Rafael Nadal is on the brink of creating history as he is one step away from clinching a record tenth French Open. He faces Swiss third seed Stan Wawrinka in the final on Sunday. This French Open campaign has turned out remarkably well for the fourth seeded Spaniard and he is yet to drop a single set in the entire tournament.
Nadal started his campaign in a dominating fashion when he defeated Benoit Paire in straight sets in the first round followed by a second round victory against Robin Haase. Nadal got the best of 17th seeded Roberto Bautista Agut in the fourth round as he registered a comfortable 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 win. In the quarterfinal his opponent Pablo Carreno Busta retired from the match in the second set due to left abdominal muscle injury, making an easy way for Nadal into the semifinal.
Nadal met promising sixth seed Dominic Thiem in the semifinal. Thiem upset Novak Djokovic, beating the defending champion in straight sets. Nadal was unfazed, thrashing Thiem 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 in just a couple of hours. Nadal in his entire French Open 2017 campaign has only managed to lose 29 games till date and is geared up for his tenth French Open title when he faces in-form Wawrinka.
Here we take look at Rafael Nadal’s top-five French Open final victories.
1. French Open 2006 Final vs Roger Federer
This was Nadal’s second French Open title, as he defeated Swiss maestro Roger Federer 1–6, 6–1, 6–4, 7–6, in four sets in the final. Nadal made a brilliant comeback in the second set after losing the first 6-1. Nadal clinched the third set easily but the fourth one was headed for a tiebreaker, won by Nadal as he became the first player to defeat Federer in a Grand Slam final.
2. 2007 Final vs Roger Federer
Nadal headed into his second consecutive French Open final when he again faced the World number one, Roger Federer and registered a hard-fought win 6–3, 4–6, 6–3, 6–4 in four sets, grabbing his third French Open title. He went onto win the first set 6-3 but lost his form in the middle, losing the second set 4-6. With his powerful forehands down the line he managed to create extra pressure on Federer and clinched the next two sets with ease.
3. 2011 Final vs Roger Federer
Nadal was playing for his sixth French Open title and faced the great Roger Federer, for the third time in French Open final. Clay-court king continued his impressive form in the tournament and dominated the first two sets 7–5, 7–6, which went pretty close. The third set also seemed to go down to the wire but this time it was Federer who clinched the third set 5–7, making it 2-1. But, the final set was dominated easily by the spaniard 6–1 as he conquered France for the sixth time, winning six French Open titles.
4. 2012 Final vs Novak Djokovic
Rafael Nadal showed tremendous display of tennis as he did not lose a single set in French Open 2012 campaign till the final. In the final he faced Serbian masterpiece Novak Djokovic. It was the first time where two opposing players were playing each other in four consecutive Grand Slam finals. Nadal easily won the first two sets 6–4, 6–3 before Djokovic showed some aggression and clinched the third set 6-2. The fourth set was a close one where Nadal kept his cool and won the set 7–5 sealing a record 7th French Open title.
5. 2014 Final vs Novak Djokovic
Nadal was searching for his record ninth French Open title as he faced Novak Djokovic for the second time in the French Open final. Nadal did not have an impressive start as he lost the first set 3-6 to the Serbian. Nadal however, cameback in a blistering fashion and went onto win the next three sets 7-5,6-2, 6-4 to grab his ninth French Open title and a fifth straight win at Roland Garros. He also equaled Pete Sampras record of 14 Grand Slam wins.
This year Nadal has been on a dream run after making it to Australian Open final early in January and now is on the brink of clinching a 10th Roland Garros title. Nadal has never lost in the final at French Open.