Two very small questions. First, when you were sitting down, everybody was taking your photo. You picked up the trophy, and you were looking at the names on the trophy, counting them. Whose names were you looking at, yours or someone else’s?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, I was looking at the winners. No, no, no, no. For me is very small, and I wasn’t counting. I just go year by year.
Downstairs your Uncle Toni was telling us that he thinks that you are unlucky to be playing in this era of Djokovic, Federer, you. Is that how you see it? Do you think you’re unlucky to be in such a fabulous era for tennis?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel very lucky to achieve all what I achieved until today. I have great rivals, but, you know, even if it’s good era of tennis, playing against fantastic players, no, I’m more than happy to enjoy matches like I had. I enjoyed a lot the final of Australia, today. I suffered, but I enjoyed.
A lot of important finals for me, a lot of important matches that I was able to enjoy against fantastic players like Novak, like Federer, like Andy.
For me, you can feel unlucky or lucky, both.
Congratulations, Rafa. You had a hard two-part final. Since last night, how did you prepare technically, physically, morally? Analyze the situation where you lost eight games in a row on clay, which is very unusual. How did you handle it this morning?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, the conditions were really unusual, too. No, the ball was heavier than ever. At the end, the bounces start to be bad last half an hour of match yesterday.
In my opinion, the conditions were much more favorable for Novak than for me. At the same time, I am playing against the best of the world, the best of the world with good conditions probably for him. He played, in my opinion, fantastic that eight games in a row.
He didn’t have mistakes. He return fantastically well, and he did probably everything very well in that part of the match.
That’s true that I lost meters behind the baseline. I really felt that I wasn’t able to push him back like I did, especially at the beginning of the match and then for moments.
He was able to push me back almost all the time. I felt that I was in a completely, you know, negative positions almost every time on that period of match.
So, for me, the last game was very important after eight games in a row, losing the last one and before the stop. That game that put the 2-1 on the score was very, very important.
Congratulations. Were you happy that the match was stopped last night? Was it easy for you to sleep last night?
RAFAEL NADAL: Seriously, I was very nervous during all the night. I was a little bit anxious to play what remain of the match. But even if was clearly good thing for me, I stop the match yesterday, because with that conditions, well, seriously, the last couple of games, the conditions of the court was not the right ones to play a final of a Grand Slam, you know. We had to stop.
Anyway, I felt that was a positive stop for me. I really felt that the stop against David Ferrer in the semifinals with set and 4-1 was not positive for me. At the end was positive for me. And the stop before that we come back to the court that with 6-4, 5-3, I felt that was not positive for me, too, neither.
That’s true. The last stop was important for me, especially because the conditions of play was not the normal ones in this court.
Congratulations. You’ve won this title seven times. Can you talk about that? Novak said you’re definitely the best male player to ever play on this surface. Can you address that?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, thanks for the words, what Novak said.
I don’t know if I am the best or not. I really — I am not the right one to say that. The only thing is I have probably one of the best results ever probably in this kind of surfaces, and for me is great.
For me is a real emotional day, win another time here. Sure, the seventh is important because I am the player who has more today, but like I said yesterday: that’s after. For me, the important thing is win Roland Garros even if it’s the first, second, third, or seventh, no? That’s what makes me very happy, very happy the way that I played today, because I played much more aggressive.
In my opinion, I started very well yesterday the first three games, played fantastic levels. But later, after that, I felt that I didn’t play fantastic yesterday after that first games, no?
I felt that today this set I played better than yesterday. My serve especially worked very well, and my forehand, my movements, were more aggressive.
You say that you enjoy winning every title, but the emotions, when you went up to be with your family in the player’s box, they seemed very strong this time, maybe even stronger than normal. Was it not that way?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, was that way, sure. Was important victory for me. I really spend a really hard day since yesterday. You know, I am playing this match since Friday afternoon, so is a long time preparing the match. Yesterday with all the stops and today, I really felt tired and nervous before the match.
My feeling was I wasn’t ready for the match one hour ago, two hours ago, two hours before the match, and I felt ready to go on court three minutes before. That’s the first moment since we stop the match yesterday — the first moment that I really felt that I am here to play and I feel confident to try was three minutes before go on court, because for the rest of the time I was a little bit too nervous, more nervous than usual probably for the situation.
Djokovic lost with you making a double fault on match point in Rome. Then double fault on break point at 3-All.
RAFAEL NADAL: In three of them.
Three of them. And then one in first game of the second set and match point today. Do you think something change in his attitude that last year when he was invincible it would never have happened, or do you face him like he’s a little bit more tense than he was, for instance, last year or not? Do you have a feeling that he’s changed or not?
RAFAEL NADAL: The things are like this, you know. You cannot expect to save all the moments fantastic well. You cannot expect to be in every tournament playing at your best and saving the important moments with fantastic shots.
Seriously, if I say something wrong about Novak probably gonna be a big mistake, because don’t forget that he won in Australia, he won in Miami, played semifinals in Indian Wells losing 7-6 in the third, playing final in Monte-Carlo and final in Rome and final here.
So his season has been great, and the double faults, that’s only coincidence, in my opinion. Don’t forget that last year he saved unbelievable match in the semifinals of US Open. This year he saved two unbelievable matches at semifinals of Australian Open and final of Australian Open.
In this tournament he saved two sets down against Seppi. He saved four match points against Tsonga. You cannot expect save all the time like this, playing great like he did in the match points against Tsonga.
He’s doing fantastic, but is impossible for anyone play every time perfect.
Last year this time you won here, and then you didn’t win another title. Do you think your level is higher now than it was a year ago, and will you be able to carry it over to other surfaces especially with success this time against Novak?
RAFAEL NADAL: I won four titles already this year in my favorite court. That’s clay. I don’t have that chance to play in my favorite court the rest of the season. That’s the thing. No, no, no. That’s the calendar. The calendar says we only have this period of time on clay, and I don’t have more chances to play on clay.
Don’t forget that I play the last five Grand Slam finals in a row. That’s not a victory, that’s not a title, but that’s fantastic results.
I don’t remember last year, but after here I played — I played very bad in probably Montreal/Cincinnati. Yes, I played a great US Open, and I played probably bad in Shanghai and in the end of the season in the World Tour Finals, but in the Davis Cup final I played great another time.
You have to find your moments, like I said. With Novak I say the same to me. Is not possible to be perfect every time, be 100% in every tournament. And I gonna try to keep having chances to win, produce chances to win. I produced a lot of chances to win last year, but I lost almost every one.
Hopefully I will keep playing well, and I will keep having chances to win and try to win.
I’m from Germany, and the German fans are a bit worried you might not go to Halle now. Can you say if you decided yet?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yeah, I decided few months ago that tomorrow I will be there, and I will be practicing tomorrow afternoon there. We play doubles on Wednesday and singles on Thursday if no one injury comes this night. (Laughter.)
At the age you were last week, Bjørn Borg decided he didn’t want to play tennis anymore. The way you feel right now, how many years do you think we have left of you?
RAFAEL NADAL: I really don’t know how many more years I will be here playing. Is impossible to predict the future, no? I will be here until my physical respect me, until the injuries, you know, respect my chances to keep playing and until my mind stays with motivation, with passion for what I am doing. Hopefully for a long time. I don’t know.
That’s what I will try, and that’s my goal. I work hard every day. I wake up every day with enough motivation to go to practice and to keep improving.
When that change more days than usual, probably will be the time to say, Good-bye, Guys, and see you in a lot of things.
That’s not the case today, I hope (laughter.)
You’re always very humble, but if I could ask you to brag a little bit, what would you point to as an explanation for why you have been so successful on clay, and particularly on here, so much better than everyone else?
RAFAEL NADAL: In my opinion, not particularly here. On clay, in general, yes, because I didn’t win more titles here than in Monte-Carlo or Barcelona, won more than Rome, yes.
But in general, all the tournaments that I played on clay I had a good success the last eight years. I don’t know. I think I worked hard all my life. I think my game naturally adapts very well to this surface. My movements are probably the right ones to play here, and my natural shot probably is the right one to play on clay, the normal conditions, no?
So then probably my mental part probably on clay is one of the most important things, especially on clay, more than in the rest of the surfaces, because you have to run, you have to suffer sometimes, you have to play with more tactics, because you have more time to think, to do things.
Probably the reason is because I always was scared to lose. That’s why I go on court every day against other opponent with the full respect, knowing that you can lose and you can win.
Then I think I was very focused for the last eight years, because winning as much as I did in this surface the last eight years is not because I played great every time. Is impossible to play great every time. Because when I played so-so, I was there mentally. The mental part was there 100%, so probably that’s why the reason.
THE MODERATOR: Spanish questions, please.
Congratulations, Rafa. So apart from this magic number, seven, after all these years when you were fighting hard, you managed to get the support from the crowd. Did you learn French?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I spent quite a lot of time in France, and I understand French very well when people speak it slowly. And don’t forget that the French language is very close to Catalan language, so this is probably the reason why I tried.
Maybe I made a lot of mistakes, but I tried and people understood me, I think. And the most important is that the crowd was great. They supported me. I want to thank the crowd, because it’s a fantastic feeling. The crowd was really supporting me, and that’s also why I want to make efforts and speak French.
I’d like to know if you think that this final today was the most difficult final in the seven you played here because you were playing against No. 1, because the conditions were appalling, and because the match was stopped.
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, I had already played against the No. 1 on quite a few occasions, and Federer was No. 1 for several years. So this is not the reason.
It was very difficult because — well, I think we need to analyze this match a bit more and analyze all the others, but this was a very complex final except for the last two sets.
I had lost three Grand Slam finals in a row to him. That’s why it was important for me to win, and this is why I was a bit more nervous and there was a lot of emotions.
But the result was important for me, just as important as my final against Federer in 2006 or against Puerta. But when I played Puerta, I had three set points, which was not the case here.
In 2010 it was difficult, but I didn’t suffer too much. I was quite focused. Last year was a difficult match with a lot of emotion. I had had a few losses before. Actually, this year I had won three finals on clay before, which gave me a lot of self-confidence.
Of course I have great respect for the No. 1 on the other side of the court, but as I say, these are great moments, and in an athlete’s career, you need and remember those moments.
I feel better than last year. Things change. We all have ups and downs, but at the end of the day we were very close during that final.
As compared to the previous years, what is the salient point from this final?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, from a tennis standpoint, be realistic. In 2010 I had won the final without losing any set, as in 2008.
This year I played better than in 2010, and this year, all along the tournament, if you take everything into consideration, I qualified for the final without losing any set. I just had a tiebreaker against Almagro.
As for the rest, I had won quite easily to David, Monaco, Almagro, and when you play that well, means that you’re in great shape. That’s a fact.
Then, for the final, I was obviously a bit more nervous than usual. I started playing very well in the beginning, 3-Love, 30-Love. I made a mistake. Then the set became more complicated. Then my game was no longer as clean as it used to be. I made a few mistakes.
I think the three first games yesterday were my best level, and today when we resumed, I was slightly more aggressive with my forehand and I moved well on the court. I was more aggressive.
I don’t like talking about the tournament. I like to talk about the clay season. But I can’t deny that this was probably my best season on clay. I won three tournaments, and I managed to make it to the final of the fourth tournament before I lost my first set.
So Rome, Monte-Carlo. You all know it’s not easy to achieve such result without losing one set.
So of course I’m very happy.
I wanted to ask you a question. This awards ceremony in Paris is quite special with the National Anthem being played. It’s quite special. What do you feel? You were probably feeling great emotions. What came to your mind at that moment?
RAFAEL NADAL: Well, as I said before, there was a lot of emotion. There is always in such moments. You don’t know if you will ever win another victory. You don’t know if this year is going to be the last one.
I achieved it this year, but as time goes by, you give more value to those very precious moments. When you play at a very high level with such beautiful seasons — look at what happened last year, for instance. I lost three Grand Slam finals in a row. And you realize that you’re about to win, as in the US Open, and I felt I could win the match and I didn’t.
In Australia I was pleased with the tennis I played, yet I was a bit disappointed, as well, because I had the opportunity of winning. I have four opportunities in a year, and you can’t expect to play your best tennis all the time. And to win a Grand Slam, you have to play your best tennis.
There are very few opportunities, so you have to make the most. If I had lost a fourth final, this would have been very difficult for me. So I felt it really was worth it giving my best, given everything I have achieved since the beginning of the season or even since the beginning of my career.
When you lose, it’s because you don’t deserve the title. So in my mind, this was the final I had to win. This is why there was a lot of emotion.
I remember during the US Open when you said, I know what I have to do. Now that you’ve won all those titles here in Paris, what kind of feelings do you have, or will you start feeling something in a few hours’ time?
RAFAEL NADAL: Of course I’m very happy. I want to think my Uncle Toni, my family, my friends, all the people who supported me. After the US Open when I said, I know what I have to do to win, of course I know. Now the question is: Am I capable of doing that? There is theory and there is what you do. So I just wanted to give a bit of context to that sentence.
In Australia I was not in a very good shape, mentally speaking. I could have won, but for mental reasons, as I had lost, I was probably not in the best mental status. Now I’m here, I made it, I did everything I could to win this match. For me, it’s great emotion.
Maybe at the beginning of the year you start thinking, okay, what’s the tournament I really want to win and I want to start playing in a very good shape? Well, for me, it’s this one.
I also know that my season is going to be good moving on, because I’m in great shape, but I’m very pragmatic, and I need to prepare for the others.
Did you sleep well last night or did you see the match in your head or did you watch the soccer team?
RAFAEL NADAL: Yes, I watched the soccer match in the locker room. I didn’t see it when Italy scored a goal, but I didn’t want to watch my match nor read any articles or anything, so I looked at TV, the news a bit, and the football game.
Then I watched a series, and strangely enough, I had no movie to watch. So I went to bed at midnight. Then I looked at chapters of Sengoku and that was it, because I had no movies. So I read a few chapters of my favorite comic book. I read those three times, and I fell asleep.
Posted by 7ssan1989.
Highlights from day two:
Many different videos available via RafaPedia (which just caused my browser to crash 3 times, but that could be because I have about 60000 tabs open).
I have no idea if the following will be available outside the US. I hope so!
If those don’t work, maybe these will?
Interview with McEncroe:
Photos from the 2012 Roland Garros trophy ceremony.
Photos by REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes, PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/GettyImages, Mike Hewitt/Getty Images, REUTERS/Regis Duvignau, JACQUES DEMARTHON/AFP/GettyImages, THOMAS COEX/AFP/GettyImages, REUTERS/Nir Elias, FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/GettyImages, REUTERS/Francois Lenoir, KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GettyImages, and Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Photos from the continuation of the Roland Garros final between Rafa and Nole.
Photos by PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/GettyImages, REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes, Clive Brunskill/Getty Images, THOMAS COEX/AFP/GettyImages, KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/GettyImages, REUTERS/Nir Elias, Matthew Stockman/Getty Images, REUTERS/Francois Lenoir, and REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
Another slam final and it’s Rafa and Nole. This is getting to be a habit. Rafa came out on fire, but that didn’t last too long. What followed was best described by sharlatee on twitter as “all kinds of wow and weird”. Each guy would play amazing points alternating with odd errors and nervous looking shots. One guy would step up and start playing well just as the other would turn into an error making machine. It was not pretty. The court conditions weren’t pretty either – it was drizzly or raining during huge swatches of the match. Play was eventually called for rain (far too late for Rafa’s taste) when the score was 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 1-2 – with Rafa down a break in the 4th. Rafa had lost 8 games in a row before finally holding just before play was called.
Rafa came out swinging Monday. In the 12th game of the 4th set, he earned a break point. Djokovic double faulted and the title was Rafa’s. Horrible way to end the match, but I’m so happy that Rafa will once again nibble on that trophy.
This is Rafa’s 7th Roland Garros and his 11th slam title. Amazing.
|1st Serve %||62%||59%|
|1st Serve Points Won||45/73 (62%)||45/73 (62%)|
|2nd Serve Points Won||24/45 (53%)||22/50 (44%)|
|Break Points Won||9/17 (53%)||7/10 (70%)|
|Total Service Points Won||69/118 (58%)||67/123 (54%)|
|Total Return Points Won||56/123 (46%)||49/118 (42%)|
|Total Points Won||125/241 (52%)||116/241 (48%)|
|Net Approaches||8/14 (57%)||22/32 (69%)|
|Fastest Serve Speed||207 KMH||205 KMH|
|Average 1st Serve Speed||186 KMH||187 KMH|
|Average 2nd Serve Speed||143 KMH||149 KMH|
As it happened blatherings:
Nice smile from Rafa for the young lady who accompanied him onto the court.
Rafa won the toss…assuming he picked to receive, but couldn’t hear.
Nole serving to start the match. Rafa hugging that baseline! Forehand winner: 0-15. Nole nets a ball: 0-30. Rafa runs Nole, gets him out of court and hits a winner into the empty part: 0-40. Nole pushes Rafa and he nets a ball: 15-40. Nole into the net, Rafa went for a backhand passing shot, but nets it: 30-40. Nice angle from Nole: deuce. Freaking awesome angled backhand from Rafa earns him another BP. Nole sends a shot long and Rafa breaks!
Nice rally ends with Rafa drawing an error: 15-0. Ace: 30-0. nole sends a shot long. Rafa holds for 2-0.
Rafa breaks again! He’s living up to the name of the color of his shirt. Up 3-0.
Nole sends a forehand return long: 15-0. Nole nets a forehand: 30-0. Rafa nets a backhand: 30-15. Lollipop second serve and Nole hits a backhand winner off it: 30-30. Second serve. Nole nets an easy looking forehand: 40-30. Rafa goes for an angled forehand, but hits it a bit wide: deuce. Short hitting from him, deep from Nole, Rafa’s forehand out: break point. Second serve. Rafa’s backhand is out and he’s broken. 3-1.
Dear NBC – I HATE that angle.
Starting to rain. Nole looking much more settled. 30-0. Rafa can’t curl a forehand in: 40-0. Nole sends a shot long: 40-15. Nole nets a ball: 40-30. Weird loopy backhand error from Rafa and Nole holds for 2-3.
Double fault: 0-15. Nole sends a forehand return long: 15-15. Nole works his way in as Rafa’s shots land short – hits a forehand winner mid-court: 15-30. Nole nets a serve return: 30-30. Better hitting from Rafa. Nole’s down the line is out: 40-30. Nole tees off on a forehand winner from the baseline: deuce. Rafa pushes Nole deep/wide and draws a forehand error: break point. Second serve. Nole powers shots until he gets an error: deuce. Game point, Rafa. Nole again dominates a point, pushing Rafa back. He steps into mid-court and hits a forehand winner: deuce. Second serve. Double fault and Nole has a break point. Rafa sends a backhand well out and is broken. We are on serve 3-3.
Ataraxis: I guess they can’t both blister forehands at the same time. It’s Nole’s turn.
Nice shot from Rafa draws an error: 0-15. Second serve. Nole nets a forehand: 15-30. Second serve. Nole works the backhand until he gets an error: 30-30.
olerafa: Kindly get your famous ass up to the baseline!!!
burtonad: At 30-0, 3-0, seemed like a safe bet. Who knew Fed-Nole RG SF 2012 2nd set was a communicable infection?
Nole nets a backhand: 30-40. Second serve. Rafa’s return is out: deuce. Second serve. Nole nets a backhand: break point. Nole double faults and is broken. Rafa back in the lead 4-3.
So far, I declare this match to be: weird.
15-30. Nole’s backhand goes well out: 40-15. Nole tries an angled backhand, but it’s wide and Rafa holds for 5-3.
Nole drop shots and Rafa can’t get to it before it bounces twice: 15-0. Rafa charges into the net and a beautiful lob winner from Nole: 30-0. Nole nets a backhand: 30-15. Second serve. Rafa nets the forehand return: 40-15. Rafa does not look happy. Second serve. With a backhand winner, Nole holds for 4-5. Rafa serving for the set next…
Nice serve that Nole returns well out: 15-0. Second serve. Overhead smash winner: 30-0. From his back foot, Rafa nets a forehand: 30-15. Rafa takes control of the point by hitting a forehand down the line that draws a short ball from Nole. Rafa hits a lovely drop shot into the opposite side of the court and Nole can’t quite run it down: 40-15. First set to Rafa with a fierce forehand winner: 6-4.
58 minutes; 1 ace; 2 doubles; 61% 1st serves in 61% won on 1st; 53% won on second; 9 winners; 10 UFEs; 2/4 at net. Total points won in first set: 37 Rafa; 30 Nole.
These are two guys who excel at winning when looking out of sorts. Who will win that battle today?
Nole nets a backhand: 0-15. A net cord helps Rafa and there’s a fun net battle that Nole wins when Rafa sends a lob just long: 30-15. Nole tries to power a forehand winner and overcooks it: 30-30. Nole sends a backhand long: 30-40. Second serve. Rafa opens up the court with a backhand angle, but Nole astoundingly gets an even better angle back: deuce. Poor backhand from Nole: break point. Nole double faults on break point. Rafa takes a 1-0 lead in the second set.
Rafa moves Nole further and further out on the backhand until he gets a short ball and can run into the net and knock off a nice volley winner: 15-0. Rafa’s forhand down the line doesn’t quite bend back in enough: 15-15. Good serve, Noles return isn’t: 30-15. Again: 40-15. Double fault: 40-30. Let. Rafa had his forehand all set up, but sends it wide: deuce. Nice serve down the middle and he follows it into the net – lob winner from Nole: break point. Serve into Nole’s backhand and his reply is wide: deuce. Another nice serve into the backhand: game point. Beautiful angled backhand give Nole control of a point and he finishes it off: deuce. Long rally and Rafa steps up the pace with a nice backhand to Nole’s forehand – finishes it off: game point. Second serve. Rafa holds (despite hitting an overhead smash right back at Nole). He’s up 2-0 in the second.
Forehand winner from Nole: 15-0. Another clean winner from Nole – this one from the backhand: 30-0. Nole hits an overhead right at Rafa and Rafa hits a forehand winner: 30-15. Second serve. Nole into the net and hits a lazy looking volley into it: 30-30. Second serve. Rafa hits a shot long: 40-30. Short ball from Nole and Rafa rips a forehand winner from midcourt: deuce. Rafa’s forehand is out: game point. And Nole holds for 1-2.
Second serve. Nole’s backhand is long: 15-0. Second serve. Double fault: 15-15. Nole moves Rafa and draws a backhand error: 15-30. Second serve. Rafa runs around a backhand and pays for it as Nole hits an angle into the open court: 15-40. Let. Second serve. Another lob winner and Nole breaks to put the second set on serve: 2-2.
Double fault: 0-15. Second serve. Nole dominates a point with aggressive hitting: 15-15. Nole gets a short ball in the middle of the court and overcooks the reply: 15-30. Nole tosses his racket. Shockingly, the crowd boos.
burtonad: The crowd is quiet because they don’t much like either player, they were promised a classic, and they’re watching this
Rafa sends a shot out. Make that two: 40-30. Aggressive hitting and Nole holds for 3-2.
Nole sends a shot out, Rafa yells “Vamos!” – 15-0. Second serve. Nole tries to angle Rafa, but sends a ball long – wait, the chair calls it long and says play again…but Rafa hit a winner off the that. Why is it a let? They show an unofficial hawk-eye and it’s out. Nole concedes the point: 30-0. 30-15. Nole’s return of first serve (remember those?) is long: 40-15. Ace and Rafa holds for 3-3.
Rafa nets a backhand and shakes his head: 15-15. Rafa totally mistimes a forehand: 30-15. (It’s raining, by the way.) Nole nets a ball: 30-30. Nole sends a forehand long and Rafa has a break point. Rafa hits deep and breaks. He’s up 4-3.
Nole smashed his racket against his bench and shattered the Perrier sign during the changeover.
Beautiful movement from Rafa: 30-0. Second serve. Nole nets a forehand: 30-15. Rafa holds at love (oh my did it feel good to type that). 5-3
Rain delay. Tarp not out yet. Players into small waiting rooms just off court….
Mom called and needed me to take her to the hospital to visit her friend. While I was gone, the rain ended, Rafa took the second set 6-3 and held to start the 3rd.
Triple break point for Rafa. Nole saves one. And Rafa breaks to go up 2-0 in the third.
Nole bosses a point: 0-15. Nole pushes Rafa back and draws an error: 0-30. Nole’s eyes look…empty and tired. Rafa pulls Nole wide and he nets the reply: 15-30. Nole into the net and Rafa’s passing attempt (off a difficult ball) is out: 15-40. Excellent serve return and Nole breaks for 1-2 to put the set back on serve.
SteveTignor: Nadal up first in each set, each time can’t hold it. This time more about Nole letting it fly. We know he’s a tough out. #rg12
Nicely worked point from Rafa and he finishes with a forehand winner from midcourt: 0-15. 0-30. (I just mistyped “forehand” as “firehand” - and it still felt right.) Serve and volley: 15-30. Nice serve: 30-30. Aggressive hitting from Nole: 40-30. Nole nets a shot: deuce. Deep hitting from Nole and Rafa’s forehand is long: game point. Nole angles, Rafa runs, Nole angles all the way into the doubles alley: deuce. Rafa’s shot is out: game point. Rafa nets it and Nole holds for 2-2.
CraigHickman: The rain has drained this final of any electricity it might have had. As well as all the nerves.
Rafa’s forehand lands in the doubles alley: 0-15. Second serve. Rafa looked in control of a point, but then sends one long: 0-30. Beautiful forehand down the line gives Nole triple break point. Rafa drop shot that Nole can’t get to: 15-40. Rafa nets a forehand and is broken. Nole up 3-2 in the third.
Second serve. Nole bosses a point: 15-0. Deep hitting and Rafa can’t do a thing: 30-0. Rafa hits deep and wide and it’s Nole’s turn to look helpless: 30-15. Ace: 40-15. Easy hold: 4-2.
RafaNadalUnoffi: My commies saying that Rafa was talking to the umpire on the change over saying that conditions weren’t fair at the moment
Barry_FlatmanST: I suggest this match wouldn’t be actually on court at the moment if it wasn’t the final & tomorrow’s weather forecast wasn’t so appalling
Ataraxis00: The last thing this needs is for Nole to start believing and coming out of his shoes on every shot.
15-0. Second serve. Nole gets the serve return right at Rafa’s feet and he’s handcuffed: 15-15. Rafa pushes and Nole’s backhand is well wide. Rafa hits a forehand into the net: 30-30. Short and defensive from Rafa, Nole into the net, Rafa passes: 40-30. Deuce. Good hitting from Rafa, but he left Nole off the hook and then sends a backhand wide: break point. Second serve. Rafa sends a back hand out and Nole is up a double break: 5-2.
It would be nice if both of these guys could play well at the same time.
Ace: 15-0. Rafa sends a forehand long: 30-0. Again, running around a backhand gets him too far out of position: 40-0. Second serve. Nole holds at love to take his first set ever off Rafa at Roland Garros. Score now 6-4, 6-3, 2-6.
Weird. Rafa’s 1st serve percentage was highest in set 3.
SteveTignor: Rafa asking umpire, “Do you think the conditions are all all right?”
Backhand whiff by Rafa. 15-15. Very long rally (44 shots) ends with Rafa netting a backhand: 15-30. Rafa moves Nole left and right while keeping him deep…and then hits a lovely little drop shot: 30-30. Second serve. Nole’s shot is out: 40-30. Short ball that Nole stomps on: deuce. Second serve. Rafa sends a backhand wide: break point. Excellent serve pulls Nole out of position, but Rafa lets him off the hook. Nole passes and breaks to go up 2-0 in the 4th.
Rafa needs to stop fretting about court conditions and concentrate on adjusting and playing well.
Nice serve out wide, Rafa nets: 15-0. Another netted backhand: 30-0. 40-0. Nole holds at love for 2-0. That’s 8 straight games for him.
TennisReporters: Nadal saying he can’t see the balls because they are taking on too much clay. Also thinks they r too wet
Second serve. Rafa hits short, Nole smacks it: 0-15. Nole nets a backhand (better hitting from Rafa there) 15-15. Nole nets: 30-15. Ace: 40-15. Second serve. Rafa holds for 1-2.
Tournament director declaring rain delay. Rafa saying you made us play under these conditions for an hour, there’s no change. Why now? Why not then?
Rafa has a very valid point about the conditions, but they were the same for both players - one adjusted/dealt with them better. I have to admit that it’s disheartening to see the conditions affect Rafa’s mental game so much.
Players going directly downstairs into the locker room, not the waiting room. Tarps are coming out.
enricomariariva: The funniest thing ever is that the players fight under the rain for hours and then get escorted by umbrellas until the lockers
olerafa: Total points won: Nole — 97. Rafa — 97.
As I get to work, radio Roland Garros is saying that Nole’s frustrated and then Rafa breaks. Woot! He then held at love while I was “listening” on a sketchy non-english stream.
Nole then held in a strong game - can’t really do point-by-point while at work, but the game ended when the chair overruled a call.
Rafa holds and then there’s rain and a huge debate over whether they should play or not. Rafa’s upset that the balls keep getting on the tarp at the back of the court and that the tarp is soaked. Soggy balls = no fun.
I see Nole brought his angles today. Dang it. he holds for 5-5.
Rafa got pissed that he was told he challenged a line call too late, but went on to hold at 30 in the next game.
In the last game, Rafa earned championship point on a fierce forehand. True to the matches weirdness, Nole double faulted and Rafa wins a historic 7th Roland Garros title.