Nadal enters into the “500” club

Rafael Nadal won his match No. 500 two days ago, defeating in the Barcelona semifinal Ivan Dodig 6-3, 6-2. The Spaniard has joined the elite group of 36 players (Nadal is 37th) to win at least 500 singles matches in the Open era. Nadal (24 years, 10 months) is the second youngest player in history to achieve the feat. Bjorn Borg made it in 1980 as a player 15 months younger than Nadal! The No. 1 in the world and undisputed ‘king of clay’ was presented with a celebratory cake after his post-Dodig press conference… Nadal said after the Barcelona final: “I feel at home here. It’s a very special tournament. It always has been as I grew up watching this tournament. It’s a historical tournament with a great tradition and great champions. It’s more than a dream to win here six times. It’s been a very positive week and I think my level has been higher this week than in Monte-Carlo last week. My serve worked much better this week, especially, and also my forehand.”

Top 10 of the youngest players with 500 wins and their age during achieving this milestone:
1. Bjorn Borg – 23.7
2. Rafael Nadal – 24.10
3. Ivan Lendl – 24.11
4. John McEnroe – 24.11
5. Jimmy Connors – 25.2
6. Michael Chang – 25.2
7. Pete Sampras – 25.3
8. Mats Wilander – 25.5
9. Boris Becker – 25.5
10. Stefan Edberg – 25.6
Four active players with at least 500 wins and their records:
(767-179) – Roger Federer
(571-185) – Andy Roddick
(546-197) – Lleyton Hewitt
(501-105) – Rafael Nadal
Nadal’s  numbers after Barcelona 2011:
[501] – matches won in career
78 – wins over Top 10 players
[45] – titles
34 – consecutive matches won on clay (his second personal best result)
31 – clay-court titles (third best in the Open era)
29 – consecutive matches won in Barcelona and number of matches won this year (Ferrer and Almagro share the second position with 25 wins)
10 – his match-winning streak
3 – wins over David Ferrer in Barcelona finals (previously in 2008-09)
2 – titles this year; first player to win two tournaments six or more times – he has won Monte Carlo 7 times and Barcelona 6 times – in the Open era
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