The Clay Warrior, Rafael Nadal
, Spain's Raging Bull, currently has 46 titles on clay
, will he get to 50
before he retires? What about 16 majors
That's only 5 clay titles
more. At 3-4 clay titles/year it would take him just 2 years. He took 6 last year as he added the Golden Swing to his schedule and swept Barcelona to Roland Garros.
And he now has 14 majors to tie him with the great Pete Sampras. If he can win at Roland Garros alone from now through 2016, he'll get his 16 majors
with a total of 11 at RG
In the race to the Open Era's King of Clay Titles he is currently 2nd.
King of Clay Titles:
1. 48 - Guillermo Vilas (ARG) - Bull of the Pampas*
2. 46 - Rafael Nadal (ESP) - Spain's Raging Bull
3. 40 - Thomas Muster (AUS) - The Iron Man
4. 30 - Bjorn Borg (SWE) - Ice Man
4. 30 - Manuel Orantes (ESP) - Manolito
*corrected by ATP March 2014 (1 other correction/addition may be pending)
Some factors to consider in whether he will be able to win 50 Clay Titles and 16 majors
1. How long will Rafa have enough passion or motivation to to keep playing much longer after winning so many Roland Garros titles, and what will happen if and when he loses there at this point in his career; will it signal the end?
2. Could health issues (ex. knees, back) force him to retire early?
3. Will some other Clay court adept start taking titles from him more regularly?
4. Will he start playing lesser clay events as his performance/ranking declines more (South America, etc), which could increase his chances of getting more titles?
There are probably more factors which you will uncover as this is discussed.
Let's use this thread to keep track and discuss his chances as he hunts for more titles.
Please try to keep this discussion hate-free and reasonable, or mods will take action.