Although at the beginning he was considered only a clay court expert, Rafael Nadal has gradually proven to be extremely competitive on all surfaces. Nadal is, along with Wilander, the only male tennis player to win at least two Grand Slams on three different surfaces (hard, grass and clay).
Nadal is also, along with Agassi, the only male tennis player to win the Olympic Gold in singles and the four Grand Slams in his career, a feat known as Career Golden Slam. In 2010, Nadal became the only male tennis player to win Grand Slams on three different surfaces (clay, grass and hard courts) the same calendar year.
Nadal holds the record for most consecutive years winning a Grand Slam (2005–2014), as well as the record for most outdoor titles (83).
Nadal: ‘It’s nice to break records’
“The best thing about Big 3 is their love and passion for sports.
Without that it is impossible. To the sports greats, what makes them great is that passion and the right people at their side, each one with their own style and way of understanding the sport” – Rafael Nadal told Argentina’s Jose Luis Clerc on ESPN.
“I’m sorry for Guillermo Vilas (for breaking his record for most claycourt titles) but it’s nice that you break records. There have already been three who beat Pete Sampras’ Grand Slam records, but if I did it, another one will come back and do it.
They are aware that there are many Roland Garros won and it is difficult but I am a normal person. I don’t know when but it will surely happen again. I go for my story and I hope it continued. I am very satisfied with what I have achieved.
When I’m done playing, my actual happiness won’t depend on how much Grand Slam I win. What is welcome will be happiness, (which) is given by family and friends and I am very lucky in that” – the 19 time Grand Slam champion added.
Nadal is the second male player after Andre Agassi to complete the singles Career Golden Slam, as well as the second male player after Mats Wilander to have won at least two Grand Slams on all three surfaces (grass, hard court and clay).
In addition, Nadal has held the world No. 1 ranking for a total of 209 weeks, including being the year-end No. 1 five times.