|photo courtesy Associated Press|
AND, lest we not forget his opponent and friend Spaniard David Ferrer, 31, you played so well! You were able to break Rafa three times, appreciate such accomplishment!
|photo courtesy Associated Press/Petr David Josek|
Final scores, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3. We can see from the scores alone that David Ferrer put up a valiant fight against Nadal. But Nadal was not to be taken lightly in the second set and shows his stuff. David fights back in the third, but Rafa has his way. Game, set, match!
Duration, One hour, 49 minutes.
Here are 10 minutes of highlights, see how Ferrer holds up against
'The Great' Rafael Nadal~
Okay, Ferrer wins the coin toss, serves first, wins his first service game. On serve for the first few games, but then at 2-1 Nadal has already broken Ferrer, and now serving. The ball moves incredibly fast, all this early hitting, and Rafa is successfully attempting to keep David back deep behind the baseline. It is working as a domination. Both players are really grunting, hard to tell who's who!
Ferrer is a Retriever, with power shots from the baseline. Nadal is too, plus more all court.
Great point construction by Ferrer~ hits a drop shot, Nadal returns short crosscourt, Ferrer hits for a winner down the line.
Rafa just pushes Ferrer back even farther from the baseline. This could be a tactic due to Ferrer's height of 5'9", it is simply harder to push successfully deeper from the back court. Ferrer is strong but 14 feet behind the baseline, lots of topspin to do this for Rafa's part.
3-3 now. Break point for Nadal. Breaks Ferrer. already 3 breaks in the first set, 2 for Ferrer,
1 for Nadal. Breaks exhibit momentum shifts. This is tough playing, each is playing at optimum, this is an exciting match!
Rafa serving at 4-3 now. "Rafa has more spin, more trouble for Ferrer," commentator Martina Navratoliva says.
Okay, Ferrer is out of the woods, at service and net now, at deuce. Nadal has great serves. Another story to dissect his lefty kick serve on the deuce, then a hammer up the T. Game Nadal.
Ferrer having trouble now. 0-30. Nice powerful serve but Nadal is there. Double fault. 15-40. A tough place to be. Another break for Rafa. Game and set, Rafa.
Rafa serves first. We know what happens, just by looking at the scores, you know that Ferrer will be broken at least twice in this set. Too many service breaks will predict the final outcome. Stay on your serve! easily said than done, of course. Ferrer is flying as he returns serve. 40-40. Martina is discussing the benefits of topspin, you get nervous, you swing harder, ball stays in. Open stance, wrist action, strings, racquets, all favor the topspin ball. Game Nadal.
Hanging at the baseline is not enough for Ferrer to beat Nadal.
These are very fast points.
30-40, Ferrer serving. Nadal corners Ferrer, then he goes down the line for a forehand winner. Game Nadal.
Nadal serving at 2-0, now 30-0. Nadal gets the game with 5 winners. Light rain now. 3-0.
I feel for Ferrer, no one likes a 0 on the board. Deuce now, some tricky net play earlier. Ferrer is working really hard, yet somehow you feel from the crowd they expect Nadal to win. He has more to his shots. Ferrer's game is one dimensional compared to Nadal's. Okay, AD Ferrer. Great! On the board, 1-3 for Ferrer. Construct one point, one shot at a time , says Martina, when you are up against a player like Nadal.
Nadal serves, at 15-30. Early ball and Ferrer hits deep.15-40! 30-40. Nadal creeps his way back in. Nadal corners Ferrer again, deuce. Lefties love to serve from the deuce court. Now, we get creative serving AD. Whipping action on the racquet by Nadal. Deuce again. Now AD Ferrer again. Fault, Nadal is not giving up. Deuce. Our favorite court! Break point again! Ferrer hits early down the line shot, impossible for Nadal to get. Very loud grunts, fast, back and forth, Nadal wins the point. Pure physical strength to stay down low and hit the ball for a winner. Deuce. Ace. Okay, game Nadal. 4-1.
Martina says Ferrer must take chances to win, he cannot play to not lose. I know what she means, you have to ger out of your comfort zone and go for shots, create shots, construct shots, be proactive! Again, easier said than done. Practice, practice.
Okay, some heckling now, crowd is noisy. Nadal looks concerned. Ferrer serving now. 30-40. Ferrer is missing easy shots, against Nadal you cannot afford these unforced errors. AD Nadal. Game Nadal. 5-1.
A firecracker device on court with a heckler. Security guard drapes himself over Nadal. Okay, court clear. Nadal serving for the set. Crowd claps for the security. 0-15. 0-30. 15-30, Nadal trying to focus and get back in the game. 15-40. Ferrer has a chance to get one of his breaks back. Playing catch up is not fun, stay on your serve! Game Ferrer, 1 break for Nadal.
Wow, Ferrer unhinged, Rafa wins the set at 40-0 in the last game! That was very quick! Nadal is a hustler.
40-0, Rafa serving. Game Rafa.
15-40, Ferrer serving. Hard to hit a topspin shot early. Okay, Nadal breaks Ferrer again. 7 times broken versus Nadal broken 2 times. Game Nadal 2-0.
Nadal serving now. 0-15. Rain falling again. Ferrer breaks Nadal! Game Ferrer at 1-2 now.
Ferrer serving now at 40-0. An adrenaline rush? 2-2 now! Break for break! Back on serve!
Nadal serving. Lots of ball bounces. Ace to the deuce court. 4 aces so far. 30-15. 40-15. Nice place to be! Game Rafa. 3-2.
Ferrer serving. 0-30 now. Tough place to be, I have been there, hang tough and keep your concentration. Your fitness will maintain concentration, Martina says. Get pumping!! Raining again. 40-30. Game Ferrer. A fighter, a scrapper, a defender, says commentator about Ferrer. 3-3 now.
Nadal serving and fighting hard. Both are. 0-15. What a point! How does Rafa win these next final 3 games? 0-30 now. 15-30. 30-30. Rafa is on! Lots of pace and spin for Rafa. 30-40 go Ferrer! Tense moment in the match now. Rafa is fighting even harder. 40-40. AD Nadal. Game Nadal, 4-3.
Ferrer serving now. Really, both players are back on serve, anything is possible. Nadal hits a winner. With spin on the ball you either take it on the way up, or on the way down, says Martina. Nadal is just beating up the ball with his inside out forehand. Opponent has to guess where the ball is going. A break possible here now. A clean winner from Ferrer. Fault, AD Nadal. Tense moment. Serve fault, double fault!! Game Nadal at 5-3 now. Tough timing for Ferrer. The crowd murmurs. Claps, they want more tennis!
Nadal serving. New balls. 0-15, Ferrer coming in and moving around more, taking chances. Lots of ball bouncing. 15-15 now. Lots of pressure. 30-15 now. The Ad serving side, with a twist out wide. 40-15. Lefty favorite deuce side. Wow! Great serve, great shot! Back on the clay Nadal!!
Game, set, match!
Until next year, we will miss you Roland Garros!
CONGRATULATIONS ALL YOU WONDERFUL ATHLETES!
Rafa has made history, and Ferrer was a tough contender.
No better clay court player than Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
The greatest player Roland Garros may ever see.