When Rafael Nadal served revenge on Robin Soderling and regained Roland Garros title

Tennis - Nadal secured the fifth Roland Garros trophy in the past six years in 2010

by Jovica Ilic
When Rafael Nadal served revenge on Robin Soderling and regained Roland Garros title

Rafael Nadal conquered four consecutive Roland Garros titles before experiencing the first Parisian loss to Robin Soderling in 2009. Nadal restored the order in 2010 and became the first player with all three clay-court Masters 1000 trophies in a single season.

The Spaniard was the favorite in Paris, and he proved that on the court to lift the fifth Roland Garros crown in the past six years. In the title clash, Soderling stood across the net, and Nadal earned a rock-solid 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 victory in two hours and 18 minutes.

A year after stunning Nadal, Soderling ousted the defending champion Roger Federer in the quarter-final and advanced into the title clash, his only at Majors. Rafa had to dig deep against Nicolas Almagro in the quarter-final, and he passed that obstacle in three tight sets to wrap up the crown without losing a set!

Unlike in 2009, Robin could not control the pace with his flat and powerful groundstrokes. Rafa was focused, and he claimed the crucial points to emerge at the top and regain the title. Nadal defended all eight break points and delivered four breaks of serve to seal the deal and celebrate the seventh Major trophy at 24!

The Swede failed to move the rival from his comfort zone, and he hit too many unforced errors. Also, he served at 56%, which did not help him either. The majority of the points ended in the shortest range up to four strokes, and Nadal overpowered Soderling with good serving and his initial forehand.

Rafa forged the lead in the mid-range exchanges and effectively constructed the points to tame his shots and move Robin from the danger zone. The most extended rallies were on Nadal's racquet, as was expected, and he earned his win fair and square with a great overall package to regain his supremacy in Paris.

Both players held with an ace in the opening two games, and Robin blasted another in game three for an excellent start. The Swede had a chance to take an early lead, but he wasted a break point in game four when his backhand landed long.

Rafael Nadal claimed the fifth Roland Garros title in 2010.

Nadal moved in front with a break in game five after a backhand crosscourt winner and fired a service winner in the next one to settle into a great rhythm. Robin erased two break points in game seven to remain in contention and created a break point a few minutes later that could have brought him back to the positive side.

He sprayed a forehand unforced error to waste the opportunity, and Rafa saved another break point with a service winner to keep his serve intact. Facing three set points in game nine, Soderling fired five consecutive winners to repel the danger and prolong the set.

Nadal was not to be denied, though, taking the opener 6-4 in 55 minutes after another unforced error from Soderling in the tenth game. The Swede bounced back at the start of the second set and forged a couple of break points in game two.

He missed an easy backhand on the second and squandered the third after Rafa's volley winner. The Spaniard saved the fourth break point with a service winner and hit another to bring the game home and gain momentum. Soderling held at love in game three with a drop shot winner, and Nadal did the same in the next one with an unreturned serve to keep the pressure on the other side.

Soderling failed to find an open court at 2-2 and got broken at love to find himself 4-2 down after Nadal's forehand winner. In those moments, the Swede lost the ground, and he netted a backhand in game seven to experience another break and fall further behind.

Rafa held in game eight after the opponent's loose backhand and moved a set away from the trophy after an hour and 34 minutes. With a boost on his side, Nadal notched the third straight break at the beginning of the final set thanks to another massive error from Soderling.

The Spaniard saved a break point in game two with a service winner and held with an ace to confirm his advantage and move closer to the finish line. Soderling held at love in game three with an ace before facing another break point at 2-4.

He saved it with a mighty forehand winner and brought the game home after a service winner to stay within one break deficit and hope for a better fortune on the return. Still, he could not do much against Rafa's initial shot, and the Spaniard landed a forehand winner to move 5-3 ahead.

Robin held at love in game nine to reduce the deficit and prolong the action before Rafa served for the title at 5-4. The Spaniard showed no nerves and held when Soderling netted a backhand. Thus, Nadal became the second player with five Roland Garros titles after Bjorn Borg, achieving that on the great Swede's birthday!

Rafael Nadal Robin Soderling Roland Garros