Rafael Nadal, king of the clay court, has won 14 of his 22 Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros, but has waged epic battles on every surface.
These are some examples:
– Roland Garros 2005: semi-final win over Federer
On the way to his first big. Federer was seeking a fifth Grand Slam title, the first in Paris. But that day, the young Spaniard who had chained three titles on clay in the previous weeks made a name for himself. Nadal beat the Swiss 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to advance to his first major final. Two days later, the Majorcan won the first of 22 Grand Slam titles from him.
– Wimbledon 2007: lost final against Federer
Federer prevails 7-6 4-6 7-6 2-6 6-2 to claim his fifth consecutive Wimbledon trophy, but after this match, Nadal is much closer to beating Federer on grass than the Swiss to the Spanish on clay in Paris.
– Roland-Garros 2008: final beat Federer
The overwhelming score makes this match go down in history: Nadal played almost perfectly to humiliate the then World No.1 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.
– Wimbledon 2008: new final beat Federer
The rivalry between the two is now well established and the Spaniard has failed to beat the Swiss on his favorite track in previous years. This time, after 4 hours and 48 minutes of a match interrupted several times by rain and the arrival of the night, Nadal won the match point at 9:16 p.m. local time, leaving the final score at 6-4, 6- 4, 6-7, 6-7 and 9-7. With this victory, the Spaniard ended Federer’s streak of five consecutive Wimbledon titles. This meeting is the most famous in the history of tennis along with the one between Björn Borg and John McEnroe in 1980, in the same place.
– Australian Open 2009: final beat Federer
Tireless. Nadal wins his first title in Melbourne by beating Federer 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-2 after almost four and a half hours of high-level tennis. In the semifinals he had already fought 5 hours and 14 minutes to eliminate his compatriot Fernando Verdasco. Defeated, Federer could not hold back his tears during the trophy ceremony.
– US Open 2010: final ganada a Djokovic
In 2010, the US Open was the last thing missing from Nadal’s list. Despite the confidence built up from his victory over Roger Federer in the semi-finals, the Serb couldn’t stop the Spaniard. Nadal won 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 and 6-2.
– Australian Open 2012: Final lost to Djokovic
The longest. Novak Djokovic won 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5 in 5 hours and 53 minutes, making it the longest Grand Slam tournament final to date. The Serbian concluded on Monday at 01:37 local time a match that began on Sunday afternoon.
. US Open 2019: final won against Medvedev
After two comfortably won sets, Nadal was surprised by the young and still unknown Russian. Taken to the fifth set, the Spaniard showed that he never gives up and prevailed in almost five hours of epic combat 7-5, 6-3, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4.
. Roland Garros 2020: final won against Djokovic
A final of the ‘Grand Slam’ on clay played in the Parisian autumn due to the covid-19 pandemic. Wet, windy and cold conditions stood in Nadal’s way to his 13th title.
When many predicted a victory for the Serbian, Nadal inflicted on him 6-0, 6-2, 7-5 and equaled the record of 20 Grand Slam titles held since 2018 by Roger Federer.
. Roland Garros 2021: lost semifinal against Djokovic
Rematch. Djokovic plays the match of his life on clay and wins 3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 at the end of a match of quality and tension rarely seen. Nadal will later confess to his foot problems and will play only two more matches that season, causing him to miss Wimbledon and the US Open.
. Australian Open 2022: Final won against Medvedev
Comeback. After losing two sets to love against the Russian Daniil Medvedev, the Mallorcan would end up winning 2-6, 6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 after 5 hours and 24 minutes of play to achieve a 21st title Grand Slam, a historical record. And this after having been infected with covid-19 in December and a year 2021 almost without competing for injuries.
. Roland Garros 2022: beat Djokovic in ‘early final’
Masterpiece. The draw provided a diabolical picture, with a confrontation between Djokovic and Nadal in the quarterfinals, although all the fans considered it the ‘early final’. Nadal admitted that he was not “favorite” for the first time in Paris and also came to the duel after a tough battle of more than four hours against the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. At night, the one that least favors Nadal’s tennis, the Spaniard played one of his best matches that are remembered at Philippe Chatrier and beat N.1 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 and 7- 6 (7/4), with a comeback included in the last set (in which the Serb had two set points at 3-5 and service).
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