A look at all 10 of Rafael Nadal’s French Open finals
PARIS — Just as remarkable as Rafael Nadal’s unprecedented total of 10 French Open championships is that he is 10-0 in finals at Roland Garros.
He’s overwhelmed his opponents in most of those title matches, too, never once getting pushed to five sets.
Among the most dominant: Nadal’s 6-2, 6-3, 6-1 victory over Stan Wawrinka on Sunday, which barely lasted 2 hours and was not much of a contest at all.
A look at Nadal’s 10 finals at Roland Garros:
NO. 1: 2005, VS. MARIANO PUERTA, 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-1, 7-5
Key Stat: Two days after turning 19, Nadal became the youngest man to win a major title since Michael Chang was 17 at the 1989 French Open.
Telling Words: “For the first time, I cried after winning a match.” — Nadal.
Nadal established himself as a star-in-the-making, beating Roger Federer in four sets in the semifinals in the first Grand Slam meeting of their great rivalry, before getting past Puerta for the title.
In the final, Puerta served for the fourth set while leading 5-4. Facing a trio of set points, Nadal showed the mettle and shots that would become so familiar, saving all three and not dropping another game for his first major championship.
NO. 2: 2006, VS. ROGER FEDERER, 1-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-6 (4)
Key Stat: Nadal ended Federer’s 27-match winning streak at majors, preventing him from a fourth Grand Slam title in a row.
Telling Words: “I can’t say I’m better than him. Since I was born, I’ve never seen a more complete player.” — Nadal, about Federer.
Nadal became the first player to beat Federer in a Grand Slam final; the Swiss star had been 7-0. Federer made 24 unforced errors with his backhand, which Nadal attacked with high-bouncing lefty forehands.
NO. 3: 2007 VS. ROGER FEDERER, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Key Stat: Nadal saved 16 of 17 break points he faced, going 10-for-10 in the first set, and 1-for-1 over the last two.
Telling Words: “He kind of wears you out or wears you down. He’s the type of guy that’s going to make you miss. So you can never really say you played great against him, for some reason.” — Federer.
About 1 ½ hours after leaving the court, Federer met with his parents for consoling hugs and kisses on the cheek. The silver tray given to the runner-up was tucked under Mom’s arm, like a newspaper.
“You can’t win them all,” said Federer’s father, Robert. “But, honestly, what more can we ask for?”
NO. 4: 2008 VS. ROGER FEDERER, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0
Key Stat: This remains Federer’s most lopsided loss in 365 career Grand Slam matches.
Telling Words: “Roger, I’m sorry.” — Nadal, during the trophy ceremony.
Nadal became the first man since Borg in 1980 to win the French Open without dropping a set. Nadal held break points in 10 of Federer’s 11 service games and won 16 of 24 points that lasted 10 or more strokes. And then there was this: Federer finished with 35 unforced errors, Nadal only seven.
No. 5: 2010 VS. ROBIN SODERLING, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4
Key Stat: Nadal was 31-0 for his career until losing to Soderling in the fourth round in 2009.
Telling Words: “I’m back.” — Nadal.
Nadal saved all eight break points he faced. This was Nadal’s rebound from his annus horribilis of 2009, when he dealt with painful knee tendinitis, an abdominal tear and the separation of his parents.
NO. 6: 2011, VS. ROGER FEDERER, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1
Key Stat: This result made Nadal 5-0 against Federer at the French Open, 6-2 against him in Grand Slam finals. At that point in his career, Federer was 14-1 against everyone else in major finals.
Telling Words: “Rafael was very nervous in the locker room. I (told) him: ’It’s difficult for you. But it’s very difficult for him, too.’” — Toni Nadal, Rafael’s uncle and coach, talking about a rain delay late in the second set.
Federer appeared to be making a match of things, taking the third set and even at 1-all in the fourth, before Nadal ran away with it, winning the last five games,
Nadal tied Borg for most French Open titles with six, collecting his 10th major trophy overall.
NO. 7: 2012, VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC, 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5
Key Stat: This was the one that broke Borg’s record of six French Open titles.
Telling Words: “He’s definitely (the) best player in history … on this surface.” — Djokovic about Nadal.
Nadal acknowledged afterward that he dealt with a real case of jitters while he waited for the final to resume Monday after it was suspended in the fourth set because of rain Sunday night. The reasons for the nerves: Djokovic had run off eight games in a row before the break. Plus, Nadal had lost three Grand Slam finals in a row to Djokovic, at Wimbledon in the U.S. Open in 2011, then the Australian Open in 2012.
But Nadal seized control when they returned to the court, and the match ended anticlimactically with a double-fault by Djokovic.
NO. 8, 2013, VS. DAVID FERRER, 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
Key Stat: After Ferrer led 3-2 early, Nadal took over, winning seven games in a row and 12 of 14.
Telling Words: “When I think of all that Rafael has done, I don’t understand it.” — Toni Nadal.
Ferrer had won all 18 sets he’d played through the semifinals but was no match for Nadal.
Leading by a set and a break, Nadal faced four break points in one game. The last was a 31-stroke exchange, the match’s longest, capped when Nadal absorbed Ferrer’s strong backhand approach and transformed it into a cross-court backhand passing shot. Only one of many examples of Nadal’s ability to go from defense to offense in a blink.
NO. 9, 2014, VS. NOVAK DJOKOVIC, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
Key Stat: Nadal’s record fifth French Open title in a row.
Telling Words: “I played at the maximum of my power, my strength, and my capability, but Rafa was the best player.” — Djokovic.
Down a set and at 5-all in the second, Nadal took 20 of 26 points and five games in a row. He was on his way.
Afterward, Nadal said about Djokovic: “He deserves to win this tournament. I am sure he will do it in the future.”
He was right: Djokovic completed his career Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2016. Nadal withdrew before the third round with an injured left wrist.
NO. 10, 2017, VS. STAN WAWRINKA, 6-2, 6-3, 6-1.
Key Stat: Nadal faced only one break point, which he saved.
Telling Words: “He puts this doubt in your head when you play against him.” — Wawrinka, who had been 3-0 in major finals.
Nadal played brilliantly all two weeks, dropping zero sets and only 35 games. Relentless as ever, he made only 12 unforced errors and held all 12 of his service games.
Nadal improved to 79-2 at the French Open, 102-2 in all best-of-five-set matches on clay.
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