Nadal has again surpassed the incredible with his 11th French Open title. So remarkable in fact is his streak that any further French Open wins, and any of such wins in the past, will cease having any significance. Too much of a good thing in this case will make each of these feats nothing but a statistic. Such would not be the case however, if one pays attention to some interesting statistics in this French Open winning streak: he seems to be doing better as the years go by.
Let's look at the number of games Nadal lost in each French open championship that he won.
Number of games Nadal lost per French Open championship that he won
He lost 34 games and 54 for the 2017 and 2018 French Open championships respectively. As can be seen, the 2017 French Open championship was the one in which Nadal lost the least number of games - in fact if you dig deeper into the statistics you would see that that meant 1.75 games lost on average for each set that he played, something never heard of before. The 2018 French Open championships on the other hand comes in 4th place when it comes to the least amount of games lost per winning championship. Both these occurred when he was 31 and 32 years old - is this a sign that he gets significantly better as he ages?
Now let's look at the number games Nadal lost for each French Open final that he won
Again, this statistic seems to show that Nadal is getting better as he ages - the double-digit figures seem to no longer apply after the year 2014. What is more remarkable though, is that the last two years should have been the hardest ones for Nadal. Wawrinka and Thiem are the best rivals that Nadal will ever encounter on clay, apart from Djokovic (by the way stay tuned for our deeper exploration of this topic, which will come in the form of a blog article!). And yet, he is able to finish them off with greater ease than his encounters (apart from one) in the past. In fact, there is a mitigating factor to Federer's disastrous loss to Nadal - he had a bout of illness during that time - and such match should thus rightfully bear not too much significance in this analysis.
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