Rafael Nadal Dominates All Comers to Claim Tenth Roland Garros Title
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Rafael Nadal moved to #2 in the world by virtue of claiming his tenth title at Roland Garros. The legendary Spaniard showed why he’s the true king of clay over the last two weeks, not dropping a set and finishing off his journey with a thumping 6-2 6-3 6-1 win over an in-form Stan Wawrinka in the final. He dominated the former Roland Garros champion to finish the clay court season with a 24-1 record and four clay titles in the bag a remarkable feat for a player that many had written off after he dealt with some serious injuries in recent years and slipped down the rankings. Two of the games greatest ever players, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have now claimed the two slam titles this season and head towards Wimbledon on a potential collision course, with a more neutral surface in New York at the US Open perhaps serving as the trust test of which player will be the season’s best.
Nadal moved well around the court and came up with some brutal shots, defeating Benoit Paire, Robin Haase, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Roberto Bautista Agut, Pablo Carreno Busta, and Dominic Thiem to reach the final. His most challenging opponents on paper, Thiem, who upset Novak Djokovic to make the semifinals without dropping a set, and Wawrinka who didn’t drop a set before knocking off Andy Murray in a five set semifinal battle. Murray performed well to find form and reach the semis yet again, and Wawrinka remains a slam contender, but Rafa entered the tournament as a deserving favorite, and left it as a clear champion. Thiem has been coming into his own recently as well, and the French Open looks to be his best chance to win a Grand Slam.
Ryan Harrison and Michael Venus beat Santiago Gonzalez and Donald Young for the doubles title, The American Harrison rising quickly to become a top men’s doubles player, adding to his already successful 2017 season.