Monday, June 6, 2011
Once Again For 10: Rafa at the French Open, Championship Match - Nadal is Victorious!
The Championship Match turned out to be well-deserving of its title as it was an exceptional fight between Nadal and his great rival Roger Federer. It was their closest match ever here, with Nadal winning 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1. It shows the kind of competitor and a champion Fed is. But after Rafa fought him off in the beginning of the 4th, it was time to accept reality. There just wasn't enough left in the tank to take get the upper hand on Nadal for three whole sets. Still it was a really well-executed match by both guys. Their matches are always great to watch. And they are so gracious and awesome with each other and with the crowd once the match is over. Really classy guys. Such great ambassadors for their sport.
Turning away from the guys for a moment, I'd like to give a shout out to Li Na, for being the first Chinese player - man or woman - to win a Grand Slam title when she beat Francesca Schiavone on Saturday. That was another well-fought highly entertaining match. I've liked Li Na for a while and I'm very happy that late in her career at 29, she is able to enjoy this kind of success. Brava!
Also a shout to Hooray for American success on clay! Here's wishing him lots more success in the future.
Looking ahead, winning the French Open should take a huge weight off Nadal's shoulders as he goes into the short grass court season and then the longer American Summer Hardcourt Series. He gave up a little ground to Novak earlier in the clay season, and that took a toll on his mental edge. Getting the Big Prize in Roland Garros should restore a lot of his confidence. It seems likely that Nadal will cede the No. 1 ranking at some point this summer, as he's only ahead of Novak right now by 45 points (!!!) but there's still a lot of tennis to be played this year (because the season goes on FOREVER) and we'll see who's still at the top a couple months from now. Vamos, Rafa! Congrats on another fantastic tournament!