Tue, Jun 10, 2008 - Page 20 News List

Nadal thrashes Federer to win French Open again

AFP , PARIS

French Open tennis winner Rafael Nadal of Spain holds his trophy as he poses in Paris yesterday.

PHOTO: AP

Rafael Nadal hailed his 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 demolition of Roger Federer in the final of the French Open on Sunday as almost perfect as he joined Bjorn Borg as the only man to win four successive French Opens.

The win was the 22-year-old Spaniard’s 11th in 17 career meetings with the world No. 1, his ninth in 10 claycourt clashes and his 28th win at Roland Garros in 28 matches.

“I didn’t expect the match to happen like this. I played almost perfect tennis,” Nadal said.

“He had more mistakes than usual. I played inside the court more than usual and I was able to control the point. I played more aggressively than before, I had more slice, I could change direction and I’m playing flatter shots with my backhand,” he said.

The one hour 48 minute final was the shorest men’s title match since Borg’s win over Vitas Gerulaitis in 1980 and the most comprehensive in terms of games conceded since Guillermo Vilas only gave up three in 1977 against Brian Gottfried.

Nadal refused to compare himself with Borg who won six Roland Garros title in his career.

“It’s nice to be compared to Borg. At the end of my career you can ask me about him. But he was a better player than me. I’m just happy with the victory today,” the Spaniard said.

Federer was fulsome in his praise of Nadal.

“Rafa was supreme today. I tried all I could but he was better,” said Federer who is still missing a French Open from his collection of 12 Grand Slams.

“He was lethal in defense, hardly made any mistakes in attack and when he is under pressure he handles it so well. To perform like this shows what a great champion he is,” he said.

Federer was constantly under the cosh on Sunday, losing the battle from both the baseline as well as the net, finishing with 35 unforced errors to Nadal’s seven.

The Spaniard also topped the winners tally hitting 46 to Federer’s 31 leaving the Swiss to admit that his rival is getting better all the time.

“He’s been dominating everybody. He’s improved and plays quite differently to the first time we played here in the semi-finals in 2005. He is better in offence and defence. He can play what he likes from the baseline,” he said.

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