RG: The 10th Grand Slam Title


 World No. 1 Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer in the Roland Garros final for the fourth time on Sunday as he finished strongly to defeat his great rival 7-5, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1 in three hours and 40 minutes. It was their eighth meeting in a Grand Slam final (Nadal leads 6-2). Here is a breakdown of how the final was won.
FIRST SETRafael Nadal had said throughout the tournament that he felt under par and more nervous than usual at this year’s Roland Garros, and the Spaniard suffered a slow start to the final as he committed a string of surprising errors to surrender his serve.  Buoyed by his strong start, Federer went on to assume a 5-2 lead and had Nadal on the ropes with a set point chance in the eighth game. However, his attempted drop shot landed millimetres wide and it served as the catalyst for Nadal’s fight back.
Nadal held serve and immediately made Federer rue his missed opportunity as he pressured the Swiss at the net to draw a forehand volley error and break back. After holding for 5-5, the Spaniard then took a commanding 0/30 lead in the 11th game with two bruising forehand winners and converted his second break point opportunity by pushing Federer back to draw a forehand error. There was to be no retaliation by Federer as Nadal closed out the one-set lead on serve.
SECOND SETThe gusting wind made life difficult for Federer at the start of the second set, and Nadal was quick to capitalise. Federer miscued a smash that landed in the net to go down 0/40 on serve and Nadal took his second chance to gain the early advantage. Federer fought through his loss of rhythm, though, and earned a break back point in the seventh game with a stunning backhand winner at 30/30. The Basel native could not convert that opportunity, nor the second that he created, but Nadal presented him with a third chance as he fired a forehand long and Federer pounced as Nadal miss-hit a backhand into the net.
FedererFederer’s respite was short-lived. Nadal responded immediately and regained his lead in the 11th game as Federer miscued a backhand wide, having initially recovered from 15/40. There was more drama to come, though. At deuce on Nadal’s serve in the 10th game, the heavy rain shower that had been threatening arrived and play was suspended for 10 minutes. Upon resumption, Federer regained concentration first and, after saving one set point, broke back as Nadal miss-hit a forehand.
In the subsequent tie-break Nadal re-asserted his control. The Mallorcan raced to a 4-0 lead and went on to close out the second set 7-6(3), leaving a despairing Federer with a mountain to climb.
THIRD SETNadal drew first blood in the third set, benefitting from a spate of unforced errors from Federer to break serve and lead 4-2. With the finishing line in sight, though, the Spaniard faltered and Federer took his chance to strike back immediately, winning the seventh game to love and clinching it with a drop shot.
With the wind in his sails, Federer capitalised on his momentum and earned a 0/40 opportunity on Nadal’s serve in the 11th game with a telling service return. Nadal fended off the first break point, but could not deny Federer the second as he was dragged wider and wider before losing the point. The Swiss then showed no hesitation in serving out the set to 15, much to the delight of the Philippe Chatrier court.
NadalFOURTH SET Federer had the chance to put Nadal under real pressure at the start of the fourth set, but squandered a 0/40 opportunity on the Spaniard’s opening service game. Having weathered the storm, Nadal then took advantage of a poor service game from Federer, riddled with errors, to take a 3-1 lead.
This time there was to be no recovery for Federer. Sensing he had his man cornered, Nadal began to dominate the baseline rallies and push Federer from side-to-side. It was one such exchange in the sixth game that saw Federer surrender his serve for a second time and Nadal closed out the victory on serve as Federer over hit a forehand.


Nadal Federer
Statistics on Serve
Aces 4 11
Double Faults 3 1
1st Serve % 72% 63%
1st Serve Points Won 69/106 (65%) 55/80 (69%)
2nd Serve Points Won 21/41 (51%) 18/46 (39%)
Break Points Saved 10/15 (67%) 8/15 (53%)
Statistics on Points
Break Points Won 7/15 (47%) 5/15 (33%)
Total Service Points Won 90/147 (61%) 73/126 (58%)
Total Return Points Won 53/126 (42%) 57/147 (39%)
Total Points Won 143/273 (52%) 130/273 (48%)
Other Stats
Winners 39 53
Unforced errors 27 56
Net Approaches 10/18 (56%) 30/41 (73%)


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