Fifteen years, 16 Grand Slam titles and countless injuries into his record-setting career, Rafael Nadal is in the midst of his hottest stretch of tennis ever, dominating the clay courts as never before and, one month from his 32nd birthday, looking as unbeatable as ever.
Here are seven stats that attempt (perhaps unsuccessfully) to capture the current greatness of the greatest clay courter in history.
1. Nadal has won 46-straight sets on clay, a mark that shatters the previous record of 35, held by Guillermo Coria.
Nadal’s previous best streak was a 32-set run in 2010-11 and a 31-set stretch in 2007-2008. Neither of those, you might have noticed, came during Rafa’s 81-match winning streak from April 2005 through May 2007. His longest run then was 30 sets in a role. Even during the greatest run in recent tennis history, Nadal wasn’t as hot as he is now.
2. Somehow, those numbers don’t even capture the clay-court brilliance of Nadal over the past 50 weeks.
None of the sets have gone to a tiebreak and just one required Nadal to win seven games (that came against the lone qualifier he’s played during that stretch, Martin Klizan). He’s served up six bagels and 11 sets of 6-1. A…