Winning Rome has been a particularly good omen for Rafael Nadal when it comes to his chances at the French Open. Out of his seven previous titles in Rome, he’s backed them up with a Roland Garros championship six times.
While he and Chris Evert, who won both titles in the same year three times, have made the feat seem somewhat routine, they’re not the only ones to pull it off. Here’s a look at some of the others that have accomplished the Rome and Paris double over the years:
Serena Williams, 2002 & 2013
Williams kicked off her “Serena Slam” at the 2002 French Open, weeks after winning her first career clay-court title in Rome. More than a decade later, the American repeated the feat, defeating rivals Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova in the Rome and Paris finals, respectively.
Maria Sharapova, 2012
Playing some of the best clay-court tennis of her career at that point, Sharapova won an epic final against Na Li in Rome, then beat Sara Errani in Paris to complete the career Grand Slam.
Jim Courier, 1992
Extra warm-up tournaments? Who needs those? In 1992, Courier only played the Italian Open before the French Open, and won his first title in Rome. He then tacked on Paris in one of the most dominant Slam performances of the decade.
Monica Seles, 1990
It’s not often in tennis history that teenagers win dozens of matches in a row. However, Seles was known for defying convention. As part of a 36-match winning streak, the 17-year-old captured the titles in Rome and Roland Garros, beating Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf, respectively.
Thomas Muster, 1995
Ten years before Nadal won nearly every clay-court event he entered in 2005, another left-hander put forth a comparable show of dominance. After defeating former French Open champion Sergi Bruguera in Rome, Muster went on to beat 1989 titleholder Michael Chang in Roland Garros for his only career major.
Steffi Graf, 1987
A year after making her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in Paris, Graf went a few steps further in 1987, when she won her first career Grand Slam title. She defeated Martina Navratilova 8-6 in the third set in the final to cap her clay-court campaign with five titles, including the Italian Open.