Nadal, Master of Clay, Swamps Federer in Paris
Rafael Nadal is now 28-0 at Roland Garros and ties Bjorn Borg for the most French Open titles. Borg, in the front row for the match, presented Nadal his trophy Sunday.
For Federer, Roland Garros continues to be the missing link, now even farther off as the all-time great suffers his worst season start and his most lopsided Grand Slam loss.
Federer has won each of the other Grand Slams three, four and five times, but has been repeatedly stymied by Nadal’s prowess on clay. Nadal leads their tournament rivalry 11-6.
Nadal is both Roger Federer’s favorite opponent and the thorn in his side. He is the only man who has kept Federer from earning a career slam—all four major titles—and joining the ranks of Agassi, Budge, Perry, Emerson and Laver.
Nadal praised Federer in an interview following his June 6 semi-final defeat of Novak Djokovic in straight sets. “I like playing him because it's just—it's just wonderful playing against him,” but added that he does not analyze Federer’s matches.
Djokovic called Nadal the “best defensive player in the world,” and Federer, following his French Open loss, remarked that “Rafa is really very, very strong this year. He dominated this tournament like perhaps never before. Like Bjorn. He deserves this title.”