This year’s French Open saw dominating wins by those who’ve owned the tennis spotlight over the past decade. Key numbers: 12 for Rafael Nadal, 14 for Bob and Mike Bryan, and 16 for Serena Williams…
- Men’s Champion: Rafael Nadal def. David Ferrer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3.
- Women’s Champion: Serena Williams def. Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-4.
- Men’s Doubles Champions: Bob and Mike Bryan def. Nicolas Mahut and Michael Llodra 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(4).
- Women’s Doubles Champions: Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina def. Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 7-5, 6-2.
- Mixed Doubles Champions: Czech’s Franrisek Cermak and Lucie Hradecka def. Daniel Nestor (4-time French Open Men’s Doubles Champion) and Kristina Mladenovic 1-6, 6-4, 10-6.
At 27 years old, Rafael Nadal now owns the 3rd-most Grand Slam titles in tennis history, with 8 French Open titles, 2 Wimbledon crowns and one each at the US and Australian Opens. Only Pete Sampras (14) and Roger Federer (17) have won more Slam finals. Rafa won four French Opens in-a-row from 2005-2008, and now another four in-a-row from 2010-2013. Sunday’s victory was his 59th win in 60-matches on the clay at Roland Garros.
After months of knee rehab, missing last year’s US Open and this year’s Australian Open, Nadal rejoined the tour in February and has been incredibly dominant. He’s 43-2 since the start if his comeback in Vina del Mar, and the two losses came in finals! He’s won seven titles in that time, been in nine finals and is now the first to qualify for the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals this December.
At 31 years old, Serena Williams won her 16th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros; her first French Open title since 2002. Ousted in the first round last year, she easily won seven straight matches this year, including the final over defending champion Maria Sharapova. This year alone, Serena is 43-2 with six titles, she’s a strong favorite at Wimbledon again, and she’s nowhere near done with tennis: “I want to go out in my peak. That’s my goal. But have I peaked yet? I definitely want to continue my journey to get a few more.”
The real highlights from Roland Garros 2013:
- Semifinal thriller between Rafa and Novak, won by Nadal 9-7 in the 5th. 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7.
- Serena Williams dominance and determination, not to be denied after losing in the first round last year.
- At 35-years-old, Bob and Mike Bryan won their second French Open title, becoming the first doubles team in tennis history to win every Grand Slam at least twice. Their last title in Paris was their first Grand Slam win back in 2003; they now own 14 Slam titles, two this year alone, having won the Australian Open back in January.
- Four American women made it into the second week of play at Roland Garros, including Serena, Bethanie Mattek Sands, Sloane Stephens, and Jamie Hampton.
- As the 4-seed, Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won their first Grand Slam title together over the #1 doubles team in the world, Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci. This was the 5th meeting between the two teams, and Makarova and Vesnina’s first win over the dominating Italians.
- Certainly not a highlight, but a moment many will remember – In the Men’s Final, right before the end of the second set, a shirtless protester with a lit flare jumped out on the court; his statement protesting the same-sex marriage law and insisting on the ouster of Francois Hollande, President of France.
And now it’s time to tune-up on grass. You’ll find Roger Federer and defending champion Tommy Haas in Halle, Germany this week while others like Andy Murray and American Sam Querrey will play in West Kensington, London at the Queen’s Club Championships. The ladies are in Birmingham, England at the Aegon Classic, though few of the WTA’s top-ranked are participating.