Clay is one of the most difficult surfaces to play tennis on. This type of surface demands a good physical shape in order to finish a match glorious. With the most important clay-court event of the year unfolding right now, it’s time to remind ourselves which are the best players to fight on this surface. Therefore, if you want to find out which are the best clay-court tennis players of all time, read the following lines.
Winning the French Open is one of the toughest challenges in tennis. In 1982, when Mats Wilander first came into the Roland Garros, he took the entire world by surprise as he won the event. The shock was amplified by the fact that the player was unseeded. Therefore, statistically speaking, he didn’t stand a chance. The Swede player proved that the title was no accident by winning the clay-court Grand Slam once again in 1985 and 1988. Also, he played in the 1983 and 1987 finals here, but he didn’t manage to win. Throughout his career, Wilander has gathered a total of 20 clay titles, this being the reason why he’s considered as being one of the best players of all time on this surface.
Just like Wilander, Ivan Lendl won 3 French Open titles, and he appeared in another 2 finals where he lost. He won the clay Grand Slam titles in 1984, 1986, and 1987. This prolific clay-court player won a total of 28 titles on this surface throughout his career. What makes his results even more spectacular is the fact that he was a contemporary with most of the best tennis players of all time. By taking this aspect into consideration, you truly get to appreciate how impressive it is that he won the titles that he did.
Bjorn Borg is an example of excellence. The tennis player has a short-lived career, retiring from the court at the young age of 26. But the amazing thing is that during the short period in which he played, he managed to reach 6 French Open finals, and he won them all. He won the clay Grand Slam in 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979,1980, and 1981. Between 1979 and 1981, he managed to win 41 consecutive sets at the Roland Garros. This record hasn’t been surpassed by anyone since. In addition, the amazing player gathered no less than 30 clay titles during the time that he played tennis.
Without a doubt, Rafael Nadal is the best tennis player of all time. The Spanish player has won no less than 37 titles on clay courts. He won a total of 9 titles at the Roland Garros, which is more than any player in tennis history. In his entire career, Rafael Nadal only lost 2 matches at this Grand Slam. He holds the record for most consecutive matches on clay in which he wasn’t beaten in 81 matches. In addition, he is the only tennis player to win the Clay Slam. This means that Rafa won the titles at Monte Carlo, Rome, Madrid, and the French Open, all in one year. He is practically unbeatable on clay, and as long as he’s around, the French Open seems inaccessible to other players.