• Nadal rolls over Wawrinka for second clay title in Madrid

    5/12/13 5:28 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Nadal rolls over Wawrinka for second clay title in Madrid Rafael Nadal wins his first clay-court Masters title of the season by taking care of Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets on Sunday in Madrid. Nadal last prevailed at the event in 2010.

    Rafael Nadal restored order to his clay-court dominance with a 6-2, 6-4 beatdown of Stanislas Wawrinka in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday afternoon. Nadal needed just one hour and 11 minutes to win his second career clay-court title in Madrid.

    Wawrinka was ending a stretch of 10 matches in the past 11 days, the last three of which had all featured three-setters. Nadal had to be salivating over the thought of jumping on his opponent early and often, and he did just that.

    The fifth-ranked Spaniard won a marathon opening game and finally broke for 1-0 with a scorching forehand pass. Nadal's next scalp of his opponent's serve came at 2-0 when Wawrinka double-faulted on break point. The world No. 15 held his next two service games with ease, but Nadal wrapped up the opener in routine fashion at 5-2 and converted his first set point with an ace.

    Wawrinka held at love twice to begin set two, sending a message that he would not go away without a fight. However, it was nearly impossible for the underdog to overcome obvious fatigue against such an opponent. Wawrinka double-faulted twice in a row at 3-3, including on break point to all but end his hopes. Nadal held the rest of the way and capitalized on his first championship point when Wawrinka sent a backhand well past the baseline.

    Madrid's No. 5 seed, also a champion of this event in 2010, wrapped up his effort with three aces and one double-fault while winning 26 of 29 first-serve points.

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Congratulations for rafa!the king of clay!always and ever .

Kvk , 5/12/13 6:27 PM

Are you convinced now Ricky? Am looking forward to your Rome picks............

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 6:30 PM

I'm getting rather tired of the constant references to how tired Stan was. We heard it before the match started and during the match itself. Had the match gone to three sets then tiredness would have been a legitimate factor but Rafa struck the first lethal blows at the outset before Stan had had a chance to tire. Today was a Rafa close to his best - and definitely better than anything we have seen from him on clay since his return.

ed251137 , 5/12/13 6:44 PM

If rafa is not tire yet,I think he is favour st Rome .he need to rest before France open,I still hope,he can get the number 8 at GR,

Kvk , 5/12/13 7:08 PM

^^^We are used to all this now, ed251137. People cannot deal with the fact that Rafa is this good. They have a to find a way to diminish his wins, be it making excuses for his opponents to refusing to acknowledge Rafa's medical problems. Why do you think talk of Rafa's knees is forbidden? Acknowledging Rafa's physical problems is to admit that his opponents cannot beat even a lame Rafa!

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 7:09 PM

I have been traveling this weekend and couldn't see the match. So glad about the result. Was it as easy as the score suggests? (except for that first game of the match).

Shireling , 5/12/13 7:17 PM

Congrats again, Rafa!!!

I hope Rafa does well in Rome but I hoing that he does not tire himself before RG considering his health. Hey, but what do I know, Rafa has been in the game too long!!!


Monalysa , 5/12/13 8:10 PM

This form Wawrinka's pressor:

"I think he started really well," said Wawrinka. "Even if I'm playing my best tennis and [am] completely fresh, it's really, really tough to beat him. It was tough for me. The ball was flying. I didn't find out a way how to play my game [and] how to be aggressive on the court. He was also dictating the points."

Wawa said nothing of being weary!!! So why do some say he was?! Anything to diminish Rafa's win!

Monalysa , 5/12/13 8:17 PM

Monalysa, in the para you quoted, Stan does indirectly say he wasn't playing his best tennis and not completely fresh. But he put it obliquely saying even if he had been, it 's really, really tough to beat him.
Anyway Rafa beat Wawa who beat Dimitrov who beat Nole who had been crowned the King of Clay. So now Rafa is King again?
Congrats to Rafa!
Onwards to Rome! We can look forward to a Rafa-Nole semifinal. Hopefully Nole achieves that no. 20 for which Fed and he are in a neck to neck race.

holdserve , 5/12/13 8:27 PM

Muzza on Rafa:

"Rafa has been very impressive. His record on clay is incredible. On that surface he is so ahead of the rest of the pack and so, after not playing for a while, his level has dropped. Now that he has played more and more, he is getting back to that level but even if he hasn't played, his level is a long way ahead of the rest of the pack. Its very impressive his consistency and its interesting to see if he can maintain this."

Nole on Rafa:

"Rafa has not played for six or seven months but now with seven finals its amazing and he's not the first player to do this," Djokovic, who had a similar run of success in 2011, jokes.

It seems to me Muzza's comment is sincere and gives Rafa all the credit but Nole wants to temper his acknowledgment of Rafa's success since returning from injury by comparing it to his own 2011 success. This is what turns me off Novak, the lack of grace................

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 8:43 PM

^^^above is quoted from the following: /Murray-Sunday.aspx

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 8:45 PM

Don't be fooled: Wawa and Muzza overestimate by far Rafa's achievement this spring, even when not yet at his best level: some of the more rational regular posters here and many of the commies are far better judges of this. ;-)

chlorostoma , 5/12/13 8:50 PM

@ holdserve,


Monalysa , 5/12/13 8:52 PM

I don't know much about Novak outside tennis, his character of demeanor but I think he might have just been joking with the comment about Rafa's finals score and nothing more than that.
His character on court, although he has made huge progress, still comes across as a bit unbalanced sometimes and in respect to this (IMHO) Rafa runs circles around him...

Shireling , 5/12/13 9:28 PM

so, is Rafa now Nr. 1 in the year?

Shireling , 5/12/13 9:38 PM

^^^No. Nole leads him by 120 points.

nadline , 5/12/13 9:42 PM

Rafa could play Gulbis in the 3rd round in Rome.

nadline , 5/12/13 9:43 PM

it would be awesome if Rafa could come to RG ahead of the race, wouldn't it?
Rafa is playing better and better, if his knees hold, Gulbis on clay shouldn't be an upset

Shireling , 5/12/13 9:48 PM

Shireling , 5/12/13 9:28 PM

Well, as someone pointed out on another thread, this could be another example of cultural differences. I don't "get" his jokes...........

rafaisthebest , 5/12/13 9:48 PM

Could be, yes. Also, remember, these guys are tennis players not public talkers, they don't prepare their 'speeches' and they are young millionaire superstars who are treated as idols wherever they go... every once in a while they're bound to put their foot in it I guess.
But how they deal with their emotions, both positive and negative, on court plots very clearly their internal turmoils and character traits.

Shireling , 5/12/13 10:02 PM

In Nole's defence, had he just been gushing about what Rafa has done and not mentioned that he had achieved similar heights in 2011, he would have come across as insincere and not meaning the compliments he paid Rafa.

nadline , 5/12/13 10:51 PM

I open the ATP web site and see this title:

Brilliant Nadal Wins 23rd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Title, 40th Clay Crown

I love it!
Vamos Rafa!

natashao , 5/12/13 11:23 PM

the Fedbots and the Nole bots have gone silent.
Anyway all those who thought Nole had become king of clay by defeating Rafa once this season must have realized how foolish they are. To be considered king of Clay you have to dominate the surface for years. Just beating Rafa now and then doesn't make anyone King, they have to beat Rafa and everybody else consistently too.
In 2011, when Nole beat Rafa at Madrid and Rome, he was hurriedly crowned King and made favorite for Paris. But he couldn't get past Roger. Nole is not way ahead of the pack. Last year he got beaten 3 times by Rafa.
Rafa is still not in full form. So I am not sure about Rome or RG either. But wins over Rafa aren't going to make anybody else King unless they dominate the surface.

holdserve , 5/13/13 12:10 AM

The interesting thing for me is that Nadal is still working himself into form. What Nole did and how he played in 2011 was darned impressive...but it must be pointed out (to be completely fair) that Nole didn't go into the 2011 season off a 7 month absence. I'd have to double check to be certain, but I'd be willing to bet that Rafa's comeback is the most successful in tennis history.

cherylmurray , 5/13/13 1:57 AM

Congrats Rafa and fans on this win!
This is a great show of consistency and form although Rafa is still not Rafa. The two matches (yesterday and today) didn't impress me. But the seven finals and five wins (including two masters shields) sure did. It is ia huge feat. Well done!

So, the race really tightens now :). Nole is ahead by 130 pts. Rome will tell us more in terms of who goes to RG as #1 in race points.

danica , 5/13/13 5:17 AM

Thank you Cheryl for stating the blindingly obvious! How can anyone not see that what we are witnessing from Rafa is out of this world? Yes, Nole's 2011 was unprecedented but Rafa is well on the way to equalling that coming off a 7month injury layoff! And as Danica also points out, he is still not at his best yet but I disagree that he was not impressive yesterday, he was superb, still not at his usual Rafaliciousness, but yesterday was the best he has played since his comeback.

Please God, keep the injuries away, let us be entertained.......

rafaisthebest , 5/13/13 6:50 AM

I am definitely impressed by Rafa's performance in the final. That was easily his best tennis since he came back at MC. I like how Rafa came out and jumped all over Stan. He was probably feeling fatigue after playing so many matches and getting through a tough draw, but I still believe that Rafa would have beaten him no matter what given how he played. Stan did give a good account of himself in the second set and showed us what might have been by making the score a lot closer.

I actually agree with Cheryl's post @ 1:57 AM. Rafa isn't at his best yet. He's still a work in progress. However, there is no denying that his results since his comeback have been nothing short of phenomenal. Two Masters titles, one on hard court and the other at Madrid! Getting to the final of every tournament and only losing two times.

I don't think that there is a comparison between what Nole did in 2011 and what Rafa is doing now. They are two entirely different things. It's one thing to start off the season without being off due to injury and go on an impressive winning streak. There is no denying that achievement. However, coming back from a seven month layoff and getting the kind of stellar results that Rafa has, is an achievement in and of itself. I am incredibly proud of him.

Nativenewyorker , 5/13/13 6:53 AM


Sorry, but I didn't see your post up when I wrote mine. We basically said pretty much the same thing. :)

Nativenewyorker , 5/13/13 6:55 AM

Rafa always underestimates himself. He said he didn't feel he was in anyway ready to go back on tour but he felt he had to so when he went Chile he absolutely did not expect to go far. What he has done, so far, this year will make training all the sweeter because he can see the results.

Rafa is an amazing tennis player! When fit and mentally focussed, he is hard to dislodge. I am so pleased he's come back with a bang - which is an understatement. He is definitely getting better and better, starting matches with more confidence now, not dropping his serve early in the first set which was what did for him in the MC final. He was able to right the ship after dropping his first one or two service games against other players but not against Nole.

#Comeback kid

nadline , 5/13/13 9:31 AM

I just wanted to share with you this post about Rafa's mental fortitude from a poster called @Ginny on queridorafa:

"Yes, I think everyone forgets how much mental fortitude it takes to come out and play like that. Stan did talk afterwards about how hard it is to play 2 weeks in a row and keep the intensity up, but that is what Rafa does all the time. When he nearly always makes the final and then moves onto the next tournament, it has to take a lot of mental toughness. Which Rafa has, but the rest of us often forget how much energy it takes. It was a joy to watch him today, as it is every time he plays!!!" f-rafapie/#comments

rafaisthebest , 5/13/13 10:36 AM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
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