in Madrid and Rome in the weeks leading up to Roland Garros. After watching how they perform, we will be in a position to predict who will have the best chance of challenging Nadal when he embarks on his quest for a record-equaling sixth crown at Roland Garros. Borg is the holder of the record, with six titles at the French Open.

But while we are yet to decide who could be the second favorite for the French Open crown, very few of us doubt that Nadal, barring some unforeseen injury or mishap in the interim, will lift La Coupe des Mousqetaires for the sixth time on the second Sunday at Roland Garros.