Nadal, Barty win French Open sin­gles

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS -

PARIS — Rafael Nadal reached an­other ten­nis mile­stone with a rather un­sur­pris­ing 12th French Open ti­tle and was a lit­tle lucky to stay out of all sched­ul­ing and weather trou­ble.

The Span­ish great is the first ten­nis player to make it a dozen sin­gles ti­tles at one grand slam, sur­pass­ing the 11 ti­tles Aus­tralian Mar­garet Court won at the Aus­tralian Open.

Court was also men­tioned at the end of an upset-filled women’s tourno be­cause her 1973 suc­cess was the last for an Aus­tralian woman un­til Ash Barty lifted the Coupe Suzanne Len­glen for her first ti­tle at the ma­jors.

These days Court has be­come highly con­tro­ver­sial over her crit­i­cism of LGBTI rights and same-sex mar­riage in Aus­tralia.

Paris or­ga­niz­ers mean­while faced crit­i­cism over not sched­ul­ing the women’s semi-fi­nals on cen­tre court on Fri­day, named “in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­fair” by the women’s tour WTA, and even­tual run­ner-up Mar­keta Von­drousova nam­ing it “weird.”

There were also raised eye­brows when a men’s semi on the same day was ad­journed un­til Satur­day in the third set al­though it ap­peared that No­vak Djokovic and Do­minic Thiem could have played on de­spite gale-force winds as no more rain fell.

Tour­na­ment direc­tor Guy For­get in­sisted putting the women on the smaller show-courts was “not a down­grad­ing” but “the best-pos­si­ble so­lu­tion ac­cord­ing to the emer­gency” and that winds of up to 80kph and fore­cast rain

had left them with no choice on the men’s side.

It was how­ever the last time Roland Gar­ros has faced such prob­lems as a cen­tre-court roof will be in­stalled for next year’s edi­tion.

The sched­ul­ing prob­lems arose from a full day of rain Wed­nes­day which cre­ated a back­log — from which Nadal was bliss­fully spared.

He had al­ready won his quar­ter-fi­nal against Kei Nishikori Tues­day, and on Fri­day also made short work of re­turn­ing Roger Fed­erer be­fore the con­di­tions se­ri­ously de­te­ri­o­rated.

Thiem by con­trast played his quar­ter­fi­nal against Karen Khachanov Thurs­day and his semi Fri­day and Satur­day over five sets against Djokovic to meet Nadal in the de­cider as 12 months ago.

This time around he at least won a set but Nadal was his ruth­less self by win­ning 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

“It’s a dream. To play for the first time in 2005 — never thought in 2019 I’d still be here. It’s an in­cred­i­ble mo­ment and very spe­cial for me,” Nadal said.

Nadal was a top at­trac­tion as usual due to his ex­tra­or­di­nary Roland Gar­ros record, but fans also adored the 20-time grand slam cham­pion Fed­erer in his re­turn to Paris for the first time since 2015.

Fed­erer ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions by mak­ing the fi­nal four af­ter beat­ing fel­low-Swiss

Stan Wawrinka who how­ever pro­duced the match of the tour­na­ment when he ousted ris­ing Greek six seed Ste­fanos Tsit­si­pas 8-6 in the fi­nal set of a thriller that lasted over five hours.

“To re­turn to the clay, it’s not like it’s been a shocker,” Fed­erer said. “I thought it was a great tour­na­ment. I re­ally en­joyed it. Crowd sup­port couldn’t have been bet­ter. Maybe one of the best ever in my en­tire 20-year ca­reer that I have been on tour at a slam.”

While the men’s top four seeds reached the semi-fi­nals, the wide open women’s tour­na­ment was full of with­drawals and sur­prise re­sults be­fore eight seed Barty beat the 19-year-old Von­drousova in their first ever grand slam fi­nal, 6-1, 6-3.

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