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Rediff.com  » Sports » 50 ATP titles and more...Rafael Nadal in elite company

50 ATP titles and more...Rafael Nadal in elite company

Last updated on: June 13, 2012 10:30 IST

50 ATP titles and more...Rafael Nadal in elite company

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Rafael Nadal's historic seventh French Open crown was also his 50th ATP title. Only nine other players in the Open era preceded the Spaniard to the feat. Bikash Mohapatra looks at them.

Two days have passed since Rafael Nadal's historic seventh title at the French Open. Though the euphoria surrounding the triumph has settled down, few are aware of another landmark the Spaniard achieved in the process.

Nadal's fairly comprehensive four-set win over top-ranked Novak Djokovic in the rain-interrupted final helped him get past legendary Swede Bjorn Borg for the most trophies won in the history of Roland Garros.

It also took the Spaniard's overall record on the red clay in Paris to an impressive 52-1, the lone defeat having come against Swede Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009.

His seventh French title also took his Grand Slam count to 11, tied third (with Borg) for the most major singles titles in the open era -- only behind Roger Federer (16) and Pete Sampras (14).

Besides, it also made Nadal, who turned 26 during the course of the tournament, only the 10th player in the Open era to win 50 ATP titles.

Yes, the French Open was the Spaniard's 50th title, and 36th on his preferred red surface. Rediff.com takes a look at the other players who preceded Nadal to the feat.




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Connors won a whopping 109 singles titles

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Jimmy Connors's record will take some beating.

The flamboyant American won a whopping 109 singles titles in his long and illustrious career.

Among his titles were eight Grand Slam triumphs. Connors also finished second best in seven other major finals -- three year-end championships.

He held the top ranking for 268 weeks, and in 1974 became only the second player in the Open era (after Rod Laver) to win three major titles in a career year, only missing out at the French Open. Mats Wilander (1988), Roger Federer (2004, 2006-07), Rafael Nadal (2010) and Novak Djokovic (2011) have since matched the feat.

The American's 1242 singles match wins also remain the most by a player on the tour.




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Lendl pocketed 94 ATP titles

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Ivan Lendl's title count (94) was three more than the combined figures of his two equally illustrious contemporaries, Boris Becker (49) and Stefan Edberg (42).

The Czech-born American played 19 Grand Slam finals, a record surpassed by Federer in 2009, winning eight of them.

The man who coaches Andy Murray at present was ranked No.1 for a whopping 270 weeks and won 1,071 singles matches in what was a glorious career.

 




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McEnroe played in 109 finals, winning 77 of them

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Arguably the most graceful player ever, John McEnroe was equally successful in both singles and doubles, winning 70-plus tournaments in each of the formats.

The American played in 109 singles finals, winning 77 of them.

Among his most notable successes were his three titles at the All England Club (1981, 1983-84) and his four US Open triumphs (1979-81, 1984).

McEnroe was ranked No.1 for 170 weeks.




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Federer has won 74 singles titles so far

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There's little about Roger Federer that a tennis aficionado isn't aware of.

One of the most successful players of our time, the Swiss has 74 singles titles at present.

Having broken Jimmy Connors's record of most wins in Grand Slams (234) with his opening round win (over Germany Tobias Kamke) in this French Open, Federer was asked if he dreamt of surpassing the American's record 109 career titles.

'Is it possible for me to equal Connors's number of titles? Well, 110 would be a round figure. That would be incredible,' quipped the Swiss.

Not getting any younger at 30, the number looks a tall order for Federer.




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Sampras' 64 titles included 14 majors

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Pete Sampras's name was synonymous with records for most of the 1990s.

The American played in 88 singles finals in his illustrious career, winning 64 of them. He was raked No.1 for 286 weeks. It remains a record!!

Among his many successes were his 14 major titles, 11 Masters Series -- the precursor to the 1000s -- shields and five World Championships.

Sampras won seven singles titles at Wimbledon -- an Open era record -- and captured the US Open on five occasions, a record he shares with Connors and Federer.




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Borg won 64 times in eight years

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Bjorn Borg's was a short and sweet career.

The Swede made it to the final on 88 occasions, winning on 64 occasions.

Among Borg's titles were the five straight triumphs at Wimbledon -- a record matched by Federer in the last decade -- and six wins at the French Open, a mark Nadal got past in the just-concluded tournament in Paris.

During his eight-year career, the Swede won 41 per cent of the major tournaments he entered (11 of 27) and a whopping 89.81 per cent (141-16) of the singles matches he played in the Grand Slams.

He announced his retirement in 1982, aged just 26.




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16 of Vilas' 62 career titles came in 1977

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Guillermo Vilas won 62 titles during an illustrious career, including four Grand Slams -- the French Open and US Open in 1977, both on his preferred clay surface, and the 1978 and 1979 Australian Open, on both occasions on grass.

The Argentine won a whopping 923 singles matches in his illustrious career and remains third in the list, behind Connors and Lendl.

Vilas peaked in 1977, undoubtedly his best year on tour, winning two of the four majors and 16 of the 31 ATP tournaments he entered, ending with a singles win-loss record of 130-15.

He finished the year ranked No.2. Unfortunately, he could never go one better.




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Agassi won 60 singles titles

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There's nothing in men's tennis that Andre Agassi hasn't won. Period!

The American is one of the only two men (besides Nadal) to achieve a Golden Slam of all the four major titles and an Olympic gold.

Agassi played in 90 tournament finals in his long and illustrious career, winning 60 titles in the process.

He won eight major titles (in 15 finals), the World Championships (1990), 17 Masters Series titles and also the Davis Cup.

During an almost two-decade-long career Agassi held the No. 1 ranking for 101 weeks.




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Nastase's won 57 times in his two-decade long career

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When the ATP world rankings were introduced in 1973, Ilie Nastase was the first player to be ranked No.1.

The Romanian had a spectacular career, highlighted by a US Open (1972) title and a win at the French Open (1973). He also reached the final at Wimbledon on two occasions (1972 and 1976).

Besides, he reached the final of the year-end World Championships on five occasions, winning the tournament four times.

In a career spanning two decades, Nastase played in 93 ATP finals. He won 57 of them.




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