Rafael Nadal won the 2013 Mutua Madrid Open, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets, 6-2 6-4.
ATP World Tour on Twitter provided the results:
ATP World Tour @ATPWorldTour
. @RafaelNadal beats @stanwawrinka 62 64 in @MutuaMadridOpen final to win 40th clay crown. http://t.co/DlhcZcu5us #atp #tennis2013-5-12 15:25:10
The 26-year-old dominated the match from start to finish, never leaving any doubt as to who the rightful "King of Clay" is.
Although the Swiss challenger tried his hardest to stop him, Nadal pushed his lifetime record against Wawrinka to 9-0. The Spaniard is now 19-0 in total sets against the opponent.
Tennis TV on Twitter captured this image of Nadal:
Tennis TV @TennisTV
Rafa Nadal takes a bite out of his new trophy #atp http://t.co/LreXptr8aC2013-5-12 15:46:04
Nadal effectively utilized his elite topspin and craftiness to dominate the competition in this event, two traits that should seamlessly carry over into the French Open, which begins later this month.
La Caja Magica was the site of this outdoor clay matchup, a fitting locale for Nadal—a Spanish native—to complete his warm-up cycle and prepare for his first Grand Slam appearance since an embarrassing second-round exit at Wimbledon 2012.
This Madrid Open victory signaled Nadal’s seventh consecutive finals appearance and fifth title of the season, continuing his epic comeback since missing approximately seven months with a damaged knee.
Rafa’s triumph over Wawrinka sent a strong message to the rest of the tennis world, letting his competitors know that he is back on top and has a great chance to defend his title at the upcoming French Open.
The 26-year-old simply excels on the clay, as evidenced by his complete domination in the Madrid Open. He'll try to continue that run in a few weeks as he goes for the only Grand Slam title to be played on that surface.
Nadal has an unprecedented seven championships at Roland Garros, and he will be looking to add to that record now that he is healthy and playing at the top of his game.
A win at the 2013 French Open would be the 12th Grand Slam of Nadal’s decorated career.
Nadal is remaining humble about his chances, telling the BBC prior to the Madrid final, "I've only played seven tournaments - I don't know if I'm going to be able to compete to win Roland Garros.” However, he is perfectly primed to defend his title at the French Open, especially after defeating Wawrinka at Madrid.