Few athletes in the history of sports have dominated one tournament as much as Rafael Nadal at the French Open.
The 27-year-old has won eight titles on the clay courts of Roland Garros and enters this year’s event looking for his fifth straight championship.
The No. 1-ranked player in the world has won three singles titles this season and is 34-6 overall in singles play.
His most recent tournament was this month’s ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome, where he was defeated in three sets by Novak Djokovic, the man who poses the biggest threat to Nadal’s chances of winning in Paris.
Despite his historic performances at Roland Garros, Nadal is not the overwhelming favorite to claim this year’s title. He’s lost three times on clay this season, tying the most he’s had on that surface in one year since 2005. The field also has gotten stronger over the last year. In addition to Djokovic, several other top players have a chance to win this tournament, including Roger Federer, Stanislas Wawrinka, Andy Murray, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic.
If Nadal is successful over the next few weeks, he’ll claim his ninth French Open title, extending the record he set last year. He will play American Robby Ginepri in Round 1 on Monday.