The 2010 French Open title, Rafael Nadal’s fifth title, felt like a king reclaiming his throne. In this case, the conqueror was only 24 years old. So the Spaniard has been holding onto the coveted La Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy since he first laid his hands on it at the age of 19. Such is his authority that the daunting task of playing tennis on the red soil of the Philippe-Chatrier court at Roland Garros in Paris is almost a child’s game.
When Nadal defeated then-world number 7 Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 on June 6, 2010, Mallorcan extended his win-loss record at the tournament. The Clay Professional Award went up to 38-1. That same loss, however, came against a 6-foot-4-inch Swede a year ago, in what is still considered one of the greatest comebacks in the sport’s history.
Soderling became the first man to beat Nadal at Roland Garros as he beat the four-time defending champion 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-6 (2) in the match. their three-a-fight. A half-hour clash in the fourth round in 2009. Soderling made it to the final and met Roger Federer, who would not be denied. Federer finally won the French Open.
Nadal later revealed in a statement that he had been suffering from knee pain for months. “I’ve been playing with pain in my knee for several months now and I simply can’t go on like this,” he said, adding, “The pain has limited some muscle movement.” maybe, this affects my psyche.”
Spanish Tennis Federation doctor Dr Angel Ruiz-Cotorro diagnosed tendonitis in both knees, which kept Nadal out of the sport for two months.
So when he wins the French Open for the fifth time, it probably means more to him than the first four.
Nadal’s 2010 clay court season ahead of the French Open
FILE PHOTO: Spain’s Rafael Nadal leaves the field after a fourth-round loss to Robin Soderling of Sweden at the 2009 French Open. – BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS
Prior to the start of his clay-court season in Monte Carlo, Nadal’s hard-court season had a runner-up finish, two semi-final losses and retiring from the Australian Open following a right knee injury when he , the defending champion, lost two sets to the British. Andy Murray in the quarterfinals.
Coming to Monte Carlo, Nadal has returned to his form as he cleared the court to drop just 14 games on his way to a sixth straight title in Monaco. The winner of the last five tournaments, he did not play at Barcelona, where Soderling lost to Nadal’s compatriot Fernando Verdasco in the final.
In Rome, only Ernests Gulbis of Latvia was able to catch him as he claimed his fifth Italian Open title. He followed it up by winning his first Madrid Masters title after defeating world No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland in a rematch of the 2009 final.
2010 French Open
FILE PHOTO: Runner-up Robin Soderling of Sweden (left) and champion Rafael Nadal of Spain (right) after the men’s singles final at the 2010 French Open. – BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS
With capri pants replaced by shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt, second seed Nadal began his campaign at Roland Garros without the defending champion’s card for the first time in five years. The Spaniard overcame French teenager Gianni Mina, his first-round opponent, with ease. The second round was no different as he sent Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos (today’s world number 5 in doubles) in less than two hours.
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In the third round, Nadal beat familiar two-time Major champion Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in their fourth meeting at the French Open. His 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 win in the fourth round against 24th seed Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil was his 200th victory on clay.
Nadal’s quarter-final was against compatriot Nicolas Almagro and unlike 2008’s smash hit, 21st seed Almagro showed solid resistance before losing 6-7 (2), 6 -7 (3), 4-6. On the same day, Soderling avenged the defeat in the 2009 climactic clash with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4 victory over Federer.
In the fourth round of the final, Nadal faced Austrian tennis player Jurgen Melzer. Melzer stunned world No. 3 Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the quarter-final that lasted 4 hours and 15 minutes to win after losing the first two sets.
However, the 29-year-old Melzer could not repeat the same thing, losing in the semi-final to Nadal in consecutive sets almost half the time. Soderling had to battle Czech Tomas Berdych in five sets to reach a second consecutive French Open final.
Nadal vs Soderling final. There couldn’t be a better ending to this plot.
A year after Soderling scored the only goal of Nadal’s incredible win-loss record in Paris, the Spaniard received retribution by winning consecutive sets in the drag final. two hours and 18 minutes long.
“The only player to ever beat Nadal at Roland Garros was not able to do it when it mattered. Nadal not only beat him but reduced him to a hitting partner. It was once a devastating and wonderful sight. The resignation painted Soderling’s elite, those Donald Pleasance eyes were as sad as ever,” is how Kevin Mitchell described the finale in The Guardian.
Nadal won his second French Open title without dropping a set. The win also put him at the top of the ATP Rankings.
He did his usual celebratory action – dropped his racquet and fell back – after the match was over but when he sat in his chair, he buried his head in a towel and cried.
In 2009, he suffered physical pain, and at the same time had to deal with the separation of his parents.
Emphasizing the importance of this victory, Nadal said: “I think it is one of the most important victories of my career. It was a difficult year for me last year. It’s hard to accept hurt and everything.
“I cried there. It was a really emotional moment for me. The moment, after a lot of stress, a lot of pressure. A tough year… after you win the title, you lose the tension. “
FILE PHOTO: Tennis player Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning the title in the men’s singles final at the 2010 French Open. – BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS
Three-time champion Mats Wilander believes victory over Soderling has changed Nadal’s career. “I think the win, the final against Robin Soderling, got his career back on track,” Wilander said. atptour.com on the second anniversary of Nadal winning the 2010 championship.
He added, “It was the match that made him believe he wasn’t finished and it transformed his game.”
In the same year, Nadal became the first man to win Majors at three different surfaces with Wimbledon and US Open titles, and finished the year as world No.
Rafael Nadal’s Road to the 2010 French Open
First round: won 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 against Gianni Mina (FRA)
Second half: won 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 against Horacio Zeballos (ARG)
Round three: won 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 against Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
Fourth round: won 6-2, 7-5, 6-4 against Thomaz Bellucci (BRA)
Quarterfinals: won 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 against Nicola Almagro (ESP)
Semifinal: won 6-2, 6-3, 7-6 against Jurgen Melzer (AUT)
Final: won 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 against Robin Soderling (SWE)