Tennis

The King of Clay

Updated 1425 GMT (2225 HKT) June 8, 2015
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Rafael Nadal had hoped to win the French Open for an unprecedented 10th time this year. His tally of nine title wins -- from 10 attempts -- at Roland Garros is a tournament record. Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty
Entering this year, Nadal had a 98.5% winning percentage at Roland Garros, having won 66 matches and lost just one. The Spaniard was on a 40-match winning streak ahead of his quarterfinal against Novak Djokovic. Clive Brunskill
Seeded sixth, Nadal was drawn in the same quarter of the field as Djokovic. The Serbian, left, had never beaten Nadal at the French Open but outplayed him in three straight sets at this year's tournament. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images
Nadal won the French Open title on his first attempt in 2005, making him only the second male player to do so after Sweden's Mats Wilander (left) in 1982. JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images
The 28-year-old's first defeat at the French Open came to eventual runner-up Robin Soderling in the fourth round in 2009. CYRILLE CADET/AFP/Getty Images
At Roland Garros prior to this year, Nadal had won 70% of his first-serve points, 56% of his second-serve points, 85% of his service games, 43% of his return games and 50% of his break points. Getty Images
"The King of Clay" has racked up 46 singles titles on his favored playing surface over the years -- only Argentina's Guillermo Vilas, with 49, has a better record on clay. VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images
Nadal has won eight singles titles on the clay courts of both Monte Carlo and Barcelona, as well as seven in Rome -- all of which are tournament records. AFP/Getty Images
He has also won two doubles titles on clay -- with Tommy Robredo (left) in Monte Carlo in 2008 and with Alex Lopez Moron at Umag in 2003. Michael Steele/Getty Images
Nadal has struggled for form on clay this season, though, having failed to win titles in Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Monte Carlo and Rio de Janeiro. His sole win on his favored surface came in Buenos Aires in February. Thomas Coex/AFP/Getty Images
Nadal arrived at this year's French Open ranked seventh in the world -- his lowest position coming into the clay-court grand slam when he has played the event. "I'm going to be ranked lower than ever playing Roland Garros, so that will mean the chance to play against very tough opponents," Nadal said. "I don't know what's going to happen, but I'm going to fight for it." Julian Finney/Getty Images