When Rafael Nadal secured third Roland Garros crown over Roger Federer



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When Rafael Nadal secured third Roland Garros crown over Roger Federer

Between 2005 and 2008, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer forged a great rivalry at Roland Garros, playing in the semi-final and three straight finals. Nadal emerged as a winner in all of those matches to establish his supremacy in Paris.

Like in 2005 and 2006, Roger was able to take a set out of Rafa in the 2007 final on June 10, but it was not enough for an overall win. Nadal celebrated a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph in three hours and 10 minutes for his third straight Roland Garros crown.

Despite the fact he sealed the deal in four sets, Rafa had to work hard and produce his best tennis to topple Roger. The Spaniard saved unreal 16 out of 17 break points to limit the damage in his games and keep the pressure on the other side.

Roger outplayed Rafa in the winners department, which was insufficient for a better result after spraying almost 60 unforced errors and missing a chance to at least force a decider. The Spaniard created ten break points and notched four breaks to seal the deal and conquer the title with one set lost in seven matches.

Federer avoided longer rallies in his games, but Nadal spoiled his plans after creating a substantial gap in the shortest points up to four strokes. Rafa overpowered Roger by a slim margin in the more extended exchanges to secure the win.

It was a fine start for the Swiss, as he earned two break points in game four with a smash winner. Nadal saved them and held after Federer's backhand mistake to avoid an early setback. Rafa faced two more break points in game six and saved them with good serves.

Roger squandered the third chance with a forehand error, which would cost him a lot. The Spaniard denied two more break points to bring the game home with a service winner and lock the result at 3-3. Federer paid the price for his errors and mossed chances on the return, getting broken at love in game seven following a loose backhand.

Nadal was forced to work hard behind the initial shot again in game eight, repelling three break points and opening a 5-3 gap with a service winner.

Rafael Nadal claimed the third straight Roland Garros title in 2007.

Roger lost serve for the second straight time in game nine to hand the set to his rival after Rafa's forehand winner.

Nadal saved all ten break points in the opener, and he had a boost ahead of set number two. Rafa held twice at the beginning of the second set with a mighty forehand crosscourt shot and missed a break chance in game four. The Swiss earned an opportunity to move in front at 3-3 after creating three break chances.

He seized the second to forge the lead and survived three break points in the next one to open a 5-3 gap and improve his chances. Nadal fended off four set points in game nine, but his efforts were in vain, as Federer wrapped up the set with a hold in game ten.

Rafa made a fresh start in the third set and grabbed a break in the second game. He made another good hold in game three to forge the advantage and send the pressure to the other side. Nadal served well in the rest of the set and fired a powerful forehand at 5-3 to clinch it and move closer to a title defense.

Roger claimed three straight points in the fourth set's second game to earn a break chance, his 17th and last of the encounter. Nadal stayed focused and denied it with a forehand down the line bullet. The Spaniard had the momentum and broke in the third game after a loose forehand from the Swiss.

Rafa opened a 3-1 gap with a service winner and held with easy in game six to remain in front. Nadal forged a 5-3 lead with a forehand winner in game eight and served for the title in game ten. Roger sprayed a forehand error on Rafa's match point, and the Spaniard fell to the ground and started a massive celebration. Thus, Nadal became the first player with a three-peat in Paris since Bjorn Borg in the early 80s.