Rafael Nadal has made that dream a reality for one lucky fan after donating one of his 2019 Roland Garros final match shirts to the ‘La Mejor Asistencia’ (The Best Assistance) auction, organised by Liga ACB, Spain’s top professional basketball division.
“For this auction, I wanted to donate the shirt with which I won Roland Garros in 2019. Obviously, I do not know if it is the one I ended the match with, but one with which I played on the day of the final,” said Nadal.
“It is a shirt that has great meaning for me. I hope you value it and the auction raises as much money as possible for all these people who are suffering so much and need all our support.”
The highest bid for the 12-time Roland Garros champion’s shirt currently stands at more than €4,500. All funds raised will go to the Red Cross campaign Nuestra Mejor Victoria (Our Best Victory), run by Nadal and basketball star Pau Gasol to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why Nadal Is Even Better On Hard Courts Than You Think
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal has long been lauded for his clay success. But not only has the Spaniard compiled one of the best hard-court records in history; the lefty is performing significantly better than his career average.
According to the ATP Performance Zone, Nadal leads the ATP Tour over the past 52 weeks with a 90.5 winning percentage on hard courts. That puts him well ahead of World No. 1 Novak Djokovic (86%), Roger Federer (81.1%), Daniil Medvedev (75.5%) and Andrey Rublev (75.4%).
Hard-Court Winning Percentage — Past 52 Weeks
Player Winning Percentage
1. Rafael Nadal 90.5%
2. Novak Djokovic 86%
3. Roger Federer 81.1%
4. Daniil Medvedev 75.5%
5. Andrey Rublev 75.4%
Nadal has won 38 of his 42 hard-court matches over the past year. Not only is he winning at a high rate, but he’s doing so against highly-ranked players. The 33-year-old has earned 11 of those 38 victories against Top 20 opponents, with seven of those triumphs coming in straight sets. The lowest-ranked opponent Nadal has lost to on hard courts since the start of the 2019 BNP Paribas Open was then-World No. 11 David Goffin at this year’s ATP Cup.
The Mallorcan’s efforts on the surface might always be compared to his spectacular efforts on clay, on which he has a career winning percentage of 91.8 per cent, but his career numbers stack up well in the history books. Nadal currently ranks 11th in career winning percentage on hard courts at 78.1 per cent, ahead of former World No. 1s Boris Becker, Bjorn Borg, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander and more.
Career Winning Percentage On Hard Courts (Active Players)
Player (all-time rank) Winning Percentage
1. Novak Djokovic (1st) 84.3%
2. Roger Federer (3rd) 83.5%
3. Andy Murray (10th) 78.2%
4. Rafael Nadal (11th) 78.1%
5. Juan Martin del Potro (21st) 72.3%
The only active players whom Nadal trails in the category are the other members of the Big Four: Djokovic, Federer and Andy Murray. The Spaniard is also eight-hundredths of a percentage point away from passing Murray and cracking the Top 10.
Perhaps what is most impressive is how much Nadal has improved on hard courts. His performance over the past 52 weeks is more than 12 percentage points better than his career average. Last year he triumphed at the Coupe Rogers, an ATP Masters 1000 event held in Montreal, and the US Open. Last month, he was victorious at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC, an ATP 500 in Acapulco.
In every season starting in 2017, Nadal has won more than 80 per cent of his hard-court matches per year. He had not eclipsed that mark in the three seasons before that. From 2017 until today, Nadal’s hard-court winning percentage is 84.8 per cent.
Did You Know?
According to the ATP Performance Zone, Nadal owns the highest career winning percentage on record at 83.2 per cent. He is followed by Djokovic at 83 per cent.