Nadal primed to set new record after French success
Rafael Nadal has pulled level with tennis legend Bjorn Borg after winning his sixth French Open title following a dominant victory over Roger Federer. Nadal won 7-5 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 6-1 to win his tenth Grand Slam title while keeping hold of his world number one ranking, with the Spanish player well aware before the match that anything other than a win in the final in Paris would lead to Novak Djokovic overtaking him at the top of the rankings.
Nadal’s victory came at the expense of a man who looked extremely dominant during the early stages of the match, Federer appearing to be far more comfortable on court throughout the first few games of the set than Nadal, but the Swiss player wasted a precious set point to allow his opponent to find his rhythm on court.
Nadal took advantage of some uncharacteristically sloppy play from the Swiss and managed to eradicate the lack of fluency and confidence that had appeared to hold him back during the build-up to the final in Paris, with the balls used at the tournament cited by several of the players involved as the reason for this lack of cohesion.
After the final rally was played, Nadal fell to his knees in joy, his opponent sending the ball beyond the base line to conclude the action, and the player’s uncle and coach was quick to explain the wider significance of the victory. Not only has the result pulled the Spaniard level with Borg, it has also injected a sense of quiet confidence into the player as he looks ahead to Wimbledon.
Federer, meanwhile, was left to reflect with regret upon the missed opportunities that ended up being so decisive against his rival, with the missed set point in the opening set a good example of how he allowed the match to slip through his fingers. However, with the final the player’s first in a Grand Slam since the 2010 Australian Open, Federer, who has identified winning Wimbledon this year as his main priority, will still feel happy that he managed to battle through some tricky rounds to reach the showpiece event.