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2007 Roland Garros
Paris, France

 

2007 ROLAND GARROS

DAY 15 MENíS NOTES

Sunday 10 June 2007

Final

 

 

NO. 1 ROGER FEDERER (SUI) v NO. 2 RAFAEL NADAL (ESP)

 

At stake for the two finalists, in addition to the prestige of the Roland Garros title, is the following prize money and ranking points:

 

 

Prize money
Euros
ATP Ranking Points

Champion

1,000,000

1000

Finalist

500,000

700

 

2007 Roland Garros marks the 106th edition of the French championships. This year marks the 40th French Open and the 77th tournament since the French championships became international in 1925.

 

Twenty-four different men have won Roland Garros titles in the Open Era, and the tournament could have a 25th different champion this year should Roger Federer win today. Roland Garros has the highest number of different winners among the four Grand Slam events.

 

 

Different champions

Australian Open

23

Roland Garros

24

Wimbledon

18

US Open

21

 

 

Top two seeds return to the final

 

This is just the fifth time in the Open Era that the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds have reached the Roland Garros final, and the 13th time it has happened since 1925. [See page 258 of the 2007 Roland Garros media guide for more information.]

 

Today marks the third time that the top two seeds have met in the Roland Garros final in back-to-back years. In 1935, No. 2 Fred Perry defeated No. 1 Gottfried Von Cramm; the following year the result was reversed but the No. 2 seed prevailed again when No. 2 Von Cramm defeated No. 1 Perry. In 1967, No. 1 Roy Emerson defeated No. 2 Tony Roche; a year later, No. 2 Ken Rosewall defeated No. 1 Rod Laver.

 

With No. 1 Federer and No. 2 Nadal both returning to the final for the second successive year, this is just the second time since 1925 that the same top two seeds have appeared in the final here. The only previous time was when Von Cramm and Perry made successive Roland Garros final appearances in 1935 and 1936 (see above).

 

Through Nadalís defeat of Federer last year, the No. 2 seed holds a 7-5 advantage in Roland Garros finals between the top two seeds.

 

At other majors in the Open Era, the top two seeds have met in the final nine times at Wimbledon, seven times at the Australian Open and ten times at the US Open.

 

This is also the tenth time in the last 14 majors, including here, that two existing Grand Slam champions have met in the final.

 

 
Clay court leaders

 

Both of todayís finalists feature in the top nine for most clay court wins in 2007. Ten of the last 13 Roland Garros champions won at least 15 clay court matches coming into Paris (the exceptions are Gustavo Kuerten in 1997, Andre Agassi in 1999 and Gaston Gaudio in 2004). Of the two finalists, only Nadal won 15 matches before arriving at Roland Garros.

 

2007 clay court leaders (through semifinals)

Rank

Player

Win-loss

1.

Rafael Nadal

25-1

2.

Juan Monaco

20-6

 

Nicolas Almagro

20-8

4.

Juan Carlos Ferrero

18-9

 

Juan Ignacio Chela

18-9

 

Albert Montanes

18-10

7.

Roger Federer

16-2

 

Novak Djokovic

16-4

 

Guillermo Canas

16-6

10.

Tomas Berdych

15-7

 

Carlos Moya

15-8

 

Potito Starace

15-9

 

Igor Andreev

15-10

 
 
2007 match win leaders

 

Both finalists appear among the top four players for most wins on all surfaces this year.

 

2007 match win leaders (through semifinals)

Rank

Player

Win-loss

2007 titles

1.

Rafael Nadal

42-6

AMS Indian Wells, AMS Monte Carlo, Barcelona, AMS Rome

2.

Novak Djokovic

40-9

Adelaide, AMS Miami, Estoril

3.

David Ferrer

31-12

Auckland

4.

Roger Federer

30-4

Australian Open, Dubai, AMS Hamburg

 

Mikhail Youzhny

30-12

Rotterdam

 

 

ATP Ranking update

 

Regardless of the outcome of the final, Federer and Nadal will still occupy the No. 1 and No. 2 positions respectively in the ATP rankings when they are published on Monday. Federer is in his 175th week at No. 1, having occupied the top spot every week since 2 February 2004. Nadal has been behind him at No. 2 since 25 July 2005, and is now is in his 98th straight week in that position.

 


 

Head-to-head: Nadal leads 7-4

2004     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)            R32      Nadal                63 63

2005     AMS Miami                   Hard (O)            FR        Federer             26 67 76 63 61

2005     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            SF        Nadal                63 46 64 63

2006     Dubai                            Hard (O)            FR        Nadal                26 64 64

2006     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay(O)             FR        Nadal                62 67 63 76

2006     AMS Rome                   Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                67 76 64 26 76

2006     Roland Garros               Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                16 61 64 76

2006     Wimbledon                    Grass (O)          FR        Federer             60 76 67 63

2006     Tennis Masters Cup       Hard (I)              SF        Federer             64 75

2007     AMS Monte Carlo          Clay (O)            FR        Nadal                64 64

2007     AMS Hamburg               Clay (O)            FR        Federer             26 62 60

 

This is the pairís 12th meeting, and seventh on clay. Although Nadal leads their overall series, Federer has won three of their last four match-ups. Nadal leads 5-1 in their clay court encounters, but the Swiss scored his first clay court victory against the Spaniard in their most recent meeting, at AMS Hamburg last month. That win broke Nadalís record 81-match winning streak on the surface, which dated back to April 2005. Federer and Nadal are meeting for the third straight year at Roland Garros, and this is their fourth Grand Slam meeting, as they also faced off in the final of last yearís Wimbledon. Today marks their ninth meeting in a final.

 

Among active players who have had more than one career meeting with Federer, Nadal is one of four men to have a winning record against him.

Winning records v Federer*

Opponent

Their win-loss

Winning %

Dominik Hrbaty

2-0

100%

Guillermo Canas

3-1

75%

Gustavo Kuerten

2-1

67%

Rafael Nadal

7-4

64%

*where more than one match played

 

Nadal and Federer have lost just one set between them en route to the final. The Spaniard has reached this stage in straight sets, while Federer has lost just one set (in the quarterfinals) on the way here. There have been two previous instances in Open Era Grand Slam history of both men advancing to the final without losing any sets between them: at 1976 Wimbledon (Bjorn Borg and Ilie Nastase, Borg winning in the final in straight sets), and at the 1977 US Open (Jimmy Connors and Guillermo Vilas, Vilas winning in four sets in the final).

 

                       FEDERER                                           v                                          NADAL

 

                            25                                              Age                                           21*

                      6í1Ē / 1.85m                                     Height                                  6í1Ē / 1.85m

                    177lbs / 80kg                                    Weight                                 188lbs / 85kg

                             1                                        ATP Ranking                                     2

                      30,565,328                         Career Earnings (US$)*                      10,270,634

                       1,988,870                            2007 Earnings (US$)*                         1,933,695

                            48                                       Career Titles                                    21

                             3                                          2007 Titles                                       4

                         124-21                         Career Grand Slam Record                       45-10

                       Champion                         Best Grand Slam Result                      Champion

                2003-06 Wimbledon                                                                     2005-06 Roland Garros

        2004, 2006-07 Australian Open                                                                                                      

                 2004-06 US Open                                                                                                               

                           26-8                              Roland Garros Record                            20-0

                        517-132                                  Career Record                                225-57

                         102-35                              Career Record - Clay                           127-13

                           30-4                                      2007 Record                                   42-6

                           16-2                                 2007 Record - Clay                              25-1

                           9-10                             Career Five-Set Record                           7-2

                             3                             Comebacks from 0-2 Down                          2

                        194-108                          Career Tiebreak Record                         51-40

                           10-3                               2007 Tiebreak Record                             6-4

                           12:33                             Total Time on Court ^                           13:24

* earnings as of 28 May 2007

^ turned 21 on Sunday 3 June

^ official time according to umpireís scorecard

 

Road to the Final

Federer

Time^

 

Time^

Nadal

d. Michael Russell 64 62 64

1:44

1st Round

2:19

d. Juan-Martin Del Potro 75 63 62

d. (WC) Thierry Ascione 61 62 76

1:51

2nd Round

1:53

d. (Q) Flavio Cipolla 62 61 64

d. Potito Starace 62 63 60

1:31

3rd Round

2:21

d. Albert Montanes 61 63 62

d. No. 13 Mikhail Youzhny 76 64 64

2:25

Round of 16

2:21

d. No. 14 Lleyton Hewitt 63 61 76

d. No. 9 Tommy Robredo 75 16 61 62

2:02

Quarterfinals

2:02

d. No. 23 Carlos Moya 64 63 60

d. No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko 75 76 76

3:00

Semifinals

2:28

d. No. 6 Novak Djokovic 75 64 62

 

 

 

Sets Won/Lost

Games Won/Lost

Federer

18-1

115-69

Nadal

18-0

111-51

 

 

         Federer has advanced to his second successive Roland Garros final, and his 12th Grand Slam final.

 

         Federer is appearing in his eighth consecutive Grand Slam final, establishing a new all-time record for successive appearances in major finals, breaking his tie with Jack Crawford, who reached seven consecutive Grand Slam finals from the 1933 Australian Championships through 1934 Wimbledon.

 

         Through his defeat of Davydenko here, Federer has now won 27 successive Grand Slam matches going back to Wimbledon last year. He has equalled his longest streak of wins in Grand Slams, which he set from 2005 Wimbledon through the 2006 Roland Garros semifinals. Federer currently lies in second place for the longest Grand Slam winning streak in the Open Era, behind Rod Laver. He would equal Laverís record run of 29 consecutive victories in majors if he wins the title here today and goes on to win his first round match at Wimbledon.

 

Longest Grand Slam winning streaks in the Open Era

Player

No. of matches

Streak duration

Rod Laver

29

1969 Australian Open through 1970 Wimbledon R32

Roger Federer

27

2005 Wimbledon through 2006 Roland Garros SF

Roger Federer

27

2006 Wimbledon through 2007 Roland Garros SF

Jimmy Connors

25

1974 Australian Open through 1975 Australian Open SF

Pete Sampras

25

1993 Wimbledon through 1994 Roland Garros R16

 

         For the third successive year, Federer is bidding at Roland Garros to become only the sixth man in history to win all four Grand Slam titles. The five men to have achieved the Ďcareer Grand Slamí are Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Rod Laver and Fred Perry. Budge and Laver, of course, won the much-coveted Grand Slam, Budge winning all four major tournaments in a single calendar year in 1938, before Laver did so in 1962 and 1969.

 

         Of the five men to possess a career Grand Slam, three of them Ďcompleted the setí and won their fourth different title at Roland Garros: Fred Perry in 1935, Donald Budge in 1938 and Andre Agassi in 1999.

 

         With his chances of achieving both a career Grand Slam and a calendar-year Grand Slam still alive, Federer is also bidding, for the second successive year, to win four majors in a row. Of the five men to win all four majors in their careers, only Budge and Laver held all four titles at the same time. Perry, Emerson and Agassi were never able to win four consecutive Grand Slam tournaments.

 

         In the 38 years since Laver completed his second Grand Slam in 1969, Agassi is the only man to have been able to capture the elusive fourth title. In that time, 11 other men have collected three of the four major titles. In every case, the players failed to win either Roland Garros or Wimbledon to complete their set. [For more detail see Preview page 3.]

 

         Federer reached the Roland Garros final for the first time last year, becoming the 15th man to reach the final at all four Grand Slam events. Eight of these men, including Federer, have won titles at three of the majors but lost in the final at the fourth.


 

         Of the eight men to win titles at three of the majors but lose in the final at the fourth, only from Federer, Ivan Lendl and Ken Rosewall have reached the final of their missing Slam more than once.

 

Player

Missing Slam

Years in final

Ken Rosewall

Wimbledon

4 (1954/1956/1970/1974)

Ivan Lendl

Wimbledon

2 (1986-87)

Roger Federer

Roland Garros

2 (2006-07)

Jean Borotra

US Open

1 (1926)

Jack Crawford

US Open

1 (1933)

Frank Sedgman

Roland Garros

1 (1952)

Lew Hoad

US Open

1 (1956)

Stefan Edberg

Roland Garros

1 (1989)

 

         Federer has a 10-1 record in previous Grand Slam finals.

 

Federer in Grand Slam finals

Event

Opponent

Result

2003 Wimbledon

Mark Philippoussis

Won 76 62 76

2004 Australian Open

Marat Safin

Won 76 64 62

2004 Wimbledon

Andy Roddick

Won 46 75 76 64

2004 US Open

Lleyton Hewitt

Won 60 76 60

2005 Wimbledon

Andy Roddick

Won 62 76 64

2005 US Open

Andre Agassi

Won 63 26 76 61

2006 Australian Open

Marcos Baghdatis

Won 57 75 60 62

2006 Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal

Lost 16 61 64 76

2006 Wimbledon

Rafael Nadal

Won 60 76 67 63

2006 US Open

Andy Roddick

Won 62 46 75 61

2007 Australian Open

Fernando Gonzalez

Won 76 64 64

2007 Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal

??

 

         Federer has collected his ten Grand Slam titles in his last 15 Grand Slam tournaments. If he is able to go on and win his 11th major title at 2007 Roland Garros, he would move into even more exclusive company on the Grand Slam title leaderboard. Only four men have 11 or more Grand Slam titles to their names.

 

All-time Grand Slam title leaders

No. of titles

Player

14

Pete Sampras

12

Roy Emerson

11

Bjorn Borg

Rod Laver

10

Bill Tilden

Roger Federer

 

         Federer is the sixth man in the Open Era to reach 12 or more Grand Slam finals. Of the six men to have reached 12 or more Grand Slam finals in the Open Era, Federer has the highest winning percentage in those finals.

Grand Slam finals reached (Open Era)

Player

No. of GS finals

No. of GS titles

Per cent won

Ivan Lendl

19

8

42%

Pete Sampras

18

14

78%

Bjorn Borg

16

11

69%

Andre Agassi

Jimmy Connors

15

15

8

8

53%

53%

Roger Federer

12

10

91%*

*10 wins from 11 previous finals

 


 

         If he does win the title here, Federer will have won his 11th Grand Slam title in his 32nd Grand Slam event, matching Rod Laverís achievement.  Of those men to win 11 or more Grand Slam titles, only Bjorn Borg won his 11th in fewer appearances than Federer and Laver.

 

Fastest to win 11 Grand Slam titles (all time)

Player

Scene of 11th GS title

No. of majors played

to win 11th GS title

Bjorn Borg

1981 Roland Garros

26

Roger Federer

2007 Roland Garros???

32???

Rod Laver

1969 US Open

32

Pete Sampras

1998 Wimbledon

37

Roy Emerson

1967 Australian Champs

45*

*known Grand Slam appearances

 

         Federerís 125-21 win-loss record in Grand Slam tournaments is the best among active players (in terms of matches won).

 

         Federer is bidding to become the first man in 15 years to win the Australian Open and Roland Garros in the same year. Rod Laver, in 1969, Mats Wilander, in 1988, and Jim Courier, in 1992, are the only men to win the two events back-to-back within a calendar year in the Open Era. In the history of the sport, only eight men have won the Australian Open-Roland Garros double, with Laver and Roy Emerson having done so twice.

Australian Open-Roland Garros Double

                                                            1933                 Jack Crawford

                                                            1938                 Don Budge

                                                            1953                 Ken Rosewall

                                                            1956                 Lew Hoad

                                                            1962                 Rod Laver

                                                            1963                 Roy Emerson

                                                            1967                 Roy Emerson

                                                            1969                 Rod Laver

                                                            1988                 Mats Wilander

1992                                  Jim Courier

 

         Federer made a record 12th successive Grand Slam semifinal appearance at this event. He set the new all-time record at the 2007 Australian Open, when, by reaching his 11th successive semifinal, he surpassed Rod Laverís run of 10 straight Grand Slam semifinal appearances from 1960 Wimbledon through 1962 Roland Garros, and Ivan Lendlís streak of ten major semifinals from the 1985 US Open through the 1988 Australian Open.

 

         In his run to this yearís Roland Garros final, Federer has dropped one set, the seventh time he has lost one set or fewer in reaching a Grand Slam final.  In winning the 2007 Australian Open, Federer became the first man to win a Grand Slam title without dropping a set since Bjorn Borg at 1980 Roland Garros.

 

         Federer dropped his only set at this yearís Roland Garros so far against Tommy Robredo in the quarterfinals, ending his streak of 36 consecutive sets won in Grand Slams in the Open Era. By winning the first set against Robredo, Federer established a new outright record for consecutive sets won in Grand Slams in the Open Era, overtaking John McEnroe, who won 35 in a row in 1984.

 

         In dropping the second set to Tommy Robredo in their quarterfinal on Tuesday, Federerís streak of straight-sets victories in Grand Slam matches in the Open Era ended at 11. He equalled the record of John McEnroe, who also won 11 Grand Slam matches in straight sets from the second round at 1984 Wimbledon through the 1984 US Open quarterfinals.

 

         Federer is making his ninth appearance at Roland Garros, having played every year since making his Grand Slam debut as a wild card in 1999.

 

         Federer has been at No. 1 in the rankings for 175 weeks, having been at the top every week since 2 February 2004. This is a record for consecutive weeks at No. 1 Ė he overtook Jimmy Connorsí mark of 160 straight weeks on 26th February. Federer is in fourth place for the most total weeks at No. 1, behind Pete Sampras (286 weeks), Ivan Lendl (270 weeks) and Connors (268).

 

         Federer is playing the No. 2 ranked player for the 18th time in his career, and currently holds a 10-7 win-loss record.

 

         The only Spaniard that Federer has lost two in the last three years is Rafael Nadal. Since 2004 AMS Hamburg he has compiled a 31-6 record against Spaniards, through his defeat of Tommy Robredo in the quarterfinals here. Federer defeated four Spaniards in a row Ė Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer, Carlos Moya and Nadal Ė to win the title at AMS Hamburg two weeks ago (see below).

 

         Federer has a 10-5 win-loss record against Spanish opponents at Grand Slams, and is 4-4 at Roland Garros.

 

         Although Federer has won three titles so far in 2007, by his standards this season has been disappointing. Before the start of Roland Garros, his win-loss record for the season was only seventh-best, at 24-4. Federerís victory at AMS Hamburg broke a run of four straight tournament losses, his longest streak without winning a title since taking over the No. 1 ranking in February 2004. After winning the Australian Open and Dubai, Federer lost in the second round at AMS Indian Wells to Guillermo Canas 75 62 (after a first round bye), and again to Canas, 76 26 76, in the round of 16 at AMS Miami. Federer reached the final at AMS Monte Carlo before losing to Rafael Nadal, and was then upset by wild card Filippo Volandri 62 64 in the round of 16 at AMS Rome.

 

         Federerís recent victory at Hamburg was his fourth win at the tournament and his only clay court title ahead of coming here.

 

         Federer is on an eleven-match winning streak. Victory for Federer today would see him equal his longest clay court winning streak. He won 12 consecutive matches on the surface in 2002-03, winning two Davis Cup rubbers for Switzerland against Morocco (2002 World Group play-off), then winning at Munich and reaching the final at AMS Rome in spring 2003.

 

         Federerís title at Hamburg last month (see above) was the 48th of his career and moved him ahead of Rod Laver on the list of all-time Open Era title leaders and into sole ownership of tenth place. Victory today would move Federer into joint-ninth place with Boris Becker.

 

         Gustavo Kuerten was the last No. 1 seed to win Roland Garros, in 2001. The top seed has now reached the final here 15 times in the Open Era (39 championships). Of the previous 14 top seeds to reach the final here, 11 have gone on to win the title. [For more details, see Preview page 11.]

 

         Federer is the only Swiss man to ever reach the final at Roland Garros.

 

         Federer played all four Grand Slams as a junior, winning the junior event at Wimbledon and reaching the final of the US Open boysí singles in 1998 The same year he also reached the semifinals of the Australian Open junior event and ended the year as the No. 1 junior and ITF Junior World Champion. Roland Garros was the only junior Grand Slam event at which Federer did not reach the semifinals or better. On his only appearance in the boysí singles here in 1998, he lost to Jaroslav Levinsky 64 57 97 in the first round.

 

 

         Nadal has advanced to the final without losing a set. This is the first time he has done this at a Grand Slam event: the furthest Nadal had previously advanced at Roland Garros without dropping a set was the round of 16, in 2005.

 

         Federer, at this yearís Australian Open, was the last man to reach a Grand Slam final without dropping a set, and he went on to become the first man since Bjorn Borg at 1980 Roland Garros to win a Grand Slam title without dropping a set.

 

         This is the eighth time in the Open Era that a player has reached the Roland Garros final without dropping a set, and the first time since Nadalís compatriot Alberto Berasategui reached this stage in straight sets in 1994, losing in four sets in the final to fellow Spaniard Sergi Bruguera. Nadal is the sixth different man in the Open Era to reach the Roland Garros final without dropping a set. Borg achieved the feat three times. [See table overleaf.]


 

Reaching the Roland Garros final without dropping a set (Open Era)

Player

Year

Result in final

Ilie Nastase*

1973*

d. Niki Pilic 63 63 60

Bjorn Borg

1978

d. Guillermo Vilas 61 61 63

Bjorn Borg

1980

d. Vitas Gerulaitis 64 61 62

Bjorn Borg

1981

d. Ivan Lendl 61 46 62 36 61

Guillermo Vilas

1982

l. Mats Wilander 16 76 60 64

Ivan Lendl

1985

l. Mats Wilander 36 64 62 62

Alberto Berasategui

1994

l. Sergi Bruguera 63 75 26 61

Rafael Nadal

2007

v. Roger Federer ???

Players in bold won the title without dropping a set

*First two matches were best-of-three sets

 

         Through Federerís achievement at 2007 Australian Open, four different men in the Open Era have now won a Grand Slam title without dropping a set. Bjorn Borg achieved the feat three times, at 1978 Roland Garros and 1980 Roland Garros as detailed above, and also at 1976 Wimbledon. Two other men have won a Grand Slam title without losing a set in the Open Era: Ken Rosewall at the 1971 Australian Open, although he only played five matches as he had a first-round bye in a 64-draw, and Ilie Nastase at 1973 Roland Garros, but his first two matches were best-of-three set encounters (see also above).

 

         Nadal has improved his Roland Garros record to 20-0 through the first six rounds. In 2005 he became the first man to win the event on his debut since Mats Wilander in 1982, defeating Mariano Puerta 67 63 61 75 in the final. Nadal defeated todayís opponent Federer 16 61 64 76 in the 2006 final.

 

         Nadal is the first man since Jim Courier in 1993 to reach three consecutive Roland Garros finals, and the fourth man in the Open Era to do so. Courier won the title in 1991 (d. Andre Agassi) and 1992 (d. Petr Korda) and finished runner-up in 1993 (l. Sergi Bruguera). To date, only Borg was able to win three successive finals here.

Three or more consecutive Roland Garros finals (Open Era)

Player

Years reached Roland Garros final and result

Bjorn Borg

1978 (won), 1979 (won), 1980 (won), 1981 (won)

Ivan Lendl

1984 (won), 1985 (lost), 1986 (won), 1987 (won)

Jim Courier

1991 (won), 1992 (won), 1993 (lost)

Rafael Nadal

2005 (won), 2006 (won), 2007 (???)

 

         Nadal is one victory away from becoming the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to collect a third successive Roland Garros title, and just the second man for 93 years to do so. Borg, who won a total of six Roland Garros titles in the periods 1974-75 and 1978-81, is the only man to have won three in a row here in the Open Era (going on to win four in a row), and the only player to have done so since the event went international in 1925. Three more men achieved the feat pre-1925.

 
Hat tricks at Roland Garros

                                                            Andre Vacherot Ė 1894-96

                                                            Paul Ayme Ė 1897-1900

                                                            Max Decugis Ė 1907-09; 1912-14

                                                            Bjorn Borg Ė 1978-81

 

         Roger Federer was the last man to win a hat trick of titles at any Grand Slam event, doing so at Wimbledon in 2005, and at the US Open in 2006. [See Preview page 2 for more details.]

 

         The last man to win three or more Roland Garros titles, consecutive or non-consecutive, was Gustavo Kuerten in 2001. (Kuerten also won in 1997 and 2000.) Kuerten is one of six men to have won three or more Roland Garros titles, consecutive or non-consecutive, since the event went international in 1925.

Most Roland Garros titles (all time*)

Player

Titles won

Years

Bjorn Borg

6

1974-75, 1978-81

Henri Cochet

4

1926, 1928, 1930, 1932

Rene Lacoste

3

1925, 1927, 1929

Mats Wilander

3

1982, 1985, 1988

Ivan Lendl

3

1984, 1986, 1987

Gustavo Kuerten

3

1997, 2000-01

*since the event became international in 1925

         Nadal has reached his fourth Grand Slam final in his 13th Grand Slam appearance. Among men to have played solely in the Open Era, this is the joint-second-fastest to reach four Grand Slam finals. All three of the other men to have reached their fourth major final in 13 or fewer attempts have claimed their third Grand Slam title within their first four appearances in Grand Slam finals.

 

Note: Federer reached his fourth Grand Slam final in his 22nd appearance in a major.

 

Fastest to reach four Grand Slam finals (Open Era)

Player

No of majors played

to reach third final

First three GS finals

Results in finals

John McEnroe

12

1979 US Open

1980 Wimbledon

1980 US Open

1981 Wimbledon

Champion

Runner-up

Champion

Champion

Jimmy Connors

13

1974 Australian Open

1974 Wimbledon

1974 US Open

1975 Australian Open

Champion

Champion

Champion

Runner-up

Rafael Nadal

13

2005 Roland Garros

2006 Roland Garros

2006 Wimbledon

2007 Roland Garros

Champion

Champion

Runner-up

???

Mats Wilander

13

1982 Roland Garros

1983 Roland Garros

1983 Australian Open

1984 Australian Open

Champion

Runner-up

Champion

Champion

 

         If Nadal were to win his third Grand Slam title here, in his 13th major, it would place him in equal second place for fewest appearances to win a third major, among men to have played solely in the Open Era.

 

Note: Federer won his third Grand Slam title in his 21st appearance in a major.

 

Fastest to win third Grand Slam title (Open Era)

Player

Third Grand Slam title

No of majors played

Jimmy Connors

John McEnroe

1974 US Open

1981 Wimbledon

12

12

Bjorn Borg

Rafael Nadal ??

Mats Wilander

1976 Wimbledon

2007 Roland Garros???

1984 Australian Open

13

13???

13

 

         Nadal could have played at Roland Garros for two years before making his debut in 2005. He missed the event in 2003 after sustaining an elbow injury the week before in practice; in 2004, he was unable to play because of a stress fracture of his left ankle.

 

         Nadal has reached the quarterfinals or better at all four majors. Away from Roland Garros, Nadalís best result was reaching the 2006 Wimbledon final, losing to todayís opponent Federer 60 76 67 63. Nadal also reached the quarterfinals at the 2006 US Open and the 2007 Australian Open.

 

         Nadal has ensured that Spain is being represented in a 12th Roland Garros final (three of the 11 previous finals were all-Spanish match-ups). There have been eight previous Spanish champions at Roland Garros in the Open Era, accounted for by six different Spanish men: Andres Gimeno, Sergi Bruguera, Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Nadal.

 

         Overall, Spanish players have a 8-6 record in the final here, although that does include the 1994, 1998 and 2002 finals, when two Spaniards contested the final.

 

         Although Nadal is one of six different Spanish men to win the Roland Garros title in the Open Era, he has now become just the second Spanish player after Sergi Bruguera to reach three Roland Garros finals.

 

Spaniards reaching three Roland Garros finals (Open Era)

Player

Years reached Roland Garros final and result

Sergi Bruguera

1993 (won), 1994 (won), 1997 (lost)

Rafael Nadal

2005 (won), 2006 (won), 2007 (???)

         This is the 16th year that at least one lefthander has reached the Roland Garros final (the Nadal v Mariano Puerta final in 2005 marked the first all-lefthanded final here in the Open Era). Nadal is already one of 11 different lefthanders to reach the final here, in 2005 becoming the first lefthander to win Roland Garros since Thomas Muster in 1995. Last year, Nadal became the first lefthanded Roland Garros champion to defend his title, or to even win a second title, here in the Open Era.

 

         Age 21 years, 7 days (on the last day of the tournament), Nadal is the 13th-youngest man to reach the Roland Garros final. He was the fifth-youngest to do so when he first reached the final here in 2005, going on to become the fourth-youngest Roland Garros champion in the Open Era.

 

         Nadal has a 9-4 record against all Swiss opponents. Most of this is accounted for by his 7-4 record against Federer, but he has faced two other Swiss in his career, defeating Ivo Heuberger in the first round at the 2004 US Open, and Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round at the 2007 Australian Open.

 

         Federer is the only No. 1-ranked player that Nadal has faced in his short career. Against Top 10 players, Nadal has a 26-12 record through his defeat of No. 6-ranked Djokovic in the semifinals here. He is 4-4 against the Top 10 at majors, winning all four meetings at Roland Garros but never defeating a player in the Top 10 at the other three majors.

 

         The defending champion has now reached the final at Roland Garros 16 times in the Open Era, and has gone on to win the title ten times previously. (The defending champion has not returned on three occasions in the Open Era.) 

 

         Nadal arrived at Roland Garros having just suffered his first clay court loss for more than two years. He had his record-breaking 81-match clay court winning streak broken by Federer at AMS Hamburg, falling 26 62 60 in the final.

 

         Nadal accumulated his 81-match clay court winning streak after losing to Igor Andreev in the Valencia quarterfinals on 7 April 2005, surpassing Guillermo Vilasís previous mark of 53 straight clay court match wins with his first round victory at Roland Garros last year.

 

         Nadal is one of just two men, along with Buenos Aires and Portschach winner Juan Monaco, to collect multiple clay court titles so far in 2007. For the second year running, Nadal claimed all three of his clay court titles on European clay, winning at AMS Monte Carlo (d. Federer 64 64 in the final), Barcelona (d. Guillermo Canas 63 64), and AMS Rome (d. Fernando Gonzalez 62 62).

 

         Eight of the last 12 Roland Garros champions entered the event having won at least one clay court title in the months leading up to Roland Garros.

 

         At AMS Rome last month, Nadal surpassed Carlos Moya for the most clay court titles won among active players. Nadalís 16 clay court titles put him in tenth place on the list for most career clay court titles won in the Open Era. Federer, meanwhile, has won six titles on the surface.

 

Most clay court titles (Open Era)

Rank

Player

Total clay

Roland Garros

Other titles

1.

Guillermo Vilas

43

1

42

2.

Thomas Muster

40

1

39

3.

Ivan Lendl

28

3

25

4.

Bjorn Borg

27

6

21

5.

Manuel Orantes

24

0

24

6.

Jose-Luis Clerc

21

0

21

 

Ilie Nastase

21

1

20

8.

Mats Wilander

20

3

17

9.

Andres Gomez

17

1

16

10.

Rafael Nadal

16

2

14

11.

Carlos Moya

15

1

14

 

         Nadal leads the tour for total titles collected in 2007, having won four altogether including his hard court victory at Indian Wells in March. He also leads the tour for total match wins this season, being 42-6 through the semifinals here. (See also the match win leaders table at the top of these notes.)

 

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