Rafael Nadal’s 5 Greatest Matches At The French Open [Video]
by Tom Gainey | May 19th, 2015, 11:19 am
  • 28 Comments


The French Open released a video montage last month of what they think are Rafael Nadal’s five greatest matches or moments at the tournament. Here’s what they came up with.

#5
2008 QF def Nicolas Almagro 61, 61, 61
* Part of his dominant French Open romp in which he never lost a set en route to his fourth straight victory in Paris

#4
2005 F def Mariano Puerta 67(6), 63, 61, 75
* Wins first Grand Slam becoming just second player after Mats Wilander to win in French Open debut

#3
2006 F def Roger Federer 16, 61, 64, 76(4)
* Federer suffers his first loss in a Grand Slam final as Nadal defends his 2005 title

#2
2013 SF def Novak Djokovic 64, 36, 61, 67(3), 97
* Nadal overcame a break deficit in the fifth to win one of the greatest clay court matches ever played

#1
2011 F def Roger Federer 75, 76(3), 57, 61
* Wins 6th French Open (ties Bjorn Borg) and 10th overall Grand Slam

With a lot of other great moments for Rafa, there is sure to be some debate over this list.


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28 Comments for Rafael Nadal’s 5 Greatest Matches At The French Open [Video]

montecarlo Says:

Forever No. 1

6-1, 6-3, 6-0

French Open Final 2010.

Total destruction.


montecarlo Says:

Forever No. 1

6-1, 6-3, 6-0

French Open Final 2008.

Total destruction.


Gypsy Gal Says:

AMAZING my favorite is the 2008 final,net gate spoiled the 2013 match for me,anyway this is what the rest are up against,VAMOS RAFA lets do it again…. :)..


SG1 Says:

Not an FO match but the final match in Rome against Federer (’05 or ’06). Wow! Rarely have I seen so much drama in a non-slam match.

Rafa squeaked that one out and I believe that it was the tipping point in their rivalry.


Navdeep Says:

@SG1
you’ve nailed it man. That really was the turning point of the rivalry . Rafa saved two matchpoint in the 5th set tiebreaker and broke federers will and heart and proved the world that the man of mallorca is here to stay. One of the greatest none grandslam 5 setter match in history.


kriket Says:

I’ve only recently learned that despite his FO success, Rafa was never the Paris crowds’ favorite. He was dubbed “Ogre” on his first appearance there and that nickname stays even today, and the crowds never learned to like him. I wasn’t aware of that at all. No one ever mentioned anything like that here neither on TV nor in the written articles.


Navdeep Says:

But last year they actually cheered for Rafa than novak during the match. It’s only when novak had tears in his eyes,they started applauding him. So even though they doesnt like him much he still has earned the respect he deserve.


Giles Says:

They love him really even though they put on this screen of “hate”.


Michael Says:

And that 2008 final where he destroyed Roger ? It is one of the best matches played by Rafa on Clay. Roger Federer was just outclassed in every department on that day and looked deeply embarrassed by the murderous scoreline which said it all. He was literally slaughtered on court unable to combat Rafa’s belligerence, authority and power. It was a day he was yearning for the completion of the match in quick time to escape the humiliation on court. That Rafa did this to arguably the GREATEST player the game has seen is a feat in itself.


sienna Says:

due to the mono 2008 is viewed upon as the year Rafa took over from Roger.you should look at 2008 as a great achievement by Roger for reaching semi, Finale, finale win while recuparating from mono. to even play those tournements was andere achievement on itself.

the semi and the finals he lost especially the manner were completely due to the mono. It took untill summer of 2009 when he was back in shape as good as he could.
Djoker first slam and Nadal first Wimbly and only Australiƫ title would not have happened without the mono.


sienna Says:

even on 2010 Wimbly title should be asterisk because the lunginfection Fed suffort after his expedition in Australiƫ where the year was set for another TMF year with 3 maybe 4 slams.

chances are mono and lunginfection were stopping Fed reaching a grand slam. those illnesse had far larger impact then the minor troubling knee resting weeks Nadal had.


SG1 Says:

even on 2010 Wimbly title should be asterisk because the lunginfection Fed suffort after his expedition in Australiƫ where the year was set for another TMF year with 3 maybe 4 slams.

chances are mono and lunginfection were stopping Fed reaching a grand slam. those illnesse had far larger impact then the minor troubling knee resting weeks Nadal had.

—————-

Well Sienna, this line of logic finally puts all the GOAT debate to rest. Sampras is the GOAT! Why? Nadal and Federer’s health problems were blips on the radar screen of their careers (…well maybe Nadal’s injuries are longer than a blip). Sampras had a genetic blood disorder that impacted his entire career. A fatigue causing illness that is not as bad a mono but not helpful when playing in hot conditions at say…. the FO. Despite this, he has 14 slams in his resume.

Yup…I like it. Sampras is the best ever when you combine his illness with slam total and weeks at number 1. There must be some advanced stats guy other there crunching the numbers that can validate this.

Truth is, you can probably find an asterisk of some sort for every player that’s won a major. This dubious logic of saying Federer was sick or Nadal was that just doesn’t hold up. A win’s a win. There are still people out there putting an asterisk to Stan’s AO win which is total hogwash.


SG1 Says:

* against Federer for winning the ’09 Wimbledon final because Roddick missed a volley he might miss only two or three times out of a thousand.

* against Becker, ’89 USO win. That lucky let chord helped him through

* against Federer when AELTC decided to close the roof in the ’12 final.

* any major…if player x would have played player y instead of who they played at night instead of during the day when the sun was degree z instead of degree w under a closed roof that should have been opened at a time when the net tension was 10 lbs instead of 11 lbs with Wilson balls instead of Penn….blah blah blah


elina Says:

lol SG1 re Sampras (not to mention his bad back when he could not play USO 1999).

come on sienna, really?

mono, lunginfection, bad back, bird flue, SARS…


sienna Says:

I can live with Sampras. He was owned by King Richard….. My fellow countryman.


skeezer Says:

SG1
Agree with you there. It is what it is. However, I do wish their was a bit more light left in that 08 Classic Fedal. Dang! Apparently, Rafa can see very very well in the dark ;)


sienna Says:

yup elina we are talking about non tennis related illnesses. not injury because part of deal. but the non tennis related stuff is purely down to badluck.


Giles Says:

https://www.facebook.com/Rafaholics/posts/931956896825979
Lol. Look at the vultures surrounding him.


courbon Says:

Well, that is Fed’s problem that he does not eat enough carots…


skeezer Says:

LOL Courban too cute ;)


elina Says:

You guys Roger actually did better in the last three sets when it was darker than the first two sets when he was broken.

Maybe he was wearing sunglasses and forgot to remove them until the third set.

But seriously, Roger did mention that the match ran late to Sue Barker on court after the match however so a bit of a shame, really if it came down to darkness being the difference.


Giles Says:

Lol. Now darkness is the excuse for Fed’s loss in 2008. What next?


sienna Says:

no the difference was fitness level by Roger due to severe case of mono.
fysically Fed was hindered untill summer 2009. 2008 was testimonial for him as a stubborn warrior. We could see into his soul. For me his legend only grew for keep making the semi run.

Mono is career threathening illness. Soderling ring a bell? to youngsters here only know his name from Wikipedia sticking it to Nadal.


Giles Says:

https://www.facebook.com/NadalNews/posts/975527292491769
Rafa receiving the highest distinction of the City of Paris.
Vamos Champ!
PS Did somebody say he is hated in Paris? Don’t think so!


courbon Says:

Conditions are same for both players.Some are better in adapting then others.Fed is actually very good in adapting to all weather conditions and surfaces ( remember blue clay?). My man Novak is terrible with the windy conditions-but I see only this way-If wind affects you, then practise in windy conditions, before Us Open!Go to Chicago or somewhere like that…


skeezer Says:

Giles,
Did I say it was an excuse? As elina mentioned, they both had to deal with the same conditions, and in the end Rafa dealt with it better. But it was dark. Your good at google searching, go search some images at the end of the march and trophy presentation, you’ll find it.


elina Says:

Maybe Marin “Raised the Bar” Cilic has mono after his USO win.

That explains everything now.

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