Nadal grabs sixth French Open title

Published: 06/06/2011 05:00



World No. 1 Rafael
Nadal defeated the third seed Roger Federer in four sets to win the French Open
title for the sixth time on Sunday.

Rafael Nadal of Spain holds the
trophy during the awarding ceremony for the men’s final in the French Open
tennis championship at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 5, 2011. Nadal
claimed the title by defeating Roger Federer of Switzerland with 3-1. (Xinhua/Xu

Nadal, 25, took the
opening two sets 7-5, 7-6 (3) before the 29- year-old Swiss pulled one back 7-5.
But the 16-time Grand Slam champion Swiss lost control in the fourth set, seeing
the Spaniard wrapping it up 6-1.

Nadal became the second
player to make the achievement of six titles at Roland Garros after Sweden
legend Bjorn Borg.

“To win this final against
one the best players in the world and in history is something which is really
fantastic for me,” said Nadal, who also earned his 10th Grand Slam title with
the victory. “It’s one of my most beautiful dreams.”

The top-ranked Nadal
improved his record at Roland Garros to 45- 1, and to 17-8 against Federer. In
Grand Slam finals, Nadal is now 6-2 against his main rival.

“As it often happens, he
is the best on clay,” Federer said. ” He proved it once again.”

Nadal was playing to
Federer’s backhand on Court Philippe Chatrier, but even the 16-time Grand Slam
champion’s forehand was off. He committed 56 unforced errors in the match, while
Nadal had only 27.

In the break of service
that finally broke Federer for good, the Swiss missed an easy forehand,
double-faulted and then put a forehand into the net. That gave Nadal a 3-1 lead
in the fourth set, and enough to hold on for victory.

Nadal is the second
youngest man to reach 10 major titles. The only one younger was Borg.

He’s also about six months
younger than Federer was when he won his 10th.

Federer looked like the
one to beat early in the match, breaking Nadal’s first service game and later
holding a set point while leading 5-2.

But the turning point came
on that very point, when Federer tapped a backhand drop shot that landed just
outside the line. The 2009 champion argued his case, but the chair umpire, off
his perch and jogging across the court to investigate, ruled the ball was out.

After a forehand return
into the net and a backhand winner from Nadal, Federer folded.

Nadal won seven straight
games after that point, breaking Federer for the first time in the next game and
then holding to 5- 5 and breaking yet again when Federer sent a forehand into
the net. In the final game, Federer led 15-30 but Nadal won three straight
points to take the set.

In the second set, the
Swiss won seven points in a row after the rain break, breaking Nadal and then
holding to 6-5. But after Nadal held in the 12th game, the Spaniard dominated
the tiebreaker, jumping out to a 4-0 lead and then 6-2 before his forehand
winner ended the set.

Nadal earned his fifth
break in the third set to take a 4-2 lead, but Federer wasn’t giving up yet. He
broke back at love and then held to 4-4 with his 10th ace.

In the 11th game, Federer
broke again with a forehand tap that Nadal couldn’t reach. Needing four points
to win the set, Federer produced three winners and one error after Nadal had
sent a forehand into the net on the first point.


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