Nadal claimed his 5th victory with a 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over his arch nemesis Solderling at the French Open final. The French Open final was all of seven points old, and the message was unmistakable: Nadal’s knees are fine now, which means he is an entirely different player from the one Soderling stunned at Roland Garros in 2009. That was the first loss of Nadal’s career at this tournament, and it remains the only one. I think the song that goes well with this win is the song, “I Made It” by Kevin Rudolf. Some quick lyrics –
“I look up to the sky
And now the World is mine
Ive known it all my life
I made it, I made it!
I used to dream about, the life I’m living now
I know that theres no doubt.
I made it, I made it!”
His body sound, his mind at ease, Nadal played his unique brand of relentless, perpetual-motion tennis to handily beat the No. 5-seeded Soderling of Sweden 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 Sunday. Nadal won his fifth French Open championship, his seventh Grand Slam title overall, and earned a return to No. 1. By winning all 3 clay Master’s 1000 tournaments plus Roland Garros, Rafa is now the only male in history to hold a ‘Clay Grand Slam”. Pretty impressive for only being 24 years old.
“I lost last year because I was not well-prepared, and I had very low morale last year, as well,” said Nadal, who will supplant Roger Federer atop the rankings Monday.
“But this time, I’m back,” said Nadal, who covered his face with a red towel and sobbed at match’s end. “I’m back—and I win.”
Yes, Nadal most definitely is back, and he is as good as—or perhaps even better than—ever.
Nadal, who suffered his only defeat at Roland Garros against the Swede in last year’s fourth round, clinched the win in two hours and 18 minutes and won the year’s second grand slam without losing a set in the tournament.
Enjoy watching some of the highlights from this epic match.
If Nadal had lost this final, Federer would have remained as the world No 1, and the Swiss would have equaled Pete Sampras’s record of spending a total of 286 weeks at the top.
When Nadal was crying, he certainly was not doing so because he is to be the No 1 for the first time in almost a year, and that he is likely to stay there for a while. He cares more about winning tournaments than about what the computer thinks of him.
Nadal had hoped for sunshine because “sunshine is energy”, and also because forehands loaded with topspin are much more effective when it is warm. Conversely, Soderling had wanted the final to be played in something approaching Nordic gloom, as greyer, heavier conditions would have suited his game. The weather had been biblical in the morning, with rain lashing on to the green tarpaulins over the clay. In the afternoon, the weather flitted between sunshine and full cloud cover.