Author Topic: VAMOS RAFA !!! (Post match-reviews, pictures,articles, videos etc. about Nadal)  (Read 395099 times)

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Offline conchita

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Nadal emerging as the most level headed and mature of all the jokers on the circuit? ://

Still 21-years of age, he appears to tower over even the veterans when it comes to handling himself and others on and off the court.

He turns a snide remark by an opponent into an arrow that blows over his head, thereby not only taking the sting out of the hit but in a weird way endears the shooter. Remember when Ljubicic made an unfriendly remark after a match. Nadalís reply? ďI have a very good relationship with Ljubicic. I donít want to lose it because of thisĒ.

You think Ljubicic felt stupid for even saying it? You bet!!!! That incident bonded the two even more instead of tearing them apart, as it would have happened had it been any one else on the receiving end of that barb.

Nadal never responded to Federerís open and public attack on him about him being Ďone-dimensionalí. Since it was just the opposite of what Federer expected coupled with his friendly and respectful attitude when they met next after that incident, Federer just couldnít help but fall for Nadalís charm and big heartedness.

And then when everyone was piling on Federer for his poor showing, Nadal stood up for Federer and supported his friend in his time of need. You think that will remain with Federer for sometime? You bet!!!!!

Contrary to usual belief, the real man is the one who forgives and who controls his anger.

Despite being provoked by even Djokovic in his pressers, Nadal has refused to take the bait. Instead he has showered Djokovic with praise for his recent success, bewildering Djokovic out of his mind. You think Djokovic likes Nadal more than Federer. You can freaking bet your wallet on that!!!

Nadal has addressed all his press conferences after every loss in a matter of fact way that displays his exemplary maturity and respect for his fellow players, fans and the sport of tennis. Is there any doubt who must be the most popular guy in the locker room. All that despite not being anywhere close to being fluent in English, first language of most players today.

He could have been excused for any outburst after the heart breaking loss at the Wimbledon finals last year in five sets to Federer. He had reached there by virtually scaling Mount Everest in his previous matches. In all he played three five setters in that tournament, one of them lasting over a year against Soderling.

Rumors about how he cried incessantly after he reached home after that loss, confirms how deep a dagger it was for him to come so close from so far and still not carry the prize home.

But he never let his emotions come in his way of praising Federer and everyone else for their support. That undoubtedly endeared him to fans and players alike in a way thatís special and to be proud of. His never say die attitude did the rest to propel him as one of the most likable player on the tour.

He has faced many adversities in his young career, but has never relinquished his fighting spirit on the court much to the delight and gratitude of tennis fans worldwide.

But through all that we have seen of Nadal in the years he has been on the tour, the one quality that shines above everything else is his sportsmanship. He truly respects his opponent, and makes an extra effort to ensure he does step on anyoneís toes. Remember when Soderling imitated him at last yearís Wimbledon after Nadal raised the ball in his hand to signal new balls?

Most people think, based on his track record, that Nadal didnít mean to demean or irritate Soderling with that gesture. He was just following the rules. But did Nadal respond even then? No. He looked at Aunt Tony and zipped it.



However, the wrath did come out through his racket, which is where it should be limited to if you are a true sportsman.

Like I have said before, everyone can be a sportsman when things are all rosy and dandy. Whatís the big deal in that? Even my goat or even I can do that. The real test is when you are being irritated and called out in a humiliating manner by others and you not only just restrain yourself, but you say things that makes the other person feel shameful and remorseful for even having said something like that.

Itís called class. You freaks will not understand.

I hope he is rewarded for his understanding and incredible degree of restraint in a way that is good for him. You see, we as mortals donít know if getting to No. 1 in the world is good for him. Only our Creator knows that.

Despite all his handicaps, Nadal is emerging as the most human players of them all.

Great job, Nadal, we are proud of you.
Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.

Offline Start da Game

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players shud get ready for submission to rafa at hamburg n RG.......they ve simply raked up the lion in him today.........
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline conchita

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Rafa and Xisca at the beach in Majorca!!


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Offline conchita

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Nadal crushes Moya to reach last four

Rafael Nadal put in an imposing performance to demolish Spanish compatriot Carlos Moya 6-1 6-3 and reach the semi-finals of the Hamburg Masters.

The 21-year-old French Open champion will now face 20-year-old Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in a match that will determine who carries the mantle of the world number two ranking into Roland Garros.

Nadal has been the number two to Roger Federer's world number one ever since first claiming that position in July, 2005 after winning the first of three successive French Open trophies.

But a loss to Djokovic will hand the Serbian the coveted ranking for the first time in his young career with just one week to go until the start of Paris' Grand Slam.

Nadal showed no signs that he was ready to surrender the spot in his match against Moya, however, dominating the first set with an imposing display of winners and top-notch defence.

The 2007 Hamburg runner-up easily outclassed his close friend and fellow Mallorcan, winning five straight games to close out the opener in just 25 minutes.

After breaking Moya, who is ten years Nadal's senior, in the opening game of the second set, Rafa looked headed for an equally comfortable margin of victory.

But the former world number one showed the fighting spirit that has kept him in the top-20 for so long, breaking back in the fourth game thanks to a stunning exhibition of volleying.

Nadal, however, was able to reclaim his advantage in the very next game and - despite stubborn resistance from Moya - never looked back, wrapping up the comfortable win in just one hour and 15 minutes with another break of serve in the ninth game.

Jeremy Stahl and Will Tidey / Eurosport
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Offline conchita

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Nadal will face Novak Djokovic tomorrow!! 

H2H Rafa 6-3
2008 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells CA, U.S.A. Hard S Djokovic 6-3 6-2
2007 Tennis Masters Cup China Hard RR Nadal 6-4 6-4
2007 ATP Masters Series Canada Hard S Djokovic 7-5 6-3
2007 Wimbledon Great Britain Grass S Nadal 3-6 6-1 4-1 RET
2007 Roland Garros France Clay S Nadal 7-5 6-4 6-2
2007 ATP Masters Series Rome Italy Clay Q Nadal 6-2 6-3
2007 ATP Masters Series Miami FL, U.S.A. Hard Q Djokovic 6-3 6-4
2007 ATP Masters Series Indian Wells CA, U.S.A. Hard F Nadal 6-2 7-5
2006 Roland Garros France Clay Q Nadal 6-4 6-4 RET 
Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.

Offline conchita

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Vamos Rafa! with the song in french "Savoir Aimer!" and latin "Fundamentum" 

[youtube]http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=FumCwjoDGb8[/youtube]

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Offline conchita

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cheers!!!!!!!!!!!! the mental stenght was the key said Rafa !!!!!!!!!!!!!
Self-praise is for losers. Be a winner. Stand for something. Always have class, and be humble.

Offline Start da Game

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Everyone loses sooner or later, he lost last year and still dominated.  The real question will be, can someone knock him out at the FO!

This will affect his ranking points I assume?
knocking him out at RG is next to impossible........i think we shud stop thinking abot rankings n all.......it's about accomplishments.......i wud be happy for rafa if he wins wimby this yr, becoming no.1 doesn't matter much coz he's gonna get there anyway if he concentrates on winning.......
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 02:40:08 AM by shankar21 »
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline conchita

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Nadal outlasts Djokovic in classic

Rafael Nadal has set up a final meeting with Roger Federer at the Hamburg Masters after winning an astonishingly high quality semi-final with Novak Djokovic 7-5 2-6 6-2.

Second seed Nadal outlasted the Serb in a magnificent three-hour semi-final battle.

Djokovic has won the Australian Open and two Masters Series already this year and would have taken over Nadal's number two world ranking if he had beaten the French Open champion.

With the retractable roof at the Rothenbaum closed to keep out the rain, there was an extra buzz around the centre court and Nadal and Djokovic wowed the crowd with some awesome rallies.

The fist-pumping Mallorcan, seemingly able to chase down almost anything Djokovic threw at him, saved 15 of 19 break points against him and broke serve in the first and seventh games of the deciding set.

He sealed victory on his fifth match point when Djokovic netted an attempted drop shot at the end of an incredible final game lasting more than 15 minutes.
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Offline conchita

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Nadal beats Federer in Hamburg to complete clay title
 
SMS NDTV 
 
Indo-Asian News Service
Sunday, May 18, 2008 (Hamburg)

Rafael Nadal beat four-time champion Roger Federer 7-5, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3 in the Hamburg Masters final on Sunday to complete his collection of major clay court titles.

The second-ranked Spaniard Nadal saved two set points as he fought from 5-1 down in the first set, lost the second after initially overcoming a 5-2 deficit, but never looked back after breaking Federer for 3-1 in the third.

Nadal, 21, wrapped up matters with a backhand winner after two hours 52 minutes and sunk on his knees afterwards in delight.

Federer compiled an unusually high number of 41 unforced errors while Nadal had just 28.

Hamburg was the only big clay title eluding Nadal, who has three straight French Open crowns and also won at the Masters in Monte Carlo and Rome.

Nadal won his 26th career title, of which 21 are on his favourite surface, where he has a 108-2 record since April 2005, the other defeat coming in Rome almost two weeks ago against compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero.

His only defeat in a clay final came 2007 in Hamburg against Federer. He leads Federer 10-6 overall and 8-1 on clay.

The Hamburg win was worth 360,000 euros, Federer got half the amount with 180,000 euros.

"The whole week has been special for me," said Nadal. Federer acknowledged that Nadal played "great all week and throughout the clay court season."

Federer lost for the first time in Hamburg (and in Germany) since a third-round defeat in 2003 to Australian Mark Philippoussis. He won 41 straight matches in Hamburg and Halle going into Sunday's game.

At first it appeared that Federer would extend that streak as he raced off to a 5-1 lead. But he then wasted a set point in the seventh game and other in the eighth as Nadal took the set after all with six unanswered games.

Nadal broke in the opening game of the second but soon found himself 5-2 down. Again, he fought back, to 5-5 plus three break points for 6-5. But this time around Federer managed to deny the comeback as he breezed through the tiebreak.

It was all over for Federer when Nadal broke for 3-1 in the third. The Spaniard saved a break point at 4-2 and lifted the trophy a few minutes later.

The two could meet again at the French Open which start next Sunday.

"I am disappointed to lose. Hopefully I can get over it for Paris," said Federer.
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Offline Start da Game

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agreed. but why does Fed never have any injuries of any kind? also how come he never complains about the schedule?

he just goes about his business of constantly developing his fitness and forever trying to improve his game. even at his level--which is the highest of all levels--he has found a way to improve his serve and his backhand. and at nearly 27, he is the fittest in the game and he could just get by on efficiency alone if he had to.

Nadal just has to do something about his fitness or he is dropping like a rock in rankings within a year. its obvious he is not ahead of the pack in terms of actual ,concrete improvements in his game. i have seen no improvement in his game over the course of last 12-15 months or so.

these blisters and knee bandages and the like are all manifestations of declined fitness and lack of improvement in his game. he is spending more time than ever before to win his matches.


To me this goes back to the musculature. Federer is lean. He has a solid core, and lean wiry strong muscles. Nadal on the other hand is very muscular. Federer's strokes are fairly easy on the body while Nadal's are not. Add to that Nadal's muscles are a detriment. Wasted weight, and an undue strain on ligaments.
Tennis players should be lean, not muscular. That's been my feeling all along.

the only thing that comes to my mind when i hear or see rafa getting injured is the amount of hardcourt tennis that he plays.to me these injuries of his r all due to his heavy participation on those no cushion,stressful hardcourts.......well, it might look funny but what i feel is,all the reasons y rafa gets injured so frequently boil down to one serious thing n that's the flat forehand that he's reluctant to use on hards.......one flat forehand of his ll prevent him from running for 3 to 4 extra shots every point which helps his body enormously over a length of time.......added to his voes, he is playing doubles in every HC tourney which can be reasoned as his dedication towards olympic medal for his country.now that hell of a lot tennis.....i m sure he won't play doubles again after olympics.

as far as HC tennis is concerned,i ve always felt that rafa shud only take part in all the masters events n GS with the exemption of chennai open coz he needs a warm up before a GS like oz open, not that coz i m an indian ;-().......that ll keep him fresh n ll make him raring to go.......too much of anything is good for nothing.maybe he wudn't ve cared much about his HC defeats but definitely this defeat of his ll remind him the  gruelling amount of tennis that he's playing........
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline Start da Game

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yeah sure. it can also be the new beginning of his fall, we'll just wait and see. when Roger loses a match it turns into this whole "Is this the new beginning of Roger's decline where people gain confidence to beat him everywhere and his reign's over" thing.

Nadal's still the man to beat and I don't think this loss is all of a going to turn him into a super super superhuman sorta thing because he still is pretty much unbeatable. Wasn't there some injury business going on today? I am sure there must have been, if not injury, tiredness.
roger is no more 21, 22 n u know he ll be 27 this august n hence r those susceptible voices like "roger's going down" n all whenever he faces a defeat.......rafa is still the invincible genious on clay. ll never doubt at that......the question is, ll he realize his shortcomings(like i mentioned in some other hot thread, his reluctance to use flat forehand n all) on other surfaces as well thru this defeat? ll he realize the amount of tennis that he's playing esp on hardcourts?
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline conchita

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Nadal calls for longer grass season
Eurosport -
World number two Rafael Nadal said he would like the grasscourt season to be longer so players can have more preparation time for Wimbledon.
 
The Spaniard, who reached the final at the All England Club the last two years, started his claycourt season with the Monte Carlo Masters last month and will end it at the French Open on June 9 at the latest.

The four-week grasscourt season will then immediately start at Queen's Club in London before concluding on July 6 with the men's final at Wimbledon.

"The grasscourt season is very, very, very short. I always say the same. It's not fair, you only have two weeks to prepare for a very important tournament like Wimbledon," Nadal said after reaching the French Open last 16 with a 6-1 6-3 6-1 demolition of Finn Jarkko Nieminen.

Asked whether he would prefer a season without a grasscourt match or a longer grasscourt campaign, the three-times French Open champion said: "Boy, I never thought (of) the calendar without Wimbledon, so I prefer a longer grasscourt season."

Last month, Nadal hit out at the ATP, saying the governing body of men's tennis was not taking the players' interests into account by scheduling three claycourt Masters Series events within four weeks.

The Mallorcan added that the ATP and the ITF should work together to change the schedule.

"It's very difficult (to prepare for Wimbledon). And, you know, (to) change the date of the Grand Slams is not in our hands," he said. "It's not ATP, it is ITF (organisers of the Grand Slams)."

But he added that the ATP also have to play a part by sorting out the crammed claycourt season.

Nadal experienced schedule problems at a lower scale at the French Open, having been forced onto the courts for four consecutive days because of rain in Paris.

"I am a little bit tired. I've played six sets in two days and two days before, the first match, I was in the locker room all the day," he said.

"So that's tough. I survived the first three days playing three matches in a row, winning the three matches in three sets, so that's very important."

Nadal will face compatriot Fernando Verdasco, seeded 22nd, for a place in the quarter-finals.
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Offline conchita

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Rafael Nadal on victory over Jarkko Nieminen: "The good thing is I survived these three matches without losing a set. Tomorrow, I'll be able to recharge the batteries, and then on Sunday I'll be 100 percent fit."
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Offline Start da Game

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the only thing that comes to my mind when i hear or see rafa getting injured is the amount of hardcourt tennis that he plays.to me these injuries of his r all due to his heavy participation on those no cushion,stressful hardcourts.......well, it might look funny but what i feel is,all the reasons y rafa gets injured so frequently boil down to one serious thing n that's the flat forehand that he's reluctant to use on hards.......one flat forehand of his ll prevent him from running for 3 to 4 extra shots every point which helps his body enormously over a length of time.......added to his voes, he is playing doubles in every HC tourney which can be reasoned as his dedication towards olympic medal for his country.now that hell of a lot tennis.....i m sure he won't play doubles again after olympics.

as far as HC tennis is concerned,i ve always felt that rafa shud only take part in all the masters events n GS with the exemption of chennai open coz he needs a warm up before a GS like oz open, not that coz i m an indian ;-().......that ll keep him fresh n ll make him raring to go.......too much of anything is good for nothing.maybe he wudn't ve cared much about his HC defeats but definitely this defeat of his ll remind him the  gruelling amount of tennis that he's playing........

Lots of players play on hard courts and don't have the same issues. Yes his effort level is a step above most, but is it that much more that he can't stay healthy where others can?
He has to play on hards because that's almost half the rankings points. In addition 4 of the MS and one GS are on hards. He has to show up for the MS tourneys as they are mandatory, and he has to do well in them to maintain his ranking. Not playing on hard courts is not an option.
yes, he shud play all the mandatory events.that's what i meant. there r 7 MS on hards(if u include the carpet event in paris n yr end masters cup) n 3 on clay. he shud play all those events along with the 4 GS. never said against that. now the remaining 4 or 5 events(to round off the 18 or 19 events for the ATP rankings) that he plays shud be on clay but not on hards.......he shud skip tournos like dubai,rotterdam,etc. added to that he's playing doubles in atleast 9 to 10 events out of those 18 or 19.......now that's tons n tons of tennis............
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline conchita

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAFA!!! 22 YEARS OLD!!! :)

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the only thing that comes to my mind when i hear or see rafa getting injured is the amount of hardcourt tennis that he plays.to me these injuries of his r all due to his heavy participation on those no cushion,stressful hardcourts.......well, it might look funny but what i feel is,all the reasons y rafa gets injured so frequently boil down to one serious thing n that's the flat forehand that he's reluctant to use on hards.......one flat forehand of his ll prevent him from running for 3 to 4 extra shots every point which helps his body enormously over a length of time.......added to his voes, he is playing doubles in every HC tourney which can be reasoned as his dedication towards olympic medal for his country.now that hell of a lot tennis.....i m sure he won't play doubles again after olympics.

as far as HC tennis is concerned,i ve always felt that rafa shud only take part in all the masters events n GS with the exemption of chennai open coz he needs a warm up before a GS like oz open, not that coz i m an indian ;-().......that ll keep him fresh n ll make him raring to go.......too much of anything is good for nothing.maybe he wudn't ve cared much about his HC defeats but definitely this defeat of his ll remind him the  gruelling amount of tennis that he's playing........

Lots of players play on hard courts and don't have the same issues. Yes his effort level is a step above most, but is it that much more that he can't stay healthy where others can?
He has to play on hards because that's almost half the rankings points. In addition 4 of the MS and one GS are on hards. He has to show up for the MS tourneys as they are mandatory, and he has to do well in them to maintain his ranking. Not playing on hard courts is not an option.
yes, he shud play all the mandatory events.that's what i meant. there r 7 MS on hards(if u include the carpet event in paris n yr end masters cup) n 3 on clay. he shud play all those events along with the 4 GS. never said against that. now the remaining 4 or 5 events(to round off the 18 or 19 events for the ATP rankings) that he plays shud be on clay but not on hards.......he shud skip tournos like dubai,rotterdam,etc. added to that he's playing doubles in atleast 9 to 10 events out of those 18 or 19.......now that's tons n tons of tennis............
but he plays the small tourneys because he wants to improve on hard courts, I agree he should play on clay in Latin America instead of hards, look at the list of champions there, he should won all the small touneys on clay
2009 schedule should be:
4 grand slams, 9 MS and 3 500 events: Acapulco, Barcelona - clay, Valencia carpet and two small but prestigious tourneys like Stuttgart or Kitzbuhel, Queens and Chennai -to get ready for SW19 and AO.
agree with that. not to forget TMC as well........chennai n the 7 MS(including TMC) shud form his HC schedule.so overall 8 HC tourneys in a yr is ok......i don't quite buy that theory that he wud improve on hards if he plays more n more HC tennis.......coz it's not the age now to do so.he's an established ATP player already. he shud ve experimented with his HC schedule in his junior days........he shud plan his HC tourneys cleverly n give his best shot at them.that keeps him fresh always........
Marian Vajda to Novak Djokovic, "I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man KEPT COMING AFTER YOU! Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."

i demand french open to be renamed RAFAEL GARROS

Offline conchita

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Nadal wins fourth straight French crown   

Rafael Nadal claimed a historic fourth consecutive French Open title after crushing world number one Roger Federer 6-1 6-3 6-0 in the Roland Garros final.

The 22-year-old Spaniard, who did not drop a set the entire tournament, matches Bjorn Borg's record of four successive Grand Slam crowns in Paris.

Federer, meanwhile, was denied his career Grand Slam by the Mallorcan claycourt king for a fourth straight year and for a third consecutive time in the final.
 
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Rafael Nadal made the perfect start to his bid for a fourth consecutive French Open title when he won the first set 6-1 in the final against Roger Federer at Roland Garros on Sunday.

The Spaniard, who has beaten Federer in the past two French Open finals, broke the world number one three times as he raced through the set in 32 minutes.

Federer, chasing the only grand-slam title to elude him, began shakily and three forehand errors gave second seed Nadal the break in the first game.

The Spaniard saved two break points in the next game and though Federer saved two more break points in his next service game, he was broken to love two games later as Nadal surged ahead 4-1.

 Rafael Nadal took a stranglehold on the French Open final at Roland Garros on Sunday when he moved ahead of Roger Federer by two sets to love, 6-1 6-3.

Trying to equal Bjorn Borg's record of four successive French Open wins, Nadal ripped through the first set and then held off a Federer fightback in the second to move within one set of victory.



view photo
The Spaniard, who has beaten Federer in the past two French Open finals, broke the world number one three times as he raced through the set in 32 minutes.

Federer, chasing the only grand-slam title to elude him, began shakily and three forehand errors gave second seed Nadal the break in the first game.

The Spaniard saved two break points in the next game and though Federer saved two more break points in his next service game, he was broken to love two games later as Nadal surged ahead 4-1.

Top seed Federer tried to get to the net whenever he could but Nadal passed him at will and broke for a third time to take the first set as Federer put a forehand volley long.

The Swiss, the winner of 12 grand-slam titles, looked shell-shocked and when he dropped his serve to trail 2-0 in the second set, he had won just 16 points in the match.

His response, though, was immediate and he broke back in the next game with his best all-round tennis of the match.

Becoming more aggressive and serving-and-volleying at times, Federer saved a break point to level at 2-2 and then forced a break point at 3-3, only to net a backhand as Nadal held on.

That proved to be the turning point of the set and Nadal rifled a backhand down the line to break for 5-3, then served out for a two-set lead.

and then the bagel!!!  6-0!!!

Nadal 2008 French Open Champion!!   

Top seed Federer was looking to get to the net whenever he could but Nadal broke for a third time to take the set as Federer put a forehand volley long.

Reuters
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Offline conchita

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Nadal manhandles Federer to claim fourth straight French title!!!   
ESPN.com news services

PARIS -- Rafael Nadal overwhelmed Roger Federer in the French Open final Sunday, winning 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 to become the second player to win four straight titles in Paris.

No. 2-ranked Nadal matched Bjorn Borg's mark of four French Open titles in a row. Borg won six in his career.

Nadal was in control from the start, and he broke the top-ranked Federer to open the match. Federer held off one break point from the net when Nadal hit an errant backhand. Nadal won the game as Federer missed long on a crosscourt forehand.

Federer's play picked up in the second set, but he continued to fall short in solving Nadal's service game. With the set even 3-3, Nadal took over, unspooling wins in nine straight games to close out the match.

Nadal's first drop shot of the match help sparked the run. Facing a break point, Nadal threw Federer the curveball, drawing the Swiss into the net, where he failed to get a crosscourt backhand over.

Federer, who was playing in his 11th Grand Slam final of the last 12 but has yet to claim a French Open title, offered an early and rare glimpse of his overpowering serve. It resulted in his only first-set win, which included two aces after having fallen behind 15-40.

"I believe very strongly that this is my year," Federer said before the match.

Federer's only chance relied on catching Nadal off-guard and getting some lucky breaks. But Nadal was brilliant from the baseline, his confidence apparent as Federer consistently hustled to the net and forced the action.
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