|"I want 7"|
Rafael Nadal has done it again. The King of Clay took on Roger Federer, saving his best tennis for last to clinch his 6th Roland Garros trophy; equalling Bjorn Borg’s record and securing his world no. 1 ranking. This is the tenth Grand Slam title for the Mallorcan. It was another special, high-quality match between these two great rivals of the game. One thing’s certain – Roger Federer did not lose this match; Nadal won it.
It’s hard to imagine that this was the same man as last week’s Nadal who bluntly admitted that he was relatively low in confidence and didn’t feel as if he had being playing well enough to win the tournament. Last week saw a scare in his opening round; close 3-set matches against qualifiers; a flurry of forehand errors; a decreased weight of shot; a tentative backhand and a slight decline in movement. But by the second week Nadal seemed to wrap all that into a Babolat ball and smack it off the Eiffel Tower as he was very much back to his sensational form.
|Ooooh, look who's all ready and rearing to go!|
As the final’s 75 76 57 61 score line suggests, the match was competitive from start to finish with both men taking advantage of the others’ troughs in intensity; and making the most of their own peaks. Federer carried the form that he’d maintained throughout the tournament into the match and Nadal had to play at 100% of himself to close out the win. But that he did.
The Swiss came out firing; leading 52 in the first set, but Nadal showed that resilience we’re used to seeing to fight back and take the set from him. Momentum was with Nadal in the 2nd set right up until set point, when the heavens opened and rain suddenly and uninvitingly broke out sending the players off court briefly. Federer would have thanked said heavens though because he managed to break and take the set to a tie-break. However Nadal regained momentum and steamrolled ahead winning to 3.
|Mickey trying to steal Rafa's shine. Back off Mickey.|
Nadal continued in the 3rd set delivering crushing blows, but this time it was the Federer’s turn to fight. A slip in the Spaniard’s concentration allowed the Swiss to break to love in the 7th game and his “light’s-out” form that he began the match with returned for the rest of the set to see him seize it.
The final set was more competitive than the score suggested but Nadal was a man on a mission, playing incredible tennis, taking all his chances and denying Federer all his, to win the championships.
|He's like the prince Spain has never had|
His belief, determination, honesty and approach these past two weeks has shown the world why he has conquered all surfaces; remained the world's best for 100 weeks; has ten Slam trophies and an Olypmic gold medal in his cabinet; and why he’s such a deserving champion.
I bet all you lil' critters are wondering what Fanatic Omes has to say about this. Well go'on and click "Read more" to find out, ya hear.
First I’d just like to say sorry for today, Roger. Seriously did anyone think it was gonna be anything different?? What a beautiful beautiful game our boy possesses! Us Rafa fans have had to deal with a lot more loss that we’re otherwise used to this season but look at us now. We are happy. We are smug.
Federer did play great and he would have reduced any other player but not Rafa, it’s far too tall an order to think you can win someone who’s won five of the things you’re trying to win before. Rafa and clay love each other far too much for that.
Rafa showed us why he now has six RG titles. Last week we almost forgot, but he was kind enough to remind us. He played wonderfully and he now has 10 Slams. Perfect 10. 10, 10, 10. One for every finger or for every toe.
It’s been emotional friends. I can’t wait to do it all again in two weeks at Wimbles. But till then...
(Gosh what’s gonna happen if he plays Novak again?... : S)
(Pics: Getty images)