Monday, June 11, 2012

2012 FRENCH OPEN: Rafa Wins Major #11; 7th FO

As predictedRafael Nadal won his 7th French Open title and 11th career major title by defeating 5-time major champion Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-3 2-6 7-5 by coming back  to finish the job 18 hours after play was suspended after the 3rd game of the 4th set with Djokovic up a break.

As in the 1st and 2nd sets, Nadal broke in the first game of play on Monday, although he was extremely lucky when his ball clipped the net and dribbled over to the other side of the net forcing Djokovic to hit the ball with no pace and setting up an easy crosscourt backhand passing shot to even the match. The court was much drier and Nadal's ball was bouncing up high on the court while the Spaniard was slamming the ball within centimeters of the lines. However, then it started raining and Djokovic was able to hang with Nadal through long rallies, but (ominously) he was unable to have an impact on Nadal's service games. Eventually, after 49 minutes of play Nadal earned a breakpoint in the 12th game at 30-40 on Djokovic's serve and the World #1 crumbled and the match ended with a double fault.

With his win, Nadal became the first man to win 7 singles titles at Roland Garros, surpassing the great Bjorn Borg. By winning this 33rd match against Djokovic, he improved to a 19-14 edge, and has now won 3 championship matches in a row (all on clay) after losing 7 consecutive finals (including 3 major titles). Nadal is now 11-5 in major final and is only 5 behind the all-time leader,Roger Federer, while at 26 he is nearly 5 years younger. There's almost no question that Nadal will win more French Open titles, the question is how many more can he win on the other surfaces? Only time will tell whose name will end up being more prominent in the history books.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

The rain stoppage was definitely a factor. Djokovic is always a slow starter against Nadal and just when he started to turn it around by winning the third set and leading in the fourth, the rain came. Then it was a new beginning and it was predictable. I can understand why he was frustrated but he needs to start stronger against good players.


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