5 best Rafael Nadal matches at the French Open
- The Spanish King of Clay retired from the French Open with a wrist injury.
La Decima has now crumbled. With a wrist injury derailing his shot at a tenth title at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal withdrew yesterday from the French Open, crushing the dreams of the Spaniard’s many fans.
The fourth seed had won his first and second round matches – against Australia’s Sam Groth and Argentine Facundo Bagnis in straight sets, leading many to believe he was well on his way to another title, or building up the momentum to do so.
The 29-year-old showed no indications of the injury leading up to his third round match against compatriot Marcel Granollers - one that he would have been expected to win.
Still the most successful player at the French Open with nine titles, Nadal has had some brilliant matches here.
We look at five of his best:
Semi-final against Roger Federer, 2005
World No 5 and fourth seed Rafael Nadal was only 18 and participating in his first ever French Open. Up against then World No. 1 Roger Federer in the semi-finals, the Spaniard had dropped only a single set en route.
That was a victory nearly everyone would have called as Federer’s, but Nadal drew blood to scalp the first set off Federer. On his 19th birthday, Nadal pulled off a four-set win over the Swiss Maestro to progress to the finals at his first French Open appearance.
He would go on to face Mariano Puerta in the finals in what would be the Argentine’s only Grand Slam final appearance; Nadal dropped a close first set, but then went on to win the remaining three in decisive fashion to take the first of his nine French Open titles on first appearance.