Is there anyone who can beat Nadal at clay-court tennis?
Change and Rafael Nadal winning the Roland Garros are the only two constant things in the universe and the former is a contradicting statement. Coming into this year’s tournament, Spain’s Nadal had already won the French Open 10 times and was the undisputed ‘king of clay’.
The World no.1, who turned 32 at the start of the tournament was undoubtedly playing the best clay-court tennis of his life.
The 17 time grand-slam winner faced Argentine Diego Shwartzman in the quarters where he lost the first set however did not let anything go past him in the later sets.
He met another Argentine in the semis Juan del Potro who he defeated in straight sets. Easy win for the king.
However Nadal faced his biggest test in the finals, Australian world no.4, Dominic Thiem. The Australian boasted of 3 wins against Nadal, which was a huge thing, with the latest being in the Madrid Open quarter finals. It was going to be tough fight for Nadal.
However he claimed he’s no mere mortal on the clay-court and once again proved himself by beating the 24 year old Australian in straight sets to clinch his 11th French Open title.
The world no 1 earned a 6-4,6-3,6-2 win over Thiem despite complaining of a wrist and finger injury in the 3rd set. He is now only 3 major honours behind Roger Federer’s all-time record of 20 grand slams.He took his Roland Garros record to 86-2 which is quite a staggering sporting achievement. He has only ever lost 6 sets at the French Open and the 32 year old has no plans to stop anytime soon.
The next major tournament will be the prestigious Wimbledon, held in England. It’s an outdoor-grass court where Nadal can expect to face his friendly nemesis and all-time grand slam record holder Roger Federer.
By Abhishek Aggarwal