Rafael Nadal recaptured the French Open crown on Sunday, gaining revenge over Robin Soderling with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win and thus regained the world No. 1 spot from Roger Federer.
Nadal was simply too powerful on clay for the Swede, who 12 months ago ended the Nadal’s 31-match, four titles win streak in Paris with a four sets, fourth round triumph.
The win, Nadal’s fifth here since 2005, put him second on the all-time list of French Open winners, one behind Bjorn Borg whose last title here came in 1981.
It was also the second time he had won the French Open title without dropping a set, having first achieved that feat in 2008.
For Soderling it was another cruel finish to the tournament having defeated top seed and title-holder Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. Last year he beat top seed and title-holder Nadal, but lost to Federer in the final.
“I played my best match against you otherwise it would have been impossible to beat you,” Nadal told Soderling on the awards podium.
In reply Soderling said, “If you continue to play like this you will surely have the chance to win many more. I will be back next year and hopefully it will be third time lucky.”
With a morning storm having chased away the sweltering temperatures that marked Saturday’s women’s final, cool, overcast conditions greeted the two men as they stepped out onto the Philippe Chatrier centre court.(PTI)