In a match that was suspended on Sunday, Rafael Nadal stopped Novak’s Djokovic’s run for four consecutive Grand Slam titles with a sound four-set win. The players took the court this morning with Nadal having two sets in his pocket and Djoko having won the third set. The conditions at the end of the Sunday’s play were dismal and seemed to help Djokovic who does not need as much movement as does Nadal who has built a career around chasing down the extra ball and converting losers into winners.
Conditions for this morning’s continuation were improved but not idea. At the start, the clay courts were just what Nadal needed. When play resumed Nadal was down a break with Djokovic serving at 2-1. Nadal and Djokovic have now met in the last four Grand Slam finals. These are the two premier players on the tour. Generally, Nadal would always be favored on clay while Djokovic would be favored on faster surfaces.
In registering his record 7th French Open Championship, Nadal is the only player in the history of the French Open to win more than six. The Spaniard is the third youngest player to win his 11th Grand Slam title behind Roger Federer and Bjorn Borg.
The win halted Djokovic’s 27-straight match winning streak at Grand Slam tournaments. It also marked Nadal’s 40th match win this season, more than any other player. When play was halted Sunday, Djokovic had the momentum. He had earned a hard-fought third set to become the only player to take one set from Nadal in this fortnight.
Upon taking the court Monday morning, Nadal quickly gained momentum with a break to get back on serve at 2-2. Once again, today’s play was suspended for about 30 minutes during a rain storm. Djokovic had just held serve to even the match at 5-5. When play resumed, Nadal came out swinging.
His serve helped set up winners and he survived a good challenge after which Djokovic became defensive. At 5-6, Djokovic did not have his usual confidence. At 30-30, Nadal whistled a powerful forehand winner past Novak to create match point. Uncharacteristically, Djokovic double faulted, his fourth, at match point. The 6-4,6-3,2-6,7-5 win was celebrated by an enthusiastic crowd who Nadal and Djokovic both complimented.
While Roland Garros is steeped in tradition, it would reduce the stress on the layers by installing lights. Of course, an enclosed court would also help.
When Djokovic defeated Nadal in January atMelbournein the longest Grand Slam final ever played, tennis buffs began to think that Novak was inside Rafa’s head. It was the Serb’s seventh consecutive win against Rafa in a Grand Slam final. Today’s championship will surely re-ignite the Djokovic – Nadal rivalry. WithWimbledon, The Olympics and the US Open coming up, these two warriors will go at it again. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate because these matches are what fans want to see.
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