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Rafael Nadal's 10 French Open trophy bites, graded by grossness

Metal tastes so bad. Why does he do this?

Rafael Nadal has won 10 freaking French Open titles in his past 13 tries, the latest coming in a three-set sweep of Stan Wawrinka on Sunday. That’s unreal, and he might have won another had a wrist injury not forced him to withdraw in 2015.

His win means he’s set a bunch of records and stuff, but also that he has now tasted metal in 10 French Opens (among other times he’s won). That is a lot of metal. Metal doesn’t taste good, trust me. So it’s been really impressive that Nadal has pretended that it’s fine every time he wins.

The biting of the trophy seems be something that’s not exclusive to Nadal, either. It’s something common with Olympians, and the tradition can be traced all the way back to the gold rush when prospectors bit metal to test its hardness. Human teeth are harder than gold, so if your chompers leave an indentation you can be assured that you’re not being duped with fool’s gold.

Anyway, here are the 10 times Nadal has consumed metal graded by grossness:


French Open - Day Fourteen Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Nadal was a mere teen here, and he made a devastating mistake. He absolutely chugged the metal here (a terrible idea). He was obviously excited about his first French Open win and didn’t really think this whole thing through.

There is a lot of tongue action happening here, which is crushing for this type of event.

Picture the last time you kissed your significant other and they had just eaten something you find appalling (probably peanut butter). Well, that’s what Nadal did here, except it was with an inanimate object that ONLY tastes bad ALL of the time.

Gross meter: 10/10


2006 French Open - Day Fifteen Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

A year gave Nadal a chance to correct his form. He wasn’t gonna taste it cup-drinking-style. He went for the pointy part and an open mouth. Better idea for sure.

Problem is another pointy part touched his bottom lip. That DEFINITELY tasted bad, and was the hole to an otherwise brilliant scheme.

Gross meter: 6/10


French Open - Day Fifteen Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Instead of single-toothing, Nadal went for the bite-down on the side of the pointy part. There’s still a lot of metal here, and chances are no matter how hard he tried, his tongue hit part of it. He was really onto something in 2006, but this was a step in the wrong direction.

Gross meter: 4/10


French Open - Roland Garros 2008 Day Fifteen Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Yeah, so by the fourth win Nadal was sick of this trash ritual. “That metal ain’t going near my mouth again fam,” Nadal probably said.

He double-tooth-touched the side of the pointy part and looked frickin miserable doing so. He found a way to avoid tongue, though (see 2005’s nightmare), and that’s the most important part.

Gross meter: 2/10


2010 French Open - Day Fifteen Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Nadal just touched a part of the pointy thing to one of his teeth after his one-year metal hiatus. He smiled, too. This was a pro move ...


The form is perfect, dude, you just have to roll your tongue back in your mouth. Why are you doing this to yourself?

Gross meter: 6/10


2011 French Open - Day Fifteen Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

“I run this metal-eating game,” Nadal thought as he maneuvered his tongue around the metal.

Gross meter: 1/10


2012 French Open - Day Sixteen Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

He went with the same method that worked the year before here, but that other pointy part is dangerously close to picking his nose. Now maybe he had an itch and this was intentional, but in all likelihood this was botched execution.

Gross meter: 7/10 (metal in his frickin nose, c’mon)


2013 French Open - Day Fifteen Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

“This is my eighth damn time, I’m just gonna bite it and use a little tongue.”

Gross meter: 5/10


2014 French Open - Day Fifteen Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

“I hate this,” Nadal probably said, crouching to the floor. “But maybe it’ll taste better on the floor.”

It didn’t.

Gross meter: 7.5/10 (much worse on the floor)


2017 French Open - Day Fifteen Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

“Actually I’m 31 and still King. I love this. Metal is one of my main food groups.”

Gross meter: 2/10 (it probably tastes good to him by now)