Sunday, June 5, 2011

Rafa Claims #6

Rafa claimed his record tying sixth French Open with a victory over Roger Federer.

Today, Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 5-7, 6-1 to claim his historic sixth French Open Title. The only other tennis player ever to win at Roland Garros six times is Bjorn Borg. The victory also puts him at 10 overall Grand Slams, which is only six behind Federer. Nadal, being five years younger the Federer, is on track to surpass his record of 16 Grand Slam's.

On his journey to his sixth French Open Title, Nadal defeated seven opponents. In his first round, Nadal played John Isner, and although it was close, Nadal won in five sets. Nadal would then beat his next five opponents in straight sets. He faced Pablo Andujar, Antonio Veic, and Ivan Ljubicic before meeting up with Robin Soderling in the Quarterfinals.

The last time Nadal didn't win the French Open, in 2009, was because he was defeated by Soderling. This time, Rafa would get the better of Soderling, and beat him in straight sets. In the semi's Nadal faced off against Andy Murray. The game was close, but again Nadal won in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4. After Federer snapped Djokovic's streak of 43 wins, he would go on to play Nadal.

Like always on clay though, Nadal defeated Federer.

Nadal did not play his best tennis though. He made myriad errors just from basic groundstrokes, and his serve wasn't dominant.

Nadal fell behind in the first set 3-0, but would rally to win 7-5. The second set went into tie-break, but Nadal once again pulled through and won that set 7-6 (7-3).

Federer would storm back the next set 7-5 and take an early lead in the fourth set. Many thought that Nadal could possibly have a relapse of the 2008 Wimbledon finals, when Federer came back from two sets to win. Nadal would have none of that and take the final set 6-1.

With Nadal's victory at Roland Garros, does that mean he is back to the #1 player in the world? Although  Novak Djokovic lost his streak of 43 straight games, his win streak against Nadal is still in place.

With Wimbledon starting in just two weeks, who will be the favorite to win in England. Will it be Rafael Nadal, the top ranked player who is starting a streak of his own? Will it be Djokovic, who will try to rebound and keep his streak vs Nadal alive? Or will it be Roger Federer, the "old guy", who might have one or two last runs left?

My go to guy to win Wimbledon has to be Nadal, but I could very well see Roger Federer coming out victorious. Federer has won six Wimbledon's of his own.

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