Rafael Nadal won his 7th Roland Garros French Open title today. The triumph is quite possibly his sweetest yet in defeating Novak Djokovic, to whom he has suffered 7 final defeats in succession. At times in the 3rd and 4th sets it seemed like his record breaking 7 title would be in jeopardy as Novak Djokovic coped a lot better in the mizzle of the Parisienne Springtime.
The match was far from being a classic, the first two sets were rather one sided as Nadal raced to an early lead in both and held on. Djokovic stormed back from 2-0 down in the third set and reeled off 8 games in succession. Clearly his best spell of the match but unfortunately the gods conspired against the Serb has the clouds opened a little more and drowned the court. This put a dampener on the Serbian’s comeback as play was suspended overnight.
On resumption of play, Nadal clearly eager to get this one over in four sets, broke and then held immediately leading 3-2. In what was undoubtedly the best passage of play in the match, both players matched each other shot for shot. At 5-6 in the 4th, Nadal forced an error from the Djokovic racket giving Nadal is first match point. Unfortunately the Serb doubled faulted and Nadal dropped to his knees at the win.
The 11th Grand Slam title of the Spaniards career and probably the sweetest. Nadal has overcome adversity and final worked out how to beat his nemesis Djoker and in the end it proved simple. Go back to your strengths, your forehand and your speed, and that he did. The moment clearly proved too much for the Spaniard as he broke down and sobbed after the guys shook hands, 7 final defeats clearly must have taken a huge amount out of him. And for Rafa at least the future will look brighter.
Over this past fortnight we have seen many sides to Rafa, he has destroyed some of the best players in the world for fun, criticised umpires, thrown his toys out of the pram and generally shown us all why we love him. He has finally solved the Djokovic puzzle on clay; We can now finally call it a rivalry, perhaps it will go on to exceed the Federer Nadal match up, only time will tell.
The challenge for these guys now is to rest up and prepare for the upcoming grass court slam at Wimbledon.