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Monday, June 10, 2013

All Steak and No Sizzle at Roland Garros

To call the 2013 French Open’s early round upsets and incredible 5-set thrillers ‘typical’ for this tournament would be a great injustice but often the road to the final is so dramatic that the finale fails to live up path necessary to get there. That was the case this year where build up form the preliminary rounds was only surpassed by marquis names and headline acts in the final. Unfortunately despite the name recognition the top billing failed to match the excitement of the opening acts. Serena Williams easily disposed of Maria Sharapova in straight sets and Rafael Nadal did the same David Ferrer leaving many a bit disappointed come Monday morning. However one also has to appreciate the greatness that Champions displayed at terre battue particularly Serena who claimed her 16th Grand Slam title and although the names are as big as they get in tennis their rivalry is nothing of the sort as Williams now has notched her 13th consecutive victory against Sharapova whom simply couldn’t match Serena’s power either on service or return. 10 aces and 29 winners later the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen was hers once again. This raises questions on how much longer she will continue to play as she has previously mentioned that she wants to go out on top, but after such a dominating performance that might still be a while. On Sunday Rafael Nadal also dominated in impressive fashion en route to his 8th French Title, the only player ever to win a Grand Slam event as many times. Much like the preceding day’s event the men’s final was over early as already leading by a set and a break 70 minutes into the match against Ferrer, Nadal faced four break points in one game. The last was a 31-stroke exchange, the match's longest, capped when Nadal absorbed Ferrer's strong backhand approach and transformed it into a cross-court backhand passing shot. That point also seemed to dampen Ferrer’s spirit as much as the rain as it he was simply outmatched en route to 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 Nadal victory, his record 59th win in 60 matches at Roland Garros.

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