It's been a couple days, but it was a busy weekend after a couple busy weeks and then I got sick. So now it's time to play blogpost catch up! First we are gonna take a moment to celebrate Our Hero, Rafael Nadal. Rafa won the Monte Carlo Masters Series Event on Sunday for the Seventh mother-effing year in a row! Can you believe it? It's really kind of incredible. There's just something about the Monte Carlo clay that brings out the best in Rafa. This was Rafa's first title win since October, but he's reached three very big finals before that, so he's season is really going just fine - especially since he is so naturally dominant during the clay season which will stretch from now through the beginning of June. He has a ton of points to defend this year, since he basically won everything from Monte Carlo through Wimbledon, but he's got a good chance to keep most of them. Dude might be a god in the eyes of O, but he's not a machine. It's possible he could lose a match this Spring. But I wouldn't go as far to say it was likely.
Here's where Rafa stands, at age 24, on the list of all-time clay court titles:
1) Guillermo Vilas - 45
2) Thomas Muster - 40
3) (Tie)Borg, Orantes, Nadal - 30 (He's only one title away from taking over third!)
Nadal also posted his 62nd straight match win on clay in the month of April with this latest title. His last loss on clay in April came OVER SIX YEARS AGO - on Apr. 8, 2005 to Igor Andreev in the quarter-finals of Valencia! During this insane April streak he has won 11 titles – seven in Monte-Carlo and four in Barcelona.
Also on the horizon, Rafa is only four wins away from 500 career wins and could get there this week in Barcelona. With his win earlier today, his career mark is now 497-105. He's now crossed the 200 career wins for ATP Masters 1000 matches. The only two other players to reach that mark are Fed (234-71) and Agassi (209-73). Nadal is at (201-40).
Nadal is also standing at 92 weeks at No. 1 which is crazy also when you think about how long he was at No. 2 behind Federer. If he can hold on to his clay season points this spring, he would hit the 100 week mark on June 13th.
Nadal also captured his 19th career ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title increasingly his lead in that tally:
1.Rafael Nadal 19
2. (tie) Andre Agassi 17 Roger Federer 17
4. Pete Sampras 11
SO impressive. I continue to be amazed. I hope he takes another title this week in Barcelona. All I can say is Vamos Rafa!!!