With a dominant victory at Rome, the 'King of Clay' Rafael Nadal has finally made an impression on the ongoing clay season. His performances in the Italian capital were nearly perfect as he served bagel sets to four of his five opponents, losing just one set on his way to 9th Rome title.
The Spaniard seems to be well and truly back in form, and starts as a firm favourite to win an unprecedented 12th title at Roland Garros.
Since his debut on the Parisian clay in 2005, Nadal has won a whopping 11 titles in the French capital out of his 14 appearances, and maintains a colossal 86-2 win-loss record. His love-affair with Paris is like a fairy-tale, and is celebrated not just by tennis enthusiasts but also by the majority of the sporting world.
Nadal almost literally owns Court Philippe Chatrier, mastering every nook and corner on it. His consistency at this place is immortal; if there is anything constant today, it has to be Nadal winning the French Open.
With the 2019 edition of the tournament just around the corner, let’s take a glimpse at Nadal’s top three most dominating performances in Roland Garros finals.
#3 Roland Garros 2017 Vs Stan Wawrinka
Following a troubled 2015 and 2016, Nadal made a grand comeback in 2017 right at the start of the season, reaching the final of the Australian Open.
After pocketing a triplet of titles at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, the Spaniard headed into the French Open oozing with confidence and self-belief. En route the final in 2017, the Spaniard didn’t drop a set, and even served a bagel to Dominic Thiem in the third set of the semi-finals.
In what was his first appearance in the Roland Garros final in three years, the then 14-time Grand Slam champion met 2015 French Open champion Stan Wawrinka in the summit clash.
Nadal’s performance against Wawrinka was utterly dominant; he looked like a man on a mission as he triumphed over the Swiss 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 to realize ‘La Decima’ (10 French Open titles).
Nadal choked the life out of Wawrinka throughout the match, breaking his serve quite early in each of the three sets. The Swiss, who was perhaps exhausted after his marathon battle against Andy Murray in the semi-finals, did not have any answers to Nadal’s stunning aggression.
The fabulous victory in the final was like an icing on the cake for the Spaniard as he ended his tremendous clay season on a high note. The victory was especially sweet as he ended his Grand Slam title drought after a break of three long years, having won his last Major way back in 2014.