Nadal beats Federer, wins sixth French Open crown (Lead)

June 6th, 2011 - 12:39 am ICT by IANS  

Rafael Nadal Paris, June 5 (IANS) Defending champion Rafael Nadal Sunday defeated Roger Federer
7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1 to clinch his sixth French Open title and drew level with legendary Swede Bjorn Borg for most number of titles at Roland Garros.

Nadal, who turned 25 Monday, will also keep his hold on the No.1 ranking which was under threat from World No.2 Novak Djokovic, whose 41-match winning streak was snapped by Federer in the semifinals here.

Djokovic would have taken the top spot had Federer succeeded in beating the Spaniard in the final. That was not to be. The 29-year-old Swiss champion once again failed to break his jinx against the tough Spaniard at Roland Garros. Nadal had beaten him earlier in all their four previous final meetings at the French Open to claim the title in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Federer’s only title came here in 2009 beating Robin Soderling, who had upset Nadal in the quarterfinal.

World No.3 Federer, winner of most Grand Slams (16), played under the shadows of Djokovic and Nadal this year, but showed that he is far from over making his first Slam final since Australia in 2010.

“Congrats Roger for a great tournament. You had a fantastic two weeks. A good match and sorry for that Roger,” said a humble Nadal.

Federer and Nadal renewed the game’s most intriguing and thrilling rivalry after the 2009 Australian Open which the Swiss lost.

Nadal was once again dominant against Federer, bidding for his 17th Grand Slam title.

The Swiss had impressed all with his sharp game against Djokovic. He, however, lacked consistency against Nadal, who showed why he is considered the best ever on this surface.

The World No.1 fought back from 1-4 down in the first set and played a near flawless tie-breaker against an erring Federer in the second. The only blip in his otherwise commanding performance was when he dropped the third set after a break of serve in the 11th game.

He, however, came back strongly in the fourth set and swiftly took a 3-1 lead before wrapping up the set and the championship.

It was Nadal’s 45th-victory at French Open and the title was his 10th Grand Slam. His only defeat here in seven years came against Soderling.

It was Nadal and Federer’s eighth meeting in a Grand Slam final, two more than any other pairing.

After being stretched to five-sets by towering American John Isner in the first round, Nadal was at his best against Soderling and Andy Murray, dispatching them in straight sets.

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