Tag Archive | "Vilas"

No Doubt on Clay:  Nadal Carries Barcelona Title for the Sixth Time

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No Doubt on Clay: Nadal Carries Barcelona Title for the Sixth Time



Last year, Rafael Nadal made the painful decision to skip his home tournament, the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell. This season though, Nadal was determine not to disappoint his loyal hometown fans. Taking on compatriot David Ferrer for the second consecutive week in a final, Nadal fought off Ferrer 6-2, 6-4 to capture the championship and his 45th career title.

At the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters seven days ago, Ferrer forced Nadal to work hard to claim the title. Thus, nothing less was expected in this match.

Ferrer was the first to earn a break point when Nadal netted a forehand. However, by sending a return long, Ferrer wasted that opportunity. On the other hand, when Nadal obtained double break point on a Ferrer backhand miscue, he connected with a forehand up the line winner for a 2-1 lead.

After consolidating, Nadal broke Ferrer at love to widen his advantage to 4-1. Yet, Ferrer narrowed the gap to a single break by breaking right back.

Still following a bevy of errors by Ferrer, Nadal retook a double break lead for 5-2. Then, after dismissing double break point, Nadal bedded the set.

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Del Potro Foils Federer’s Bid At Six Successive U.S. Open Titles

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Del Potro Foils Federer’s Bid At Six Successive U.S. Open Titles


img_9948Taking into account, the veil of lunacy and unpredictability that has shrouded the 2009 U.S. Open, one might have believed there was no further room for shock.  Yet, today, in the finals, 20 year old Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro pulled off the element of surprise by vanquishing world number one and five time defending champion Roger Federer 3-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 6-2 in order to seize his first major.

For the sixth year in a row facing a fresh rival at the tournament’s ultimate dance, Federer was regarded as the overwhelming favorite. Subsequent to a love game, on his fifth break point, Federer used a forehand crosscourt winner to jump to a 2-0 lead. Then, Roger consolidated with a comfortable hold. With Del Potro’s newbie status at the final of a major, he had difficulty encountering his footing the opening set. But, Juan Martin finally got on the board with ease for 1-3.  While Federer never dealt with a break point, Del Potro’s treacherous adventure on serve continued.  Serving at 2-5, Juan Martin’s forehand error gave Roger three set points.  However, with his big serve, Del Potro salvaged the game. Nevertheless, Federer went on to close out the set.

Del Potro started the second with four unforced errors, including two double faults, to hand Federer a break.  By maintaining his near perfect play at net, Federer connected on a forehand volley for 2-0.  After an untroubled hold by his opponent, Federer’s forehand miscues resulted in Del Potro’s initial break opportunities.  With Juan Martin unable to capitalize, Roger stretched his lead to 3-1. Consequently, Roger appeared to be securing a choke hold on another title. Yet, despite multiple chances, Federer failed to capture a potential insurance break.  After Del Potro kept the set alive with a love hold at 4-5, in front 30-0, Federer made a couple of errors for 30-30.  The next point, Del Potro called on the tech review after a forehand up the line was presumed out. By a hair, Juan Martin was found to be correct. Now, an incredulous Federer stared at break point.  Immediately, Juan Martin passed Roger at net with a forehand up the line to square the set at 5-5. Roger’s failure at sealing the set preyed on his mind into a tiebreaker. A forehand error was all Del Potro required for a mini-break and to finish off the set.

An abominable first serve percentage, a rival unwilling to capitulate, a perceived flawed challenge system contributed to Federer’s petulant mood the rest of the way. Roger even had an acerbic exchange with the chair umpire in the third set. To the contrary, Del Potro settled into a comfortable service rhythm.  At 3 all and 30 all, Federer floated two straight forehands long to give Del Potro his first lead.  But, the next game, Federer blotted out his mistake by making it 4 all.  After dismissing another break point and holding, Federer ticked off that Del Potro took a little long to dispute a call utilized his displeasure to get to 0-30. As a result of Del Potro double faulting twice, Federer carried the set 6-4.

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“Not In My House”: Nadal Is Crowned For The Fourth Consecutive Year At The French


No need to sugar coat it, this was the emphatic message that Rafael Nadal related to Roger Federer with his shellacking of the world number in French Open final 6-1, 6-3, 6-0.

Federer could not have dreamt of a worse start, he was broken in his very first service game. Although this was the commencement, Roger’s body language reflected the opposite. It was as if the match were a mere formality and the trophy had already been handed to Rafa in the locker room. On Nadal’s serve, Federer had the opportunity to level the set at 1 all, but it was eradicated right away. Despite Roger hitting first serves, Rafa ‘s returns were deep and on the money leading to multiple break chances. Thirty-two minutes was all it took for Nadal to break three times and wrap up the first set.

Roger’s dilemma persisted in the second set. Working from the baseline was not bearing fruit, coming to net was ineffective with Nadal was passing him at will. Roger’s first service game was a duplicate of the initial set with Nadal gaining the advantage. But, Federer came back in the subsequent game and equalized things 1-1. A pivotal stage in the match might have been when Roger had a break point for 4-3, his first opportunity to lead, but went on to net the volley. Nadal won the next three games to take a two set to none lead.

In the third set, Roger encountered no means to counteract his opponent’s brilliant play. Nadal kept coming up with ridiculous angles for winners while Federer could only shake his head. In short, the set was a Nadal highlight reel 6-0. The last time Federer lost a set at love was June 1999.

It is hard to embarrass Federer on any surface, least of all in the finals. But, this was exactly what Nadal managed to do. It took Rafa only 1hour and 48 minutes and 35 unforced errors from Roger to maintain his spotless record at Roland Garros. In winning his fourth straight title, Nadal wrote himself into the history books. Lamentably, so did Federer. This represented the fewest number of games won by a competitor in the finals since 1977 when Guillermo Vilas defeated American Bob Gottfried 6-0, 6-3, 6-0.

This was Federer’s third French final in a row.  Regrettably, there is an expiration date attached to his ultimate bite at this apple. With so many players improving and incredibly Nadal getting even better on the clay, Roger’s wish of holding the ‘Coupe des Mousquetaires’ may be wanting his entire career. Indeed, today may have been Roger’s last stand.

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