Monday, 12 June 2017

Rafa thrashes Stan to take RG10

If ticket holders to the Men's Singles Final at Roland Garros were looking forward to something as exciting as the Women's Singles Final, then they were to be bitterly disappointed.  Yes the Spanish and Rafa Nadal fans were joyous as their man thrashed Stan Wawrinka in a touch over two hours (only 6 minutes longer than the women's final) but it was hardly a tennis match worthy of Grand Slam final status.

History makes the final worthy of discussion beyond the result.  Rafa Nadal registered his tenth title on the red clay in Paris.
It is the first time any one major has been won 10 times.
For the third time in those ten triumphs Rafa did not drop a set throughout the tournament.
He surrendered a mere 35 games including just six in the final.

As to the mismatch which ultimately gifted Rafa the historic tenth crown, Stan didn't show.
The Swiss third seed was offered only one break point for the entire match (in the third game), but Nadal snuffed that one out, forcing Stan into backhand error.

Set one defined the contest with Nadal hitting 10 winners to 4, and Wawrinka bleeding 17 unforced errors.  
Wawrinka could only manage to win half the points on his own serve whereas Nadal was comfortable, capturing 17 points off his 23 deliveries.
Two breaks of serve from several opportunities and set one easily in the Spanish bag 6-2.  

The second set was a little more competitive, but only ever so slightly.  Stan was more careful on serve, winning 12 of the 21 points on his serve.  Still better was Nadal, winning 20 of the 26 points available on his delivery.

Rafa just required the single break point and he used it in game two and effectively sealed the set there.  6-3 was the cruising end point.

Set three was a procession, with Nadal virtually throwing flowers to his fans as he shook hands of congratulations.
Reality had him smashing the remains of the Wawrinka challenge, if you could legitimately label it that.

The pair each won 13 points on their respective serves - Nadal from 16, Wawrinka from 31.
Nadal only contributed one unforced error for the set, in which he created five break chances, converting three.
When serving at 1-5 to stay in the match (correction - last at least one more game) Stan won a couple of points but lost four points through errors and that was the match.

Rafa fully deserved the title - his tennis the past fortnight was in a different stratosphere to the others in the draw.

Some significant Rankings changes as a result of Roland Garros:

Rafa Nadal from 4 to 2
Pablo Carreno Busta from 21 to 17
Kevin Anderson from 56 to 37

Novak Djokovic from 2 to 4
Jack Sock from 15 to 18
Steve Darcis from 38 to 56

Rafa Nadal is charging to number one - he is far and away the points leader this year and is good on the hard courts post Wimbledon.  He could well finish 2017 atop the rankings - if not before.

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