Tag Archives: French Open

Rafael Nadal & Robin Soderling – 2010 French Open

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!”

Rafael Nadal biting French Open trophy 2010 after defeating Robin Soderling

Rafael Nadal biting 2010 French Open trophy

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 Continue reading

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Rafael Nadal gets a surprise kiss at the US Open

A little bit after Nadal defeated Gael Monfils on Tuesday night in the fourth round of the 2009 US Open, a spectator came out of the stands and hugged and kissed him his naked chest before being escorted quickly by security guards.

Nadal gets kissed at the 2009 US Open

Nadal gets kissed at the 2009 US Open

Although caught off guard, Nadal did not seem to be shaken, in fact he smiled and chuckled after it happened.

Nadal stomach patch US open injury

Nadal stomach patch US open injury

“For me it wasn’t a problem,” said Nadal, noting that the man spoke in English. “The guy was really nice.”

“He was a great fan,” he said. “He said, ‘I love you,’ and he kissed me.”

Nadal had just removed his shirt (showing his stomach patch) and was preparing for an on-court interview when the man suddenly emerged with a camera to approach him. I’ve included a quick YouTube video showing the highlights of the quick hug, kiss, & run guy.  He actually attacks him about the 57 second mark.

Thirty minutes after the match, the police had a man in custody, and they handcuffed him to the bleachers alongside Court 5 (were they better setas for the match then he had before, who knows?). A USTA spokesman said the incident was being reviewed, as were on-court security procedures.

Tournament spokesman Tim Curry said police arrested the man for interference with a sporting event.

“We’re reviewing what happened and then will determine if we have to make any changes to our on-court security procedures,” Curry said.

The scene reminded me of the French Open final in May, when a fan came out of the stands and tried to greet Roger Federer during play, although that incident was scary. Federer was in the middle of a match and it broke his concentration, requiring a few minutes during play to compose himself.

Roger Federer is betterer & joins Pete Sampras as a tennis legend

Roger Federer wins the French Open, finally

Roger Federer wins the French Open, finally

Is Federer the greatest tennis player ever or just one og the legends now?  Of course, Roger would have preferred to enter history without the retarded Jimmy Jump disrupting his game but old Federer proved he could still even win with a distraction as crazy as that one.

With Robin Soderling about to serve at 1-2, 15-0 in the second set, an intruder ran down a staircase in the lower section of the stands at Philippe Chatrier court, jumped over the barrier and onto Roger Federer’s half of the court. It took guards about 9 seconds to realize they were paid to do more than stand there, & they quickly ran after and apprehended the man.  It’s sad what some people do for publicity.

In the New York Times, Harvey Araton notes that the tennis world agrees not just on Federer’s greatness, but also his goodness. “Count on the sport continuing to root for Federer to climb higher up the mountain of immortality, as it has championed him since he rocketed to the top with the beautiful game and the embraceable persona,” Araton writes. “Even Soderling, who by reputation shuns discourse with most players, became a humble charmer during the awards ceremony, paying his respects. ‘You really gave me a lesson on how to play tennis,’ he told Federer.” Continue reading

Maria Sharapova loses in the French Open, with only 2 games in her favor

Facing match point in the quarterfinals, Maria Sharapova was no dreaming about winning her first French Open title.  She didn’t want to lose without a single won game.  But her never give up, never surrender attitude at least helped her keep her pride.

Maria Sharapova loses in the French Open against Cibulkova

Maria Sharapova loses in the French Open against Cibulkova

A tired, rusty Sharapova barely skimmed a shutout but lost Tuesday to Dominika Cibulkova 6-0, 6-2. Cibulkova was one point from victory at 5-love in the second set before Sharapova finally found her form. She won that game and then another, hitting a flurry of winners and saving four match points before Cibulkova closed out the win. Sharapova was playing in just her second tournament after a layoff of nearly 10 months because of a right shoulder injury. The three-time Grand Slam champion had Continue reading

Rafael Nadal loses to Robin Soderling at the 2008 French Open

Rafael Nadal had seemed undefeatable at the French Open ever since he set foot on Parisian clay four years ago, but the world No 1’s unbeaten 31-match run on these courts was ended by an unheralded Swede who had never previously gone beyond the third round of a Grand Slam tournament. By the way Robin Soderling, looks alot like Lucas Scott on “One Tree Hill” in this picture.

Rafael Nadal screams after loss to  Lucas Scott/Robin Soderling

Rafael Nadal screams after loss to Lucas Scott/Robin Soderling

The 24-year-old world No 25 beat the Spaniard 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6 in arguably the greatest upset in the history of tennis.

For the last year it has been Nadal who has been breaking all the records. His 31 consecutive wins is an all-time record at the French Open, while this defeat ended his run of 48 unbeaten five-set matches on terre battue. The pink shirt he wore will no doubt be similarly consigned to history.

In his 31 previous matches at Roland Garros, Nadal had never been pushed to five sets in victory. He had not lost so much as a set in any match here since the 2007 final against Roger Federer, but Soderling changed all that with a varied but consistently aggressive approach: clubbing forehands with or without clear openings, serving big under pressure. Continue reading

Maria Sharapova makes a comeback at the French Open

Maria Sharapova is proving that not only is her shoulder fit to fight, her game has come back too. 

Last year the former world number one underwent arthroscopic surgery on her serving shoulder and spent three months without touching a racquet, a sobering time she said allowed her to gain some perspective.

Maria Sharapova is making a comeback at the french open (Bernat Armangue / Associated Press)

Maria Sharapova is making a comeback at the french open (Bernat Armangue / Associated Press)

Just Wednesday, Maria Sharapova found herself in a genuine battle for survival against a tough opponent in the second round at the French Open and came through with the shoulder in one piece (still bandaged) and another victory to boost her confidence.

The score against Nadia Petrova, a former world No. 3, was 6-2, 1-6, 8-6 and Sharapova had to battle back from 4-2 down in the final set.

“I think it was a great match where I had to fight my way through many, many challenges and I did,” Sharapova said. “I thought I served well. It was actually one of the things I did best in the match. It was important to get a high percentage of first serves, to take control of the points. Nadia is a very aggressive player and she likes to get you on the run.”

“I kind of started stumbling away. Things went in the wrong direction,” said Sharapova, “I was just glad I Continue reading