Rafael Nadal sealed his 40th clay court title yesterday after an untroubled 6-2 6-4 victory against Stanislas Wawrinka in the Madird Masters.
The Madrid Mutua Open was a tournament full of shocking upsets with Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic all falling to lesser opponents. However, Nadal held his own throughout the tournament to win his 23rd Masters title. The victory was unthreatened from the very beginning. Stanislas whom has played absolutely brilliant during the past two weeks just did not have fuel enough to keep up with the Spaniard. Nadal was absolutely brutal right from the beginning breaking the Swiss immediately, and followed up with yet another break the second time Wawrinka was serving. In the blink of an eye, Nadal had forced 4-0 in the opening set. He eventually closed it out 6-2 in just over half an hour. Wawrinka however, regrouped at the start of the second. He held his two first games as a server to love, and seemed for a while to find a way back into the match.
In the fifth game of the third set, Nadal was about close the match as he forced another 0-40 on Wawrinka serve. The Swiss did, however, come up with one last fight back and won five straight points with magical shots ensuring the game was still alive. In the following game on serve for Wawrinka, two heart breaking double faults handed Nadal a very crucial break and a 4-3 lead with the possession of serve. From there on, Nadal controlled the rest of the game comfortably and 10 minutes later sealed his best performance of the week, as well as the title. "I'm very happy," said Nadal speaking to the atpworldtour.com. "I think I played a really good match. I think I played the best match of the whole week today in the final. Being able to play here in Madrid and being able to win in front of all my people, is something really special." Wawrinka did suffer a loss in this final, but in the long race he has a lot to be happy about. In front of all, he will break into the top 10 of the Emirates ATP rankings again.
That is a huge achievement for him, as it was all the way back in 2008 when he last ranked among the elite. Speaking of his performance in the final, he said the following to the atpworldtour.com: "I think he started really well. Even if I'm playing my best tennis and [am] completely fresh, it's really, really tough to beat him.
“It was tough for me. The ball was flying. I didn't find out a way how to play my game [and] how to be aggressive on the court. He was also dictating the points." Wawrinka and the rest of the world’s best players will now travel to Italy, where Rome features another Masters tournament in the coming week.
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