Rafael Nadal lifted his third title at the Madrid Masters on Sunday with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Stanislas Wawrinka to join Serena Williams as a multiple-time winner on the high-altitude Spanish clay.
Serena won her second consecutive trophy at the pre-French Open event as her 6-1, 6-4 defeat of Maria Sharapova helped the American hold on to her World No. 1 ranking.
Nadal was ruthless against Wawrinka, who came through to his second Masters 1000 final (2008 Rome) and will move back into the ATP top ten as a result of this week’s performance. But Nadal proved to be too strong on his favourite surface as the ‘King of Clay’ won his fifth title of the season after playing in his seventh consecutive final since coming back in February from seven months off with knee injuries.
Nadal won the 55th trophy of his career and his 30th match in Madrid, which plays faster due to its 800m altitude. The Spaniard now owns 23 Masters 1000 trophies and goes into Rome and Paris in the coming weeks as heavy title favourite
“Rafa has showed that he’s the most dangerous on clay,” said Wawrinka. “It has been really tough to beat him since he came back.”
Nadal raced away to a 4-0 lead before the Swiss got on the scoreboard in a 30-minute opening set. The second was not quite a formality, with Wawrinka keeping pace until a Nadal break for 4-3 put the Spaniard in a winning position.
Serena has not lost to World No. 2 Sharapova since 2004, winning their last dozen encounters while losing just four sets during the nine-year winning run. The 31-year-old American lifted her first trophy on classic red clay since the 2002 French Open, with her other six clay titles coming on green clay in the US or the controversial blue used in 2012 in Madrid.
The results (Finals): Men: Rafael Nadal bt Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4.
Women: Serena Williams bt Maria Sharapova 6-1, 6-4.