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Rafael Nadal Captures Seventh French Open Title

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

His win over Novak Djokovic broke Bjorn Borg’s record on the clay courts of Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal Captures Seventh French Open Title

In this article…

What had plagued Novak Djokovic over his two-day French Open final against Rafael Nadal ended up costing him a chance at the title.  Djokovic was unable to connect with his service all final long with a first serve percentage of just 59% (that was below 50% for much of the first two sets).  Djokovic had four double faults, the final one coming on championship point for Nadal.  

But even if Djokovic had been serving better, there is no guarantee he would have been able to top Nadal.  He becomes a different player when he steps on the clay courts of Roland Garros, and his convincing 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 win over the world number one only justifies that claim.  The victory gave Nadal his 11th Grand Slam title and seventh French Open title, which broke Bjorn Borg's record of six.  

Nadal's combination of incredible athleticism and power, plus his terrific footwork and skill, make him virtually unbeatable on clay.  In his career, Nadal is an astounding 52-1.  His game reaches new heights on the surface that no other players can even dream of reaching right now.  Djokovic never looked comfortable, although he showed his brilliance here and there with tough lob shots and powerful forehands. But Nadal's game is just honed in on clay, and after taking the first two sets on Sunday, there was little doubt this title was Nadal's to lose.

Rain made a mess of things, as the conditions created a sloppy court that two played on into the fourth set.  Play was suspended, and Nadal came back today to make quick work of Djokovic, who was looking to become just the second player ever to win the calendar Grand Slam.  But Nadal pounced on every mistake Djokovic made, and he wouldn't be denied in the pursuit of his own history.  Plus, Nadal had the extra motivation of finally snapping his losing streak against Djokovic in Grand Slam finals.  If Novak had won, it would have been four straight wins over Nadal in the final.  

So while the field is much more open in other tournaments, we all know who the favorite will be for the foreseeable future at Roland Garros.  I doubt anyone different will be raising that trophy for a couple years.

And if Rafael doesn't name his first son "Clay" or "Roland" then he might be messing with some dangerous karma.

Let CHARGED.fm get you tickets to see the U.S. Open later this summer.

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