Tennis

Nadal returns as the king of clay

10 and counting: Rafael Nadal stamped his class once again on the clay courts of Roland Garros with a clinical decimation of Stan Wawrinka to add to his nine men’s singles titles.

10 and counting: Rafael Nadal stamped his class once again on the clay courts of Roland Garros with a clinical decimation of Stan Wawrinka to add to his nine men’s singles titles.  

Claims an unprecedented 10th singles title at Roland Garros

Rafael Nadal extended his reign on the clay of Roland Garros by claiming a record 10th French Open title on Sunday. In a one-sided final, the fourth seeded Nadal demolished Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 in just over two hours to become the first player in the Open Era to win 10 titles at any Grand Slam event.

Wawrinka’s memorable semifinal win over world No. 1 Andy Murray held a promise of a much closer final. However, the No. 3 seed looked helpless against the power, precision and persistence of the Spaniard.

The only time Wawrinka matched Nadal’s strokes was in the early part of the first set in when he held the first two service games and had a break point in the third game. Thereafter it was all one-way as Nadal won five straight games and set 6-2.

The second game of the second set exemplified the sublime form Nadal was in. After holding his serve in the first game, Nadal broke Wawrinka’s serve to love in the next. The four points Nadal won, included two forced errors from Wawrinka and a blistering forehand winner. The break was enough for Nadal to seal the set 6-3.

Having lost two sets and the fact that his opponent hadn’t dropped a single set in the tournament, the writing was on the wall for Wawrinka.

Nadal continued with his relentless hitting in the third set, either scoring winners or forcing errors from Wawrinka. Nadal also displayed a deft touch on the occasions when he approached the net. Wawrinka lost his serve thrice as Nadal comfortably won the set 6-1 in just 35 minutes.

With this win, Nadal notched up another record including taking his Grand Slam titles tally to 15 which now makes him second only to Roger Federer on the all-time list for the most number of Grand Slam titles won.

Agencies report

Top seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova won their fifth Grand Slam women’s doubles title on Sunday at Roland Garros, putting them halfway to a calendar Slam.

The American-Czech pair defeated unseeded Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua of Australia 6-2, 6-1 for their third successive major title.

Mattek-Sands and Safarova were also champions at this year’s Australian Open.

They previously captured the 2015 Australian and French Opens as well as the 2016 US Open.

Michael Venus became New Zealand’s first Grand Slam champion since 1974 on Saturday when he partnered American Ryan Harrison to the men’s doubles title.

Venus and Harrison defeated Santiago Gonzalez of Mexico and American Donald Young 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3 in the final. The 29-year-old is just New Zealand’s second Grand Slam winner in the modern era.

The results: Finals: Men: 4-Rafael Nadal bt 3-Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.

Doubles: Men: Ryan Harrison & Michael Venus bt Santiago Gonzalez & Donald Young 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3.

Women: Bethanie Mattek-Sands & Lucie Safarova bt Ashleigh Barty & Casey Dellacqua 6-2, 6-1.

Girls: 7-Whitney Osuigwe bt 6-Claire Liu 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 11:43:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/nadal-wins-tenth-french-open/article18961785.ece

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