Seventh heaven for Nadal
Rarely has a player dominated the tournament with such class, but Rafael Nadal has written his name in the Roland Garros history books once and for all by earning his 7th win on the Parisian clay. He has gone one better than Sweden’s Bjorn Börg, who probably came to grips with the fact that he would not share his record of six wins for very long with the Spanish “alien”. Unrelenting throughout the entire tournament, Nadal showed all his class to completely crush the competition.
She has been waiting for this for four years! Since her victory at the Australian Open in 2008, Maria Sharapova has had one desire: to win Roland Garros and join the elite group of women who have won each of the four Grand Slam tournaments. At the end of the two weeks, which saw her fight hard to make it to the final, the Russian was in full control in her match against the impressive Sara Errani to achieve her first ever win in the French Open. This achievement was particularly special, as it also enabled her to move top of the WTA rankings.
The unwanted guest
Every year we fear it, we expect it, we curse it…And once again, the rain did not let us down and played havoc with the organization of the tournament, causing several impromptu interruptions. The rain even meant that the men’s final had to be carried over to Monday afternoon, a first since 1973!
The best of the French
Given that we are still waiting for the next Yannick Noah at Roland Garros, in the meantime, we must satisfy ourselves with France’s current crop of players, with seven of them making it through to the last 32. We must make special mention of Paul-Henri Mathieu’s superb victory against John Isner (18-16 in the fifth set!), the set won by Nicolas Mahut against Federer, despite his eventual defeat, and of course, the epic quarter final between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Djokovic, which saw the Frenchman fail to capitalize on four match points. In the women’s competition, there was great disappointment, with the early elimination of last year’s semi-finalist, Marion Bartoli, leaving us without a big hope for the tournament. Nevertheless, we must remember Virginie Razzano’s surprising victory against Serena Williams in the first round.
A few figures
1 – the number of sets lost by Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros this year. Novak Djokovic was the only one to win a set against the Spaniard.
4 – the number of match points saved by Novak Djokovic in the quarter final against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The Serbian finally won in five sets.
5 – the number of years since a woman managed to retain her title at Roland Garros (Justine Hénin in 2007)
14 – the number of places gained by Italy’s Sara Errani, in the WTA rankings, after a stunning fortnight, which ended in defeat in the final.
52 – the number of wins by Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros… in 53 matches!
341 – The length, in minutes, of the longest match of the tournament, and the second longest in the history of Roland Garros. The match was between John Isner and Paul-Henri Mathieu, and was eventually won by the Frenchman in 5 sets (6-7, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 18-16).