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Rafael Nadal completed his charge on Roland Garros to regain his title and hoist the Coupe de Mousquetaires for the fifth time in his young career. He beat two time finalist Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. Vamos!
Rafa won the match without being broken. He took the tournament without losing a set. And in case you thought the fifth time wouldn’t mean as much as the first, he fell to the ground and sobbed at the end.
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This win makes Rafael Nadal a seven time Major champion (tied with Newcombe, McEnroe and Wilander) and the new World No. 1. He’s followed up a history-making clay court season, winning all three Masters events, with a masterful performance when it mattered most. Did we really expect anything less?
Tennis fans definitely expected more of Soderling in this match-up. This was supposed to be a thriller. Or at least a tight four sets. He had his chances, even without playing his best tennis, but lacked the necessary combination of belief, energy and will to take charge in the match. We’ve seen players suffer from this strain of breakitis against Rafa enough times to where I’m starting to think the Spaniard may have something to do with it.
Now it’s onto grass. Rafa plays Queen’s next week and will have his eyes on the Wimbledon prize. (Roger likely watched today’s final somewhere near Halle’s grass courts.) But in case you think Rafa’s being short sighted: “See you at the US Open!” Nadal told John McEnroe after today’s match, his teeth practically still clamped to the trophy. “Because it’s the one that remains for me and I have a special motivation for that.”
You mean we haven’t seen the special motivation yet?