Read & Watch: Nadal Reaches 900 Wins Milestone

ATPWorldTour.com pays tribute to Nadal's match wins achievement

On the very surface on which his sparkling legacy was founded, World No. 1 Rafael Nadal has today recorded the 900th singles match win of his career. The Spaniard, who turned professional in 2001 and continues his quest for a remarkable 11th Roland Garros title this week, is the fifth player in the past 50 years to attain the milestone.

By recording his 83rd clay-court victory in an astonishing 85 matches at the Grand Slam championship, over Germany’s Maximilian Marterer in the fourth round, Nadal has followed in the footsteps of Jimmy Connors (1,056), Roger Federer (1,149), Ivan Lendl (1,068) and Guillermo Vilas (949). Federer also hit 900 match wins at Roland Garros, with a fourth-round win (d. Simon in five sets) on 2 June 2013.

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OPEN ERA MATCH WINS LEADERS (SINCE APRIL 1968)

Player Career Match Wins (Winning %)
1) Jimmy Connors (USA) 1,256-279 (.818)
2) Roger Federer (SUI) 1,149-252 (.820)
3) Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA) 1,068-242 (.815)
4) Guillermo Vilas (ARG) 949-291 (.766)
5) Rafael Nadal (ESP) 900-187 (.828)

MATCH WINS RECORD ON 900TH VICTORY

Player Career Match Wins (Winning %)
Jimmy Connors (USA) 900-144 (.862)
Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA) 900-156 (.852)
Rafael Nadal (ESP) 900-187 (.829)
Roger Federer (SUI) 900-204 (.815)
Guillermo Vilas (ARG) 900-243 (.787)

While 40 of Nadal’s 78 career trophies have been captured at just four clay-court tournaments — 11 at both the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell; 10 at Roland Garros and eight at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia — the Spaniard is the only player in the Open Era to have won 400 matches on both red dirt (412-36, .919) and hard courts (425-127, .770), according to the FedEx ATP Performance Zone.

So it is wrong for the icon of the sport, who also has the best match winning percentage (900-187, .828) of the five members of the ‘900 Match Wins Club’, to be solely defined by his clay-court prowess.

NADAL'S CAREER MATCH RECORD BY SURFACE

Surface Career Match Wins (Winning %)
Hard 425-127 (.770)
Clay 412-36 (.920)
Grass 61-18 (.772)
Carpet 2-6 (.250)

Just one day after celebrating his 32nd birthday (3 June), with sporting immortality already assured, Nadal remains dedicated and committed to working hard and improving. He is humble, too, of his achievements that include six different stints over 10 years at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings, which he first attained on 18 August 2008; 16 Grand Slam championships, and a record 32 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns.

Nadal has lived all of his tennis life in the spotlight, omnipresent in the Top 10 for more than 13 straight years — ever since 25 April 2005, when he was 18. The Mallorcan has regularly silenced the critics, who, early on, feared that his physical and aggressive game would significantly shorten his career. He has also returned to peak form time and again, and been a great source of inspiration to others who have also suffered serious injuries.

As 2018 Roland Garros hits the business end of the competition, Nadal’s focus will not yet shift to the match wins mark of Vilas, the tenacious and hard-working Argentine. Vilas won 678 of his 949 career matches on red dirt — amassing 49 titles and a 53-match winning streak on the surface (both records, at the time). Nadal holds three clay records - 56 crowns, 81 straight victories between 12 April 2005 and 20 May 2007, and 50 straight sets from 15 May 2017 to 11 May 2018.

While Vilas’ surface record may prove to be unattainable, Nadal will surely move into fourth position in the Open Era match wins leaders next year and begin his countdown to 1,000 match wins.

NADAL'S MILESTONE MATCH WINS

Milestone Win No. of Matches W-L Record
100 137 100-37
200 255 200-55
300 373 300-73
400 491 400-91
500 605 500-105
600 723 600-123
700 836 700-136
800 968 800-168
900 1,087 900-187

Special statistical assistance courtesy of Graham Edgar and Greg Sharko.