Sunday, June 8, 2014

Rafael #Nadal and Maria #Sharapova Wins French Open

Nadal won his record ninth French Open championship on Sunday, ceding the first set before taking the next three to defeat Djokovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. The win is Nadal's fifth straight Paris title and ninth in the last decade.

For a moment, it looked like Novak Djokovic had finally figured out how to take down Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros. Then Nadal showed once more why he's the sport's most unsolvable riddle on clay.

Nadal has three more French Open wins than Bjorn Borg's previous open record of six. His ninth title allows him to hold the record for most overall wins at Roland Garros as well, overtaking eight-time amateur champion Max Decugis. No other man has ever won a single Grand Slam tournament more than seven times (Open era), giving Nadal another all-time record.

Nothing came easily for Maria Sharapova in the French Open final.

Serves hit by her surgically repaired shoulder often missed the mark, resulting in 12 double-faults. Shots that would be winners against most opponents were retrieved by Simona Halep and sent right back. Leads that usually hold up vanished in a blink. On a muggy afternoon, with the temperature in the high 70s (20s Celsius), points were lung-searing struggles.

Sharapova was up to the task. In an entertaining and undulating championship match -- the first women's final at Roland Garros in 13 years to go three sets -- Sharapova showed that she's as tough as they come, particularly on the red clay that used to flummox her. She edged Halep 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-4 Saturday to win a second French Open title in three years.

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