Two claycourt champions put down minimal opposition on Sunday to claim titles at the Mutua Madrid Open in Spain as Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams again raised trophies.
Nadal claimed his third career Madrid crown when the No. 5 seed defeated No. 15 Stan Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4. After losing the first set, Wawrinka’s go-for-broke tactics held until 3-3 in the second until the Spaniard broke and rode out the win.
“I think he started really well,” Wawrinka said. “Even if I’m playing my best tennis and completely fresh, it’s really, really tough to beat him.”
Nadal scarily did not play his best tennis during the week but trumped a field containing world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and GOAT Roger Federer.
“I think I played the best match of the whole week today in the final,” Nadal said. “I had the idea to go out there and to [hit] good drives, to smack it hard, and try to get many points with my drive…Forty titles on clay are far more than I ever dreamed of.”
Nadal is now tied for second with Thomas Muster with 40 career clay titles behind Guillermo Vilas’ 46. He has now won 23 Masters-level titles, and has five titles in 2013 in seven finals. it was his 55th career title.
In the doubles final the top-seeded American duo of Bob and Mike Bryan won their fifth Madrid title, defeating No. 7 seeds Alexander Peya/Bruno Soares 6-2, 6-3. It was also their 23rd Masters-level title, and 87th career title.
In the no-love-lost women’s final, Serena Williams retained her ownership of Maria Sharpaova, slapping the Russian-American down in successfully defending her 2012 win 6-1, 6-4 for her 50th career title. She improved to 13-2 career against Sharapova, and 3-0 on clay.
“I started the match really slow today, and against an opponent like her you just can’t give her that because she plays extremely well when she’s confident,” said Sharapova, who would have taken the No. 1 ranking from Serena with a win.
Serena said she doesn’t bother with what is going on on the other side of the court, even when down an early break in the second set.
“I just tried to focus on what I was doing,” Williams said. “I don’t know if her start was shaky, but I felt I played well in the first few games — playing such a great athlete and great tennis player like Maria, you have to come out and play well. I really had no other choice.”
It was a meeting of the top two players on clay — an odd statement considering Sharapova’s slow career start on the slow dirt. Williams is 28-1 on clay since the start of last year’s claycourt season, and Sharapova is now 27-2 in that span — with both losses coming to the younger Williams sister.
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