Champion's Journey: Rafael Nadal Tops Federer for Third Straight Roland Garros Title

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Champion's Journey: Rafael Nadal Tops Federer for Third Straight Roland Garros Title
Champion's Journey: Rafael Nadal Tops Federer for Third Straight Roland Garros Title

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer met at Roland Garros for the first time in the 2005 semi-final. They were the rivals in the final a year later and arranged another title clash in 2007. As in the previous two years, Rafa reached the top with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph in three hours and ten minutes.

Federer gave his best and fought well, only to fall in four sets and miss to achieve a career Grand Slam. Rafa had to produce his best tennis to overcome Roger, saving unreal 16 out of 17 break points and keeping the pressure on the other side.

The Spaniard earned ten break chances and grabbed four breaks that pushed him over the top, securing his third consecutive Roland Garros crown at 21! Federer hit more winners than Nadal, but they came at the cost of almost 60 unforced errors.

Thus, he missed a chance to force a decider and push his opponent even stronger. Roger avoided longer rallies in his games. However, Rafa spoiled his party after beating him in the quickest exchanges. He overpowered Federer in the more extended rallies to secure a win and continue his winning streak in Paris.

The Swiss made a fine start and created two break points in the fourth game with a smash winner. The Spaniard denied them and held after the rival's backhand mistake. Rafa struggled behind the initial shot again in game six.

He saved two break points with powerful serves, and Roger missed the third chance with a loose forehand, an error that would cost him dearly. Nadal saved two more break points and held with a service winner for 3-3 and a crucial hold.

Federer paid the price for those missed opportunities, losing serve at love in game seven after netting a backhand. Rafa moved in front, but his serve was still far from where he wanted it to be! The Spaniard faced three break points in the eighth game and held for 5-3 after a service winner.

Roger served to stay in the set in game nine, and Rafa fired a forehand winner to grab his second straight break and wrap up the set 6-3.

Rafael Nadal claimed his third Roland Garros title in 2007.

The defending champion denied all ten break points in the opening set and raised his level on the return to forge an early advantage.

Mighty relieved, Nadal kicked off the second set with an easy hold. Rafa landed a forehand crosscourt winner at 1-1 to remain in front and created a break chance in the next one. The Swiss saved it and leveled the score at 2-2 to stay in contention.

Roger stepped in on the return and earned three break points in game seven. The second did the magic for him, opening a 4-3 gap and defending three break points in the next one to confirm the lead and move closer to the set.

Nadal served to stay in the set at 3-5 and faced four set points. He erased them and brought the game home to extend the battle before Federer wrapped up the set at 5-4 after the rival's forehand mistake. Rafa made a fresh start to the third set and clinched a break in the second game.

The Spaniard made a fine hold in the third game after the Swiss' forehand error to open a 3-0 gap and settle into a great rhythm. Nadal served well in the rest of the set and closed the set with a powerful forehand at 5-3 that pushed him two sets to one in front.

Federer came from 40-15 down in the fourth set's second game and created his 17th and last break chance. Nadal saved it with a forehand down the line and held for 1-1. Rafa gained a boost and broke Roger in game three for a massive step toward the finish line.

A service winner pushed Nadal 3-1 up, and he held easily in game six to stay in front. Federer could not do more on the return, and Nadal held in game eight with a forehand winner for 5-3. Roger prolonged the battle with a hold in game nine, and Rafa served for the title at 5-4.

The Spaniard sealed the deal when the Swiss sprayed a forehand error, starting a massive celebration on his third consecutive Roland Garros title at 21!

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