Rafael Nadal and his Grand Slam achievements are a stuff of legends. The Spaniard, along with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have transformed the popularity of Tennis for close to two decades. Rafael Nadal has a few things in common with Federer and Djokovic. All three superstars have achieved the career Grand Slam, which means they have won all four Grand Slam titles. However, what defines Nadal is that he has also won the Olympic singles and doubles gold, something that Federer and Djokovic have failed to achieve.
Out of Rafael Nadal‘ s 20 Grand Slam titles, he has won 13 French Open titles. This is the most for a single Grand Slam by any player in the history of the sport. Apart from his 13 French Open titles, Nadal has won the US Open four times, Wimbledon twice, and the Australian Open once in 2009. The fact that he achieved 11 out of 20 Grand Slam titles by beating both Federer and Djokovic at their peak shows his brilliance.
Rafael Nadal has reached the Grand Slam Finals 28 times. This means that out of his 20 titles, he has lost only eight times. This success rate of 71.42 percent puts him on an elite list of individuals. From 2005 till 2020, he has won Grand Slams at an astonishing rate of consistency.
Nadal won the French Open four consecutive times from 2005 to 2008. The left-hander won the Australian Open in 2009 by beating Federer. Earlier, he had beaten Federer in the French Open final three times from 2006 to 2008. He only increased the Swiss Maestro’s pain by ending his dominance at Wimbledon with his first title in 2008. Nadal finally completed the career Grand Slam when he won the US Open in 2010. Here is the list of players that Nadal has defeated en route to his 20 Grand Slam titles.
|Players||List of Wins Against Opponents|
|Roger Federer||4 (French Open 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011)|
1 (Australian Open 2009)
1 (Wimbledon 2008)
|Novak Djokovic||3 (French Open 2012, 2014, 2020)|
2 (US Open 2010, 2013)
|Dominic Thiem||2 (French Open 2018, 2019)|
|Mariano Puerta||1 (French Open 2005)|
|Robin Soderling||1 (French Open 2010)|
|Stan Wawrinka||1 (French Open 2017)|
|David Ferrer||1 (French Open 2013)|
|Kevin Anderson||1 (US Open 2017)|
|Daniil Medvedev||1 (US Open 2019)|
|Tomas Berdych||1 (Wimbledon 2010)|
Rafael Nadal has reached the Grand Slam Finals 28 times, winning 20 and losing eight Finals. There are only three people who have defeated Nadal in the finals in 16 years. Here is the list of people who have managed to beat Rafael Nadal
The starting of Federer and Nadal’s rivalry was topsy-turvy. While Nadal continuously thwarted Federer in the French Open, it was the Swiss genius who denied Nadal glory at Wimbledon. In 2006 and 2007, Federer lost two finals at the French Open. He paid it back in grand style at Wimbledon. During the 2006 Final, Nadal defied the odds to reach the final. But, he was beaten in four sets by Federer 6-0, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-3.
History would repeat itself in 2007 when Nadal and Federer clashed in the 2007 Wimbledon final. This time, the tussle was titanic. Federer just held his own by winning the first and third sets by tie-breakers. Nadal, who had won the second set 6-4, leveled the match by securing the fourth set 6-2. But, Federer won crucial points in the fifth set to win Wimbledon for the fifth time. Nadal, though, would get his revenge. He ended Federer’s dominance in Wimbledon in 2008 by beating him in a five-set epic that lasted four hours and 48 minutes in bear-darkness.
Nine years after their Wimbledon epic, both Nadal and Federer clashed in the final of the Australian Open in 2017. In another glorious match that went to five sets, Federer finally got the better of Nadal by winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. It was Federer’s ultimate revenge for the losses in 2008 in Wimbledon and the 2009 Australian Open.
Djokovic is perhaps the only player to have had Grand Slam success against Nadal on all four surfaces. While Federer has never beaten Nadal at the French Open, Djokovic has beaten Nadal everywhere. In 2015 and 2021, he ended Nadal’s streaks of dominance on clay to win the French Open on both occasions.
But, Djokovic made a name for himself in 2011. In the Wimbledon final, Djokovic defeated the defending champion 6-2, 6-1,1-6,6-3. The Serb continued to hurt Nadal as he won the US Open that same year in four tough sets. Djokovic completed the hat-trick of wins against Nadal as he won the 2012 Australian Open in an epic tussle. After losing the first set, Djokovic won the next two sets but Nadal leveled the game in style. In the final set, Djokovic held his nerve to win 7-5. But, Nadal would deny Djokovic the career Grand Slam as he beat him in the French Open in 2012 in four sets.
Djokovic continued his Australian Open domination of Nadal. In 2019, he thrashed Nadal in straight sets to win at Melbourne for the eighth time.
The only individual apart from Federer and Djokovic to beat Nadal in a Grand Slam final. Stan Wawrinka deserves far more credit. The Swiss defeated Djokovic in an epic five-set match, with the final set being won 9-7 by Wawrinka. Nadal and Federer squared off in the semi-final, with Nadal emerging victorious in straight sets.
In the final, Wawrinka dictated the pace of the match as he blitzed through the first two sets 6-3, 6-2. But, Nadal kept himself alive in the game by winning the third set 6-3. But, Wawrinka upset the odds and beat the world number one to secure his first Australian Open title by winning the fourth set 6-3.
Rafael Nadal has a brilliant Grand Slam record, winning 291 matches and losing 41 over a period of 16 years. The year 2021 was only the third time that Nadal had not won a Grand Slam title, the others being in 2015 and 2016. In those years, he was plagued with injury. Nadal has won 105 matches at the French Open, which is the most. His success rate of 97 percent at Roland Garros is simply staggering. At the Australian, Wimbledon, and US Open, he has a success rate of over 80. At Flushing Meadows, he has an 85 percent success rate while at Australia and Wimbledon, it is 82. Here is the complete breakdown of Nadal’s Grand Slam record.
|2005||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Mariano Puerta||6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1, 7-5|
|2006||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4)|
|2006||Wimbledon||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6-0, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-3|
|2007||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4|
|2007||Wimbledon||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||7-6 (7), 4-6, 7-6 (3), 2-6, 6-2|
|2008||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6-1, 6-3, 6-0|
|2008||Wimbledon||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-7 (8), 9-7|
|2009||Australian Open||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 6-2|
|2010||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Robin Soderling||6-4, 6-2, 6-4|
|2010||Wimbledon||Rafael Nadal||Tomas Berdych||6-3, 7-5, 6-4|
|2010||US Open||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2|
|2011||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer||7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1|
|2011||Wimbledon||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6-4, 6-1, 1-6, 6-3|
|2011||US Open||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-1|
|2012||Australian Open||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5|
|2012||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5|
|2013||French Open||Rafael Nadal||David Ferrer||6-3, 6-2, 6-3|
|2013||US Open||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1|
|2014||Australian Open||Stan Wawrinka||Rafael Nadal||6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3|
|2014||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4|
|2017||Australian Open||Roger Federer||Rafael Nadal||6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3|
|2017||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Stan Wawrinka||6-2, 6-3, 6-1|
|2017||US Open||Rafael Nadal||Kevin Anderson||6-3, 6-3, 6-4|
|2018||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Dominic Thiem||6-4, 6-3, 6-2|
|2019||Australian Open||Novak Djokovic||Rafael Nadal||6-3, 6-2, 6-3|
|2019||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Dominic Thiem||6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1|
|2019||US Open||Rafael Nadal||Daniil Medvedev||7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4|
|2020||French Open||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic||6-0, 6-2, 7-5|