Rafa by the numbers

6 Grand Slam titles, 3 Davis Cup, 1 Olympic gold medal, 18 Masters Series titles. At 24, the only trophy missing to his impressive collection is the US Open crown.

Some of Rafa’s records:
– 81 consecutive wins on clay
– 18 Masters Series titles
– 6 consecutive titles in a tournament (Monte Carlo)
– the only player to win 400 singles matches in fewer than 500 matches played
– the only player to win all 3 clay court Masters Series in the same season
and on and on

Here you can find the details of Rafa’s singles titles:

Grand Slam:
You can click on the column to sort by year, championship, surface…

Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
2005 French Open Clay Mariano Puerta 6–7(6), 6–3, 6–1, 7–5
2006 French Open (2) Clay Roger Federer 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6(4)
2007 French Open (3) Clay Roger Federer 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
2008 French Open (4) Clay Roger Federer 6–1, 6–3, 6–0
2008 Wimbledon Grass Roger Federer 6–4, 6–4, 6–7(5), 6–7(8), 9–7
2009 Australian Open Hard Roger Federer 7–5, 3–6, 7–6(3), 3–6, 6–2

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gEHBhd2c1s[/youtube]

Sam Stosur advances to the semifinals : she could have won easily 6-2 6-3 but she missed the occasion and Serena came back. The Australian saved a match point at 5-4 (30-40) in the third and defeated the world number one 6-2 6-7 8-6.

Two little videos of Sam Stosur, 2007 French Open:

[flickrvideo]http://www.flickr.com/photos/tennis-buzz/2400251237/in/set-72157603930017545/[/flickrvideo]
[flickrvideo]http://www.flickr.com/photos/tennis-buzz/2400286533/in/set-72157603930017545/[/flickrvideo]

This afternoon, Sam Stosur will meet Jelena Jankovic, and Elena Dementieva will face Francesca Schiavone.

Other surprise today: Jurgen Melzer beat world number 3 Novak Djokovic. The Serb lead 2 sets to love and a break but Melzer worked it hard and won in 5: 3-6 2-6 6-2 7-6 6-4.
Big desillusion for the Serb who should focus on his game instead of playing the drama queen.

Stat of the day: 1
Of all the 8 semifinalists, Rafael Nadal is the only one to have already won a major.

In recognition of Rafa’s 24th birthday, Tennis Buzz features today ’24 Hours of Rafa’ – a full day of Rafa articles, photos and videos.

Rafael Nadal

Some big names crashed out today at Roland Garros:

– Number 6 seed Andy Roddick was ousted in straight sets by qualifier Teimuraz Gabashvili. I ‘ve seen Gabashvili play twice: once in a Futures tournament in Lille a couple years ago and last Saturday in Roland Garros, when he was playing an exhibition set against Gianni Mina during Benny Berthet Day. I must say he is a solid player but I wasn’t really impressed by his game.

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Third round: Rafael Nadal vs Lleyton Hewitt
Head to head: 5-4
2009 Roland Garros Clay Nadal 6-1, 6-3, 6-1
2008 Beijing Olympics, Hard Nadal 6-1, 6-2
2007 Roland Garros Clay Nadal 6-3, 6-1, 7-6(5)
2007 ATP Masters Series Hamburg Clay Nadal 2-6, 6-3, 7-5
2006 Queen’s Club Grass Hewitt 3-6, 6-3 RET
2006 Roland Garros Clay Nadal 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2005 Australian Open Hard Hewitt 7-5, 3-6, 1-6, 7-6(3), 6-2
2004 ATP Masters Series Toronto, Hard Hewitt 1-6, 6-4, 6-2
2004 Australian Open Hard Hewitt 7-6(2), 7-6(5), 6-2

Rafa and Lleyton met at the same stage of the tournament last year. Rafa is once again the big favorite, as he became the first player in history to win all 3 clay court Masters titles in a single year and the first player to win 3 consecutive Masters events.
But as always, Nadal won’t overlook his opponent: “We know Hewitt. He’s a very dangerous guy and he plays at a very high level. He’s going to do his best to win, of course.”
Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt will give everything on the court: “He cleaned me up last few times. He’s obviously very dominant, especially on this surface. I’m gonna have to go out there and execute what I want to do, and do it bloody well.”

You can follow here live this match between two former number ones.

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