What Makes Rafael Nadal ‘King Of Clay’

1 Ferocious forehand
He has maybe the best forehand of all time. The height he can get on the ball on clay creates a situation where you’re having to hit so many balls shoulder high or above that it’s very hard to return with any length and, if you leave it short, he takes over with the forehand.

Photo: Tennis Trotteur
Photo: Tennis Trotteur

2 Quick feet
His feet can get him into the most amazing positions, so he can hit the forehand from three-quarters of the court. He is one of the quickest players ever.

3 Natural-born winner
Nadal would have succeeded in whichever sport. He has that amazing mind. His Uncle Toni was a disciplinarian, but you don’t have to be that tough because he wants it on his own. He never believes he will be beaten.

4 Mental edge
Players look at Nadal’s record on clay and it’s scary. The majority are beaten before the first ball is hit. You start to think that you have to do something out of the ordinary – then you make errors.

5 Stamina
He can stay out there all day. Best of three against him is bad enough, but in best of five the pressure to win the first set is enormous. You know Nadal’s fifth set is stronger than his first.


  • 68 – Number of ‘best-of five set’ matches he has played on clay. He has lost only one
  • 56 – The number of titles that Nadal has so far won in his career 
  • 47 – The number of clay court finals played by Nadal. He has won 41 of them 
  • 16 – The number of Grand Slam finals he’s played in. He’s won 11 of them

Source: Daily Mail

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