Meilleur Joueur de Tennis Jamais!
From 2005 thru 2007, Roger Federer was without question the most dominant tennis player in the world. His combination of professionalism on and off the court was something that the tennis world had not seen since the reign of Pete Sampras. During this stretch he won at Wimbledon and at the U.S. Open, then started the following year by outlasting the field at the Australian Open two years in a row. Both seasons, Federer went into the French Open looking to win four Grand Slam titles in a row, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished since Rod Laver in 1969. Both times, however Federer was denied history by one Rafael Nadal. Fast forward 5 years, and Novak Djokovic was presented with the same chance to make history. The only thing standing in his way was the 6’1, 190 pound Spaniard. Djokovic, like Fereder was just not up to the challenge.
Nadal triumphed over Djokovic in the French Open Final in a weird match that started yesterday and ended early this morning. Even though Djokovic was able to wrestle a set away from the reigning champion, the outcome of the match was never in real jeopardy. Nadal jumped out in front, taking the first two sets 6-4 and 6-3, and it looked like another easy French Open title for the Spaniard. However, rain caused a stoppage of play, halting all the momentum Nadal was able to build in the first two sets. When play resumed, Djokovic took advantage of the wet clay and overpowered Nadal in the third set. After the third set the weather worsened and play was suspended again until this morning. The grounds-crew spent the night working on the court, and when Nadal came back to play this morning, he appeared more comfortable and was able to slide, spin the ball and work all his clay tricks that he has mastered in Paris. The end result was a 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 victory over Djokovic. Djokovic actually double faulted the last point of the match, which was a fitting way for a bizarre tennis final to end. The only reason that Djokovic was able to win a set off of Nadal was because the elements neutralized the advantages that Nadal is able to garner on the clay court; there was no question who the superior player was.
There is not much that can be written about Rafa Nadal that hasn’t already been mentioned. With the victory, Nadal won his 7th French Open title in the past 8 years, as the only year he didn’t win was 2009, when he lost to eventual Champion Robin Soderling in a shocking 4th round upset. Nadal has won every major at least once, and yesterday’s triumph has given him 11 overall. He has a stunning 52-1 record at the French Open, and passed Bjorn Borg for most French titles ever. Nadal’s career record is a masterful 581-120, and he has won over $48 million dollars in event earnings. Next up is Wimbledon, and even though Nadal got the better of Djokovic in their latest duel, there is no doubt the Nadal will be the underdog if the two of them find themselves in the final once again. Djokovic is very deserving of the status he has reached in the tennis world, as was Roger Federer during his reign as #1, though it will always be Nadal who is known as the master of clay and the records he has been setting for a decade at Rolland Garros will likely never be matched.
Has there ever been a more dominant player on any given surface than Nadal on clay? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think…