Twelve morsels of history

By repeated, the photo of Rafa Nadal biting the Cup of the Musketeers is still iconic. In the whole history of tennis, there is no known equal dominance in a Grand Slam.


By repeated, the photo of Rafa Nadal biting the Musketeers Cup is still iconic. Bjorn Borg had the record in the tournament, with six and four in a row, and the Spaniard has doubled him. In the whole history of tennis, no equal dominance is known in a Grand Slam.

2005: With only 19 years and 2 days astonishes the world before Door

The love story with Roland Garros began with pumpkins. In 2003, Nadal suffered an elbow injury. And in 2004, a stress fracture in one foot. So he debuted earlier in Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. He toured the land of Paris officially on May 23, 2005 before the number 65 of the world, Lars Burgsmüller, on track 1, away from the stars and the bustle. The German ended up beaten 6-1, 7-6 and 6-1 by a kid with pirate pants, a green shirt with cropped sleeves that showed dark biceps that already impressed, and bandana in his hair. Face of rogue and courage without limits. No ball was given for lost.

But Nadal was not an unknown, because he had appeared in 2004 winning the Davis in Seville next Carlos Moya ... now his coach. And he arrived with a business card of 17 consecutive wins and the titles of Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome (5 sets with Coria). In the semifinals, on the same day he turned 19, he had to face number one, Roger Federer. It lasted four sets: 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 and 6-3. He blew the candles with Pau Gasol, another sport icon that has always supported him and traveled to see him. In the final Mariano Puerta was waiting for him (after it was known that he had tested positive in an anti-doping control): 6-7, 6-3, 6-1 and 7-5. The first tears came. And the Musketeers Cup from Zinedine Zidane. A story of legend started.

2006: Djokovic and the 53 victories of Vilas

In 2006 came the first confrontation with Djokovic (he brought some sneakers with the legend "Come on, Nole!"), Which ended up retiring before him in the quarterfinals. In the final he knocked down Federer (1-6, 6-1, 6-4 and 7-6). He surpassed the record of 53 consecutive victories on land held by Guillermo Vilas, who handed him a trophy in memory, and elevated it to 81 in 2007. The legend of Nadal has been forged by sharing clues with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, whom he has won six times in Paris. The two have a title at Roland Garros, but the Swiss stopped playing the last three boring editions of Spanish domination. In this 2019, on his return, he was again swallowed by the king of the earth in the semifinals. The Serbian was also between the eye and win the second, but ...

2007: "Sorry Roger" and draw with Arantxa

"I'm sorry for Roger". That was the first thing Rafa Nadal managed to say after winning the Swiss, who was already chasing the only big one that he needed to complete the Grand Slam (he would not get it until 2009), in a second final at Roland Garros. It was one of the many signs of mutual respect that the two giants have dedicated in their careers. Acabó 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and 6-4. With her third title, she equaled Arantxa Sánchez Vicario as the Spanish tennis player with the most nerves in the Forest of Bologna. The "Let's go!" That made her popular was also his, and a gap was made among the best. It was already up to Guga Kuerten, Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl or René Lacoste. Only had ahead Henri Cochet and Bjorn Borg.

2008: Four in a row, as Bjorn Borg

The trophy was carried without giving up a single set (something that also got later in 2010 and 2017) and only 37 games. Again, Roger Federer had to suffer in the final, where he took a beating: 6-1, 6-3 and 6-0. One of the most hurt and conditioned to the Swiss, which despite being considered the best in history has a quite unfavorable balance (24-16) compared to the Spanish after this year's victory in the semifinals. And he has never managed to defeat him at Roland Garros. Bjorn Borg handed him the Musketeers Cup this time, because only the Swede, the previous cannibal of the land, had achieved four consecutive (six in total). That year, Nadal also won Wimbledon, the Olympic gold in Beijing and climbed to number one.

2010: Beating Söderling and back to one

In 2009, Nadal fell to Robin Söderling in the second round with his knees very touched (then resigned to Wimbledon) and that allowed Federer to be champion at last. The Spanish confessed that he cried seeing Roger lift the Cup: "He deserved the big four." "I thought more about the knees than about the games," he also said. In 2010, he played reconquest. And in one fell swoop, took revenge on the Swede in the final (6-4, 6-2 and 6-4) and returned to the number one that he had lost in July of the previous year, ousting the Swiss. He thus became the first tennis player in history to complete the denominationswim Clay Slam: the three 1000 Masters of land (Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid) and Roland Garros. A perfect season, without flaw on the ground. A surface made to measure.

2011: Ten 'big', with the sixth in Paris

Nadal arrived touched, because it came to lose the finals of the Masters 1000 of Madrid and Rome against Novak Djokovic, which was already raised to the beards, and his number one was in danger. But he became strong in Paris, his talisman. In a last vibrant game, where he rallied 5-2 in the first set, he again beat Federer 7-5, 7-6, 5-7 and 6-1. It was his tenth Grand Slam and the sixth in the sanctuary of clay, which put him at the height of Bjorn Borg, again the Ice Viking, as the tennis player with the most titles in Paris.

2012: Lluvia, Djokovic and highest and only

It was the year he moved to Borg. He was placed, with seven titles, on top of the track record. But he had to suffer. Djokovic had defeated him in the finals of Wimbledon, US Open and Australia. A coup in Paris would have been final. On Sunday, the rain stopped the final with a 2-1 advantage for the Spaniard ... but with the Serbian thrown. Supo win on Monday: 6-4, 6-3, 2-6 and 7-5.

2013: Battle with Nole and review Ferrer

The eighth will be remembered for an inhuman battle against Djokovic in the semifinals. After 4h: 37, he finished 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 and 9-7. "I enjoy suffering," he said. In the final, he destroyed Ferrer by 6-3, 6-2 and 6-3. In 2012 he had spent seven months KO.

2014: Final to the limit and ninth triumph

Djokovic cried, because he missed the only big one that was missing then, and lloró Nadal, dizzy and cramping. After four straight defeats with the Serbian, he could. Escaped the defeat thanks to passion: 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 and 6-4.

2017: The tenth fell

In 2015, Rafa fell to Djokovic in the quarterfinals. A change of cycle was announced in favor of the Serbian. In 2016, he retired due to a left wrist injury. But he came back strong in 2017. He won to Wawrinka 6-2, 6-3 and 6-1 in the final.

2018: It was not the time of the heir Thiem

Nadal finished 2017 with the right knee very touched. His great goal was the earth. In Australia, an injury to the psoas-iliac had him 74 KO days. In Madrid he fell with his heir Thiem, who was found in the final, and won: 6-4, 6-3 and 6-2.

2019: A brutal first set and the 12th

With 33 years, 14 after his debut in Paris , Rafa Nadal bite again and embrace the Musketeers Cup. A story that does not bore anyone, except its rivals. Like Dominic Thiem, who came this year to defeat Roger Federer in the Indian Wells final and Novak Djokovic in a match in the semifinals to five sets. The Austrian fell by 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 and 6-1. Nadal, who had exorcised his demons with a title in Rome after falling in Monte Carlo (Fognini), Godó (Thiem) and Tsitsipas (Madrid) had a good initial draw and took advantage of it. And in the final, which had a brutal first set, reigned.



Photos from as.com

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