[QODLink]
Sport
Nadal claims fifth French title
Rafael Nadal will replace rival Roger Federer as number one in the world rankings.
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2010 16:44 GMT
 Nadal, right,  told the crowds that Sunday was the most emotional day of his career [AFP]

Rafael Nadal has proved that when he is fit in body and mind nobody can stop him at the French Open, least of all last year's tormentor Robin Soderling.

Swedish Soderling threw all he could muster at the 24-year-old Spaniard during the early skirmishes of Sunday's Roland Garros final.

Nadal made just 16 mistakes during a 6-4 6-2 6-4 victory that gave him a fifth French Open title in six years and left him just one behind Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg's record.

When a weary Soderling slapped a backhand into the net at the end of a second consecutive defeat in the final, Nadal collapsed backwards, closed his eyes and clenched his fists.

After shaking hands with Soderling and sitting down on his chair, the tears rolled freely down Nadal's face as Spain's Queen Sofia gazed proudly down on him.

With the gleaming Coupe des Mousquetaires tucked under his arm, Nadal told the crowd on Chatrier court that it was the most emotional day of his career, more so than his previous four victories here or his 2008 Wimbledon triumph.

Knee injuries

Nadal will replace rival Roger Federer as number one in the world rankings on Monday but all that mattered to him on Sunday was that the demons of 2009 - when knee injuries and the divorce of his parents drained his powers - had been banished.

"When I was crying after the match, the last thing I was thinking about was the number one ranking," Nadal, who matched his 2008 feat when he also won the title without dropping a set, said.

"The first thing is the title and all the hours I worked to be here another time."

His uncle, coach and confidant Toni summed up what it meant.

"For Rafael it's more important to know that he is one of the best claycourt players in history," he said.

Nadal has dropped just two sets throughout the claycourt season which he ended on Sunday with a 22-0 record before heading off to prepare for Wimbledon.

"The numbers are unbelievable for me, no?" said Nadal, who became the first man to make a clean sweep of the big four clay titles in one season by adding the French crown to his wins in Monte Carlo, Rome and Madrid.

"When I see these titles and these numbers, for me is amazing. I don't know how I did it."

Source:
Reuters
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
People are starving in southern Somalia while relief efforts are blocked by government and rebel fighting.
Some scientists say authorities in favour of nuclear energy tend to deny the negative results of researchers.
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Experts from Minamata, Japan check for signs of mercury illnesses in Ontario, Canada.
join our mailing list