(Taking a bite out of HIS7ORY!)
Ladies and Gentleman, Our Hero, Rafael Nadal, is once again our Champion. Rafa has won the French Open for a record-breaking seventh time! It was an incredibly tense, dramatic, hard-fought, well-played final, spanning two days and several rain delays. It was emotionally draining for ME, I don't know how they actually got through it! At the end though, the sun came out and Rafa found his best form and beat Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5. I couldn't be happier! GO RAFA!
(Moments later, Rafa himself in the face lowering the trophy back down. Luckily he didn't draw blood but he got a nice bump under his eye. Oh, Rafa! Be careful!)
It's Rafa's 50 tournament win of his career. His 4th tournament win of the year. His third consecutive win in a final over Novak over that infamous streak of losing 7 finals to Novak throughout last year and this year's Aussie Open. People can argue over who's the Greatest Player of All Time until their faces are as blue as the clay in Madrid, but there can be no dispute that Nadal is the true King of Clay. His results over the past 8 years speak for themselves. Year after year he has totally dominated on the red clay of Europe. Federer has not been able to beat him in Roland Garros. Djokovic has not been able to beat him in Roland Garros. He surpassed Borg's record of 6 French Open titles. Nadal is the KING! He now has 11 Grand Slam titles, tying him with Rod Laver and Bjorn Borg on the All-Time list. One more ties him with Roy Emerson. 3 would tie him with Sampras! Those benchmarks are not guaranteed, but they are not unreasonable. At the top of his game Rafa has to be considered a strong contender for any major title. He's won them all before. He can win them again.
(My little figure, Nafa Radal got some new body art yesterday after Rafa's win. The Reds mark the French Opens, Green is Wimby, Silver is Aussie Open and Blue is US Open. There's still room on him for more!)
I'm thrilled for Rafa that he was able to take this title one more time. He is in such great physical and mental shape right now. I wish him tons of success moving from the clay courts to the grass courts for the summer. It will last longer than usual as he'll most likely do the tune up in Halle, then Wimbledon, then return to Wimbledon later in the summer for the Olympics! Rafa's won Wimby twice before, as well as Olympic Gold in Beijing, so you have to believe he's feeling confident heading to grass. As always, we'll be watching and cheering him on. VAMOS!