This year’s French Open men’s champion had much riding on the outcome.
Rafael Nadal stormed the grounds of Stade Roland Garros to defend his only Grand Slam title of 2011.
Diminishing Nadal’s tennis aura throughout 2011 was the Serb Novak Djokovic, who needed to win this title in Paris to complete his career Grand Slam—just as Roger Federer attempted in 2006 and 2007.
Nadal turned the great Swiss back, denying him his due just as he would Djokovic in 2012.
No other man during the Open era has dominated a surface more than Rafael Nadal.
Nadal has become the great clay master.
Greatest of his achievements on the red clay, however, are displayed on Court Phillippe Chatrier, where Nadal has suffered defeat only once since 2005.
Nadal’s journey to seven Grand Slam titles on the clay of Stade Roland Garros unfolded as almost total domination starting back when the current world No. 2 was a teenager...