2020-03-22 00:00:00 EDT
The French Open is regarded as the best clay-court tournament out there. Watching the beautiful game of tennis, is only intensified when watching it on clay, with players being able to slide around the court and being able to show off some incredible shots, such as drop shots, which are hard to come by on other courts. Roland Garros is the tournament that every player wants to win, and that is because of its reputation of being dominated by many players over the years. Roland Garros is a hard tournament to make a list for in terms of best players of all time, many players have failed to win it at the final hurdle and that is because of barriers put up by dominating players like Rafael Nadal and Bjorn Borg. This list won’t be based on number of titles, as only two players have 3+ titles in the history of Roland Garros, but rather on the importance of their victories. Who are the best players of all time at Roland Garros?
1. Rafael Nadal, Spain, 12 Roland Garros Titles
- This is not a shock to anyone, but Rafael Nadal has been absolutely unstoppable on the dirt, especially in Paris. Nadal has played 95 matches in Paris and has only suffered 2 defeats! Nadal loves playing on clay, and the competition he comes up against, even if it is Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, or any other top 10 player, cannot handle the Spaniards game. Nadal has won the tournament 12 times in the last 15 years and he will surely be eyeing a 13th title when Roland Garros takes place in 2020. Rafael Nadal is truly the King of Clay.
2. Bjorn Borg, Sweden, 6 Roland Garros Titles
- Bjorn Borg was once referred to as the King of Clay, and that is because of his absolute domination of the tournament in the 1970s and early 1980s. Bjorn Borg was incredible to watch at Roland Garros, and it is a shame that he retired so young even though he was in perfect health. If Bjorn Borg had remained an active player he would have definitely been closer to Nadal’s number today.
3. Gustavo Kuerten, Brazil, 3 Roland Garros Titles
- Gustavo Kuerten was one of the strongest place holders during the period between Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal on clay courts. Kuerten moved incredibly well around the court and he had some incredible shots in his bag. Kuerten was extremely consistent on clay and this allowed him to win 3 titles in Paris, in 1997, 2000 & 2001.
4. Ivan Lendl, Czechoslovakia, 3 Roland Garros Titles
- Ivan Lendl is known as one of the best players of all time, the Czech has 8 Grand Slam titles, 94 career titles to his name and was world No.1 for 270 weeks. Lendl is really an all-round player and his most successful tournament, in line with the US Open, was Roland Garros. Lendl won the title in Paris in 1984, 1986, and 1987. Lendl was one of the dominating players of the late 1980s and early 1990s and his game was all-round perfect.
5. Mats Wilander, Sweden, 3 Roland Garros Titles
- Mats Wilander was one of the best movers around the tennis court, and when you are able to move rapidly and accurately, you will find extreme success on clay courts. Wilander has been successful on many different surfaces, but his best surface was for sure the clay of Paris. Wilander gave it his all on the court and he will always be remembered as one of the best clay players ever.