Rafael Nadal defeated Stan Warwinka of Switzerland yesterday to win the French Open title. The final score of 6/2’ 6/3; 6/2 was a continuation of his straight set victories from the first round. It was to the credit of Nadal that he won the match despite his low percentage of first serves. His opponent did not register his usual powerful serve; as many deliveries barely missed the lines.
Nadal opened serving in the first set. He missed the first delivery but his second delivery was returned out. He put away the return for a winner in the second point and proceeded to hold, albeit on second serves. It was a pattern throughout the match. The games proceeded with serve but it was in the third game that Nadal faced a break point but he deuced with the first serve and held. Warwinka faced break point in the next game that involved an exchange of six deuces before he led to level two games apiece. He was not that fortunate in the sixth game in which he got only one point on his serve. A second break of the Warwinka serve gave Nadal the first set 6-2.
It was expected that Warwinka would change the flow in the second set but his service was taken in the second game and Nadal extended the lead to 3-0. Warwinka changed the losing game. He won the first two points and got to 40-0 with the first attempt at serve and volley. The strategy paid off as he reduced the tally, but Nadal charged on by taking his service to win the fifth game. Each player continued to hold serve and the set ended 6-3.
Cruising with the confidence of the first two sets in his till, Nadal broke Warwinka’s service in the opening game of the third set and held to lead 2-0. Warwinka took his service game to reduce the tally. In the fourth game, Nadal fell behind and that offered Warwinka a glimmer of hope. It was not to be as the champion leveled with forehand winners. Though taken to deuce, he got the first advantage and held for 3 – 1.
Warwinka survived a threat of service break in a long fifth game but Nadal did not lose a point in taking his own serve for 5-1.
Although Warwinka held serve to reduce the tally, Nadal was unyielding as he stepped up to serve for the match. He had three match points at 40-15 but lost one. At 40-30, the two players had an exchange of shots. Then Warwinka approached net. When Nadal’s shot met him midcourt, the Swiss tennis star swung at the ball but it flew off court. Nadal fell flat on his back in jubilation. The King on Clay had his 10th title in Paris.