Geeky stat time

Photo by Beth Wilson

Thanks to kefuoe for remembering that I *heart* stats and pointing out this article on the ATP site. It’s full of juicy good stats that show why Rafa’s the King of Clay.

Looking at the “Open Era Clay Court Title Leaders” stats, keep in mind that Rafa most probably plays fewer clay tournaments per year than his predecessors for two reasons: the number of clay tournaments has diminished over the years; except for early in his career, he doesn’t do the South American clay court swing.

13 Responses

  1. teejustice says:

    Amazing. As much as love Rafa and keep up with all that he has accomplished, when I sit and just read his stats it boggles my mind. He has so many incredible statistics, especially for his age…amazing

  2. tiemyshoe says:

    Can you imagine how much Rafa would rule if a greater percentage of the tour were played on clay? The mind boggles.

    • Nana says:

      Exactly. It’s really a pity that tennis is predominantly a hard court sport now, the clay and grass are just anomalies, or so it seems. Given the limited no. of clay tourneys Rafa plays each year, it would be astounding if he eventually surpasses Vilas’ record (fingers crossed).

      But again, he doesn’t need these stats to prove that he’s one of the greatest clay court players (I would say the greatest, of course, but that’s me). But I do hope that he will get to somehow play more on clay, for the preservation of his body and pure enjoyment of fans.

    • Atch2 says:

      Or if the end of year WTF tournament was on clay every alternate yr to mix it up with hc. But his achievements on clay are unbelieveable. I think the 81 clay wins in a row will take many many more yrs before it can be broken again.

      I think Rafa would enjoy more grass tournaments, especially leading up to Wimby. I think it’s great he adapted so well to grass and luved it when he won his first at Queens Club.

  3. nic says:

    Whoa, did you see 2005??!! Almost double his clay court match wins vs. the later years. How did he do that much? More clay court tourneys than he already plays now? Rafa is the greatest on clay. Those stats are magnificent. And yet he’s also an amazing player on other surfaces. Just the clay court dominance that overshadows, or distracts from the rest.

    • Karen says:

      I think Rafa played alot more clay court tournies when he was younger.As his ranking climbed he’s had to choose the ones from which you gain more points & also be sensible about the geographical position of them. I’d love him to do the South American swing & win them all but what would that prove? We already know he’s the best Clay Court player ever to walk this ‘earth’! At least IMHO, & I was a Borg fan. Now I’m showing my age!!

    • miri says:

      He played the South American clay court swing.

      • Karen says:

        I know he did previously as I’ve scrutinised his ATP profile many times & am always wishing I had started watching him play that many years ago!

        • miri says:

          Yeah, my reply was to nic’s question about how he had so many more clay tour wins in 2005. Sorry about the confusion. Sometimes the nesting isn’t clear when there’s another reply at the same level. I should work on that…

  4. Fay says:

    Well he has 26 of his titles on clay to just 11 on Grass/hc so it would be nice to see him add to his Grass/hc especially grass, tally. As much as he is known as the king of Clay I am sure Rafa likes to think of himself as a real force on all surfraces, whats funny though is when he steps on the clay and the pressure is on (check out DC 2009 vs Berdych for evidence of this), he absolutely refuses to be beaten on THE surfrace that he is expected to excel on!!! Like Fernando said in his post final interview, Rafa’s mentality is different when on the clay… Love it when they bring up Rafas achievements in this way, just shows at a meer 23 yrs of age how remarkable he has been… Vamos Rafa

  5. tennisfun says:

    i think he is great on both clay and grass. and dran amazing on hc . i love to see him play on clay and grass. hc too but the thought of what so many hc are doing to all the players takes away the joy due to the worry. but players had to play on hc due to economics and also as it favours more players than clay and grass. but then grass and clay have few tournaments and more players learn on hc which is a pity. one of our great was saying young players should learn to play on clay as it builts the legs and body for the movements for the hardship of the rallies . its no wonder rafa movements are pure joy and he has such amazing understaning of the construction of the point on any court , clay , grass or hc. keep on being the joy you are rafa.

  6. dutchgirl says:

    I’ve always loved clay court tennis more than the other surfaces, even before Rafa was born ;)
    These stats make me want to see more of Rafa on clay, it’s such a pity there aren’t any more big tournaments on that surface!