Rafael Nadaln capped off a perfect clay-court season with a dominating victory over Robin Soderling in the French Open final. Nadal, who went 22-0 over the past 2 months of play on the red dirt, proved that he is without a doubt the best clay-courter of all time, crushing his Swedish opponent, who was in his 2nd consecutive French open final, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 with brilliant defense and a serve that was not broken once. Not only did the Spaniard win his 5th French open title without dropping a set, but Rafa didn't even face a set point, plowing through the draw like a one man recking machine.
Nadal will return to the top spot in the ATP rankings, as Roger Federer lost tons of points after failing to match his championship effort from 2009. Soderling had few chances to get himself into the match, as Nadal's relentless legs seemed to track down each shot the 7th seed hit, returning them back for passing shots few knew were possible to hit. The win earns Rafa his 7th major title, tying him with John McEnroe and Matz Wilander and leaving him one shy of Andre Agassi. The new world number 1 won the titles in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid before his win in Parisand en route to the final match, Rafa took out Lleyton Hewitt, Nicholas Almagro and Jurgen Melzer, while Soderling went through Marin Cilic, Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych.
Nadal explained why this win was particularly emotional for him in his post-match presser:
Is important because is one of the most important because I had difficult year, and for some moments was difficult to accept the injuries and everything. You know, for moments you don't know if you are ready another time to compete, you are 100%.
At the same time, sometimes is a big frustration when you are in US Open and you broke your an abdominal one week before and you are in Australia and have to retire during the quarterfinals match. So all these moments are difficult to accept. I was there all the time, and for that reason, today is a very, very special day for me.