Nadal and Halep prove their mettle; win the final of Roland Garros 2018

Roland Garros 2018

Thanks to yesterday’s massive victory at the final of Roland Garros 2018, Rafael Nadal now has 11 French Open titles to his name, which is the most for any player.

However, this one wasn’t as easy as it looked. Rafa had to push his ageing 32 year-old body to and beyond the limit to defeat the spirited Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3 and 6-2 on a hot and humid afternoon. He suffered from cramps midway and had to call on his physiotherapist multiple times to ease his pain.

Whether this was legal or not remains a bit of a controversy, because the rule book of the Roland Garros clearly states that a repeated treatment is not allowed. So whether or not the match referee should have penalized Nadal and subtracted a point also remains questionable. He also acknowledged this in his post match interview, where he said that the wrapping around his arm and fingers was blocking the blood flow and that “The finger was very tight. I couldn’t move the finger.” This also puts his participation in the Wimbledon tournament happening next month in a shadow of doubt, and it looks like he isn’t too keen to play there. Lawn tennis has always been Roger Federer’s forte and after winning two titles there and making it to the finals in 2011, Nadal hasn’t had that great of a run in London, never making it out of the fourth round since.

But clay will always remain Nadal’s stronghold, and it’s doubtful that any other player will beat his record of winning 11 titles at Paris. He will return to his favorite hunting ground once again next year, and whether he wins or not he’ll always remain a tennis legend.

If Nadal’s win was one more title for an already legendary player, the women’s singles had a completely different story to tell. Romania’s Simona Halep beat Sloane Stephens of the U.S.A. on Saturday, the 9th of June to claim her first major title in tennis. After losing out on three major titles in finals, it was truly a cathartic moment for her when she sealed the last point, winning two of three sets 3-6, 6-4 and 6-1.

After the first set, which Stephens won quite convincingly, it seemed that this was going to be somewhat of a repeat telecast of Halep’s last three losses.but she drew first blood in the second set , which Stephens was leading too by 0-2, and didn’t look back after that, allowing Stephens absolutely no breathing space. So drastic was her gear shift that Stephens could only manage to win one more game, before finally losing the final of Roland Garros 2018, 6-1.

Roland Garros, infamous for its clay courts, plus the fact that it is held in the most humid months of the year and its match structure of  best of five instead of best of three, has always been regarded as the toughest of the Opens. So whoever wins this long and arduous tournament always has to be regarded a force to be reckoned with, and that’s exactly what Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep are.

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