4

Rafael Nadal "The King of Clay" won the 2017 French Open dominantly without dropping a set. He got a little bit of help achieving the feat as he didn't face either of the top 2 ranking players (i.e., a combination of remarkable skills on his favorite surface and a bit of luck).

This makes me wonder how many times this has happened before?

4

Despite the difficulty this event had already occurred several times in the past: 9 times for men events and 40 times in women events in modern era.

men records for modern era:

  • Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal take this achievement 3 times each
  • Bjorn Borg in 1976 Wimbledon and Rafael Nadal in 2017 Roland Garros were the lowest ranking (4th) player to win a Grand Slam witouht losing a set
  • AUS open: 2 times
  • Roland Garros: 6 times
  • Wimbledon: 2 times
  • US open: never happened

women records for modern era:

  • women: Martina Navratilova and Serena Williams won a Grand Slam tournaments witouh losing a set 6 times each
  • the lowest ranking player to win a Grand Slam without losing a set was n.15th Marion Bartoli in 2013 Wimbledon (her only Gran Slam tiltle just before her retirement)
  • AUS open: 8 times
  • Roland Garros: 7 times
  • Wimbledon: 10 times
  • US open: 15 times

Here the updated wikipedia pages with the list

It is interesting to notice that for Nadal this 2017 Roland Garros represents his personal career record for percentage of game won on game losts (116 GW vs only 35 GL => 76.8%)

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