Spaniard Rafael Nadal won a record-equaling sixth French Open title on Sunday when he beat Roger Federer of Switzerland with 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1 at the Rolland Garros on Sunday. With this win he equaled Bjorn Borg’s record of six wins at the French Open.
Federer, who won the last of his 16 Grand Slam titles at the 2010 Australian Open, started with a confident service game on a humid day on court Philippe Chatrier. Playing an all-out attack Federer snatched his opponent’s serve on his fourth opportunity when Nadal surprisingly spun a short forehand into the net.
Rafael Nadal was outplayed for seven games by Federer in the first set as he fell 5-2 behind but reeled off five games in a row, including saving a set point.
“Roger, Roger!”, the excited crowd of 15,000 chanted as the 2009 champion comfortably held for 3-0 courtesy of a couple of thumping aces.
Looking rattled, Nadal had a blister powdered by the trainer during the changeover at 5-2 down. Third seed Federer came out all guns blazing in the eighth game, seeking out a set point on Nadal’s serve which the Spaniard saved as a Federer drop shot floated just wide. It was then that Nadal suddenly found his range with his forehand to get Federer on the run.
Federer’s first serve let him down when he served for the set at 5-3 and Nadal pounced to break back when Federer netted a volley when his opponent, at full stretch, unleashed a stunning forehand. Hitting deeper and deeper, Nadal broke again in the 11th game as Federer’s level began to dip and he sealed the first set with a huge crosscourt forehand winner after 62 minutes. Nadal continued his momentum into the second set to break in the first game and then holding serve to love to move 2-0 up. Federer began to look a little down and had to save three break points in the fifth game.
However, he hung on and broke back for 4-4 when Nadal mishit a backhand into the net, triggering huge roars from the fans who clearly wanted the match to go long and in Federer’s favour. Federer immediately dropped serve when he fired a backhand wide, leaving Nadal to serve for the set.
After a 10-minute break Nadal earned a second set point but Federer saved it and then broke for 5-5 when the Spaniard framed an ugly forehand high and wide. Federer confidently held but Nadal responded to set up a tiebreak which Federer was never in. Nadal won it 7-3 with a rasping crosscourt winner.
Nadal was made to work hard to hold serve by the Swiss in the fifth game but showcased some powerful forehand winners. The Spaniard looked on the verge of the title when he moved 4-2 ahead by breaking the Federer serve to love but he could not make it stick and the Swiss replied in kind with a break to love. With the crowd willing him on Federer found his best form, producing some stunning angles and drop shots.