Nadal, Serena Flick Away Opponents for Madrid Titles
by Staff | May 12th, 2013, 9:19 pm

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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14 Comments for Nadal, Serena Flick Away Opponents for Madrid Titles

Anna Says:

Congrats to Rafa. It’s great to see such a great come back continue. Happy to see Stan playing so well too.

Humble Rafa Says:

Once upon a time a humble man, humbled by injury, decided to come back to the game he loves…

Michael Says:

It was a foregone conclusion once Novak was beaten early. I am not saying that if Novak had been in the finals, he would have definitely beaten Rafa. But, atleast he would have given some fight and moreover he is carrying with him confidence of having beaten him before in many important finals. So, it would definitely have been a very competitive match. But no excuses here. Novak just doesn’t deserve to be in the finals and matter ends there. It is just my perception which I am putting it here. Against Novak, Rafa is not as confident as he is against other players. Novak makes Rafa run on court and on the other hand against other opponents it is Rafa who dictates play. He makes some silly mistakes against Novak due to the pressure exerted on him whereas against other players, he plays very freely. All said and done, congratulations to Rafa and his fans. Rafa is indeed a phenomenon and I do not think we will see another player of his kind atleast on Clay courts for a while (may be another 10 decades).

harry Says:

Congratulations to Rafa-fans, especially Alison and Kimberly. He is in devastating form!

alison Says:

Thankyou Harry :D..

Rumble Says:

Djokovic can do everything Nadal can do, and do it better.

If Nadal can slow down the game, Djoke can slow it even more.

If Nadal can employ gamesmanship, Djoke can do it better.

If Nadal can pick his butt time and time again, Djoke can bounce the ball over and over and over, making the opponents crazy.

If Nadal can run for 5 years, Djoke can run for 6.

If Nadal can run like a rabbit, Djoke can run faster.

If Nadal can fake injuries, so can Djoke.

Nobody makes Nadal as uncomfortable as Djoke does. On ALL surfaces. And the usual Nadal play of moonballing to the backhand doesn’t work against Djoke.

harry Says:

@Alison: hope you had a good vacation :-)

alison Says:

Thanks Harry:-) i did enjoy my break very much,as long as the topic remains about tennis i will be happy to stick around,when things start to turn nasty with name calling,and posters throwing personal insults i might be a bit more choosy about when i blog,or when certain people blog(mentioning no names)i wont blog,i only want to talk tennis the rest should be left in the real world.

andrea Says:

sorry maria….guess you only get one win per decade against serena.

i noticed that stan hardly unleashed his backhand down the line. probably due to nadal’s spin on the ball, but on hard courts, stan really lets that launch and is successful with it.

nadal was on a mission from the first point. congrats to him for another dominant win. he certainly planned his comeback craftily…rather than getting blown out at the AO and risking another hard court win in Miami, he starts on second tier clay events to get his groove back and give himself the best chance of winning and then dovetails into the clay court season. pretty smart.

gonzalowski Says:

Congratulations to Nadal, he is the clay goat.

With this Madrid 2nd clay title (the first of the 3 he has in Madrid was on fast surface), plus the one in Hamburgo, he is now on 3 “altitude clay” mastes-event titles, if I’m not wrong.
Federer has 6 of them, 4 in Hamburg and 2 in Madrid (speaking of clay).

cena Says:

When the real Serena shows up to play, her only meaninful competition is Vika….just sayin’.

Lulu Iberica Says:

It’s great that Rafa won, and so convincingly, but I have to admit I rather missed having Novak in the final! Stan is a great player, but can’t give Rafa anywhere near the fight that Nole can. Let’s hope the rivalry resumes at Rome and Paris.

Giles Says:

^^^ As a Rafan as I am, why would you want Rafa to “fight” for every win? Is he not entitled to a comparatively easy win now and again? With his bad knees I hope he has many more easy wins! #JustSaying

alison Says:

Lulu Hi hope you,little baby Iberica,and Mr Iberica are all well,and nice to see you blogging again BTW,this has been an amazing run Rafas been on since his return,i dont think his fans can ask anymore from him,have to say i just love seeing Rafa playing and winning whomever he faces in a final,if he looses to Murray in a final i can live with that better than if its anyone else :-))..

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