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French Open 2024

Top five players with most men's singles titles at French Open

Published at :May 25, 2024 at 11:37 AM
Modified at :May 25, 2024 at 2:16 PM
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Rafael Nadal leads the pack with 14 titles.

The second major tennis tournament, the French Open 2024 will be up and running with the main draw scheduled from May 26. The French Open, popularly known as Roland-Garros, is an annual tennis tournament established in 1891 and played since 1928 on outdoor red clay courts at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France.

Winning the French Open is one of the greatest achievements in tennis and only a few tennis stars have triumphed on the famed clay courts of Paris.

Rafael Nadal holds the record for most titles at Roland-Garros, with 14 French Open crowns. The 37-year-old tennis star is likely to appear for the last time at the Grand Slam. Nevertheless, his legacy would be difficult to match. 

The “King of Clay,” Rafael Nadal, will kickoff his campaign against No. 4 seed German Alexander Zverev on Sunday (May 26).

In this article, we will shed light on the top five players with the most men’s singles titles at the French Open.

Players with most men’s singles titles at French Open

5. Mats Wilander (3)

The Swedish tennis player flourished with Roland-Garros victories in 1982, 1985 and 1988. He was one of the most successful players of the 1980s. The three-time French Open champion was stoic under pressure and never let his emotions show on the court.

In 1982, no one believed that Mats Wilander could lift the title, though he was the 18th-ranked player in the world. In the fourth round of the tournament, Wilander ousted second-seeded Ivan Lendl in five hard-fought sets, 4-6, 7-5, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Wilander defeated Vitas Gerulaitis in the quarter-finals and Jose Luis Clerc in the final four.

To win his maiden title in Paris, Wilander toppled Guillermo Vilas, in a four-set match. In 1985, Wilander won his second French Open title, beating Lendl in the final.  

Wilander was at the pinnacle of his career in 1988. He won three Grand Slams, including the coveted French Open. Australian Open and US Open were the two other major titles he lifted that year. Notably, Wilander won a total of eight major titles in his career. 

4. Ivan Lendl (3)

Lendl is celebrated as one of the tennis legends in sporting history. The Czech-American tennis player relied on his power game and heavy top-spin from the baseline to win eight Grand Slam championships, including three French singles championships at Roland-Garros.

Ivan Lendl enjoyed great success at the French Open championship in the years 1984, 1986 and 1987. Lendl famously had rivalries with tennis players such as the American John McEnroe as well as Swedes Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander.

One of tennis’ dominant forces in the 1980s, he holds the amazing win-loss singles record at the French Open of 53-12. He reached 19 major finals and won eight of them.

Lendl won his first major singles title in 1984 when he outfoxed John McEnroe in a tightly-contested French Open final, 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, 7-5. He won at Roland-Garros twice more, in 1986 over Mikael Pernfors and in 1987 over Mats Wilander.  

3. Novak Djokovic (3)

Novak Djokovic is the oldest World No. 1 in the history of the ATP rankings in men’s singles. Djokovic holds multiple records in his career, which includes accomplishing 24 majors.

Djokovic has won 98 singles titles, including 40 Masters titles and seven ATP finals. The Serb has won three French Open titles as of May 2024. Djokovic won his maiden title in 2016, defeating Andy Murray in the final. 

The Serbian won his second title at Roland-Garros in 2021, over Stefanos Tsitsipas and his third title came in 2023 in Paris, where he defeated Casper Ruud in a three-set final, 7-3, 6-3, 7-5.

2. Bjorn Borg (6)

Borg was a true icon of the sport. His massive appeal, based not only on his extraordinary tennis ability but also his looks made him a worldwide tennis idol. He was known as the “Ice Man” for his cool temperament on the court. 

Borg was an 11-time major singles champion in just seven years, including a six-time French Open champion. Between 1978-1981, Brog won four consecutive French Open titles. 

He achieved an impressive 89.8% win rate in his major matches and secured three of his major titles without dropping a set (1976 Wimbledon as well as the 1978 and 1980 French Open). At the 1974 French Open, Borg faced a daunting challenge when he lost the first two sets to Manuel Orantes.

Just when it seemed that the young Swedish player was defeated, he staged a remarkable comeback, winning the five-set match 2-6, 6-7, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1.

Borg claimed back-to-back French Open titles in 1974 and 1975. After missing out for the next two years, he then secured four straight titles from 1978-1981 and was the reigning champion when he retired from the sport aged 26 in 1982.

1. Rafael Nadal (14)

Rafael Nadal is the undisputed “King of Clay,” capturing a staggering 14 French Open titles, more than any other player at a single Grand Slam event.

His journey began in 2005 when he won his maiden Roland-Garros crown at just 19-years-old. Nadal went on to achieve unprecedented feats, including winning four consecutive titles on two separate occasions (2005-2008 and 2010-2014) and emerging victorious without dropping a set four times (2008, 2010, 2017, 2020).

His most recent triumph in 2022 came at the age of 36, defying age and a persistent foot injury that required injections to numb the pain.

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