Monday, June 6, 2011

French Open: The Finale

After 15 days on the red clay of Roland Garros, a pair of champions made history while a couple of runner-ups proved a lot of people wrong.

Rafael Nadal won his 6th French Open title, equaling Bjorn Borg's tally as well as making him only the 7th man to win at least 10 Grand Slam titles. Nadal defeated his archrival Roger Federer who pushed the Spaniard from the very first game. In fact it was probably Federer's best effort against Nadal at Roland Garros, which is small solace at the moment, but should prove beneficial for the rest of the season. Nadal was able to come back down a set point and 2-5 in the first set to win the next dozen or so game. Federer managed to level the second set all the way to a tiebreak, but even when he lost that, he found a way to win the third set. Nadal, however, took advantage of Federer's flagging energy in the fourth to win. With the trophy, Nadal remains #1 in the world with Novak Djokovic nipping at his heels.

Li Na became the first Chinese player to win a Grand Slam after she defeated defending champion Francesca Schiavone. Many people wouldn't have bet on seeing either of these players at the finals, but there they were, Schiavone showed everyone that last year's win was no fluke and Li Na impressed by taking down four top ten opponents en route to her first major victory. While Schiavone was seen as the more accomplished clay-court player, it was Li Na who dictated play from the start overpowering as well as outcrafting the Italian. Li Na was also a picture of poise as one would've expected her to buckle under the pressure of the moment, but she helf steady and in two sets, she found herself a winner. With the state of the women's game at the moment, with no clear frontrunners, one could do worse than these two.

In doubles, Daniel Nestor defended his title last year with a new partner this year, Max Mirnyi. Unseeded Czech team Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka won the women's doubles title.

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