Reaching six Masters 1000 semi-finals in a single season is an extraordinary feat that requires a high level of tennis in different parts of the year and on different surfaces and conditions. Thus, it has only been reserved for the most notable players since 1990, with Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray as the only players who have managed to achieve that so far.
The 17-time Masters 1000 champion Andre Agassi never had more than four semi-finals at the Masters 1000 level in a season, which tells a lot about this feat and those who secured the spot on this list. Pete Sampras did that in 1995, with an 11-year break before Roger Federer repeated the task in 2006 before Rafael Nadal stepped onto the scene, rattling off four straight seasons with at least six Masters 1000 semi-final between 2007-10, a record that should stand for many more years!
Ever since 2004 when he defeated Roger Federer in Miami at the age of 17, Nadal was destined for Masters 1000 glory, conquering four tournaments in 2005 as a teenager and standing on 35 titles at the moment, one more than Novak Djokovic.
Rafa missed a chance to add more fuel to this record, reaching five Masters 1000 semi-finals in 2005 and 2011 and proving his class at this series year after year. Nadal stood strong in 2013 as well and that was his last campaign with six semi-finals at premium ATP events before 2019 when he stepped up his game at the age of 33 to join Novak Djokovic on six seasons with this feat!
As always, Rafa was the semi-finalist at Indian Wells (had to withdraw before the clash with Roger Federer), Monte Carlo, Madrid and Rome, not playing that well on beloved clay but managing to hit the last four at all three events, lifting the trophy in Rome.
In Montreal, the Spaniard went all the way to pick up his 35th Masters 1000 title, adding that sixth semi-final at the last Masters 1000 event of the season in Paris, withdrawing again due to an injury but doing enough to top the charts of another record at this level.
The previous record-holder was Novak Djokovic who now shares the throne with Rafa, advancing into at least six Masters 1000 semi-finals in six out of eight years between 2009-2016, delivering some incredible numbers in his prime seasons to set the records that even Nadal couldn’t match.
Nadal and Djokovic were the best players of the Masters 1000 season behind us together with Daniil Medvedev, setting another showdown for 2020 when they should continue the battle for the most prominent Masters 1000 player in history.