French Open: Rafael Nadal or Bjorn Borg, Who Is the More Dominant Champion?

PARIS - JUNE 08: Rafael Nadal of Spain receives the trophy from Bjorn Borg, as runner up Roger Federer (L) of Switzerland looks on after the Men's Singles Final match on day fifteen of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 8, 2008 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Who will be crowned the superior French Open champion, Rafael Nadal or Bjorn Borg? Give the question some thought before scurrying to get your well-oiled pens.


In order to win the coveted title—the holy grail of Stade Roland Garros—most opponents had to accept defeat before they even stepped foot on the red clay thanks to the dominance of both the cool-headed Swede and the scorching Rafa.


Of course, Borg retired nearly thirty years ago, and Nadal is still playing professionally. Nadal is still increasing his totals, therefore. Nadal has already played six games in Paris and is set to play his seventh in two weeks, whereas Borg played for a total of eight years there.

As we examine these two titans of the game on clay, it is crucial to remember that the French Open’s initial two rounds were played in a best-of-three style during the 1973–1975 era. It was back to best of five for the next rounds, the third through the finals. In certain cases, Borg was required to play fewer games—a minor detail.


Additionally, only the top 16 players were seeded in the French Open during Borg’s participation. The top 32 are seeded in the French Open during Nadal’s tenure.


Six of the eight French Open Tournaments were won by Borg. Nadal has participated in six French Opens so far and won five of them. While Nadal’s current victory percentage in the French Open stands at 97.44, the Swede’s is 96.08.

Nevertheless, Nadal is still competing at the age of 24 and doesn’t appear to be stopping. At 25, Borg retired from the game. Nadal will tie Borg for the most French Open victories if he wins one more championship there.


It is very evident that the two are currently tied for the most games played, sets played, and top-seeded opponents faced as we examine their individual campaigns.


Borg: 1973 French Open


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