2006 French Open: Nadal defeats Paul Henri Mathieu 5–7, 6–4, 6–4, 6–4

One of Nadal’s most memorable match in Roland Garros.

After two straight sets victories over Robin Soderling and Kevin Kim, Rafa met french clay-court specialist Paul Henri Mathieu (PHM) in the third round of 2006 French Open.

Born and raised in Strasbourg, PHM trained for 3 years at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. Junior French Open champion in 2000, Mathieu is the typical one-dimensional baseline player: he’s able to hit heavy groundstrokes from both wings but he lacks velocity and shot variety.

He played the match of his life against Nadal, but it simply wasn’t enough to beat the defending champion. PHM lost to Rafa in a gruelling encounter which lasted 4 hours and 53 minutes, but only 4 sets and 42 games!

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