Roland Garros 2014 final

Thanks a lot to Simon for sharing his pictures and feelings on Nadal‘s triumph:

Since our tickets are the cheapest, we sat waaaay up and in the corner. However, it was still an amazing experience since court PC is cozy. As a Rafa fans and with Rafa struggling during clay court season, we had doubts if we would see him in semis and final, haha! Needless to say, the final was even more nail-biting! First time seeing Rafa in a Slam final live was mesmerizing!! I’m surprised there are so many chanting. Basically after every point, someone yelled out something. The atmosphere was simply unbelievable. Of course, it was even greater that Rafa prevailed and won his 9th RG title!! I am feeling blessed that I get to see this moment :)))))

Nadal vs Djokovic

Nadal vs Djokovic
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Maria Sharapova

That’s a Roland Garros tradition: every year French Open winners pose with their trophy in front of the Eiffel Tower for the delight of the photographs and the fans. Thanks to Loic, enjoy some pictures of Maria Sharapova, radiant after her hard-fought victory over Simona Halep.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

Rafael Nadal’s road to the final

Rafael Nadal

Round Opponent Score
R1 Robby Ginepri 6-0 6-3 6-0
R2 Dominic Thiem 6-2 6-2 6-3
R3 Leonardo Mayer 6-2 7-5 6-2
R4 Dusan Lajovic 6-1 6-2 6-1
QF David Ferrer 4-6 6-4 6-0 6-1
SF Ernests Gulbis 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-3
Novak Djokovic’s road to the final

Novak Djokovic

Round Opponent Score
R1 Joao Sousa 6-1 6-2 6-4
R2 Jérémy Chardy 6-1 6-4 6-2
R3 Marin Cilic 6-3 6-2 6-7 6-4
R4 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-1 6-4 6-1
QF Milos Raonic 7-5 7-6 6-4
SF Ernests Gulbis 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-3

Who will win between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic? Please share your thoughts.

Who will win Roland Garros 2014?

  • Rafael Nadal (40%, 108 Votes)
  • Novak Djokovic (29%, 79 Votes)
  • Roger Federer (21%, 57 Votes)
  • Stanislas Wawrinka (4%, 10 Votes)
  • Other (2%, 6 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (1%, 4 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (1%, 3 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (1%, 2 Votes)
  • John Isner (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Richard Gasquet (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 269

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McEnroe and Lendl, Roland Garros 84

Roland Garros has proven to be the most challenging tournament for some of the greatest players of the Open era, especially for those part of that now extinguished specie of serve and volley players. Let’s have have a look at the 5 best male players to never win Roland Garros:

John McEnroe

Grand Slam titles: 7
Best result at Roland Garros: final (1984)

82 wins, three defeats – that was the amazing record posted by John McEnroe in 1984 en route to one of the most incredible seasons ever in the Open era. And yet one of those three defeats – the final here at Roland Garros – has become legendary.

It was the worst loss of my life, a devastating defeat: sometimes it still keeps me up nights.
It’s even tough for me to do the commentary at the French – I’ll often have one or two days when I literally feel sick to my stomach just at being there and thinking about that match. Thinking of what I threw away, and how different my life would’ve been if I’d won.

By making it to the final, McEnroe had racked up 42 consecutive victories, thrashing Jimmy Connors 7-5 6-1 6-2 in the semis. He was the huge favourite in this French Open final against Lendl, who was still seeking his first Grand Slam title at the age of 24. In the final McEnroe played beautifully to take the first two sets from Ivan Lendl in a little more than an hour. But McEnroe, distracted by courtside noises from a cameraman’s headset, lost his momentum. His temper took over as the Czech fought back to win in five sets and capture his first Grand Slam title.
McEnroe went on the win at Wimbledon and the US Open in 1984, but he would never get another opportunity to win Roland Garros.

Read what McEnroe said about this legendary final in his autobiography

Stefan Edberg

Grand Slam titles: 6
Best result at Roland Garros: final (1989)

Stefan Edberg‘s defeat in the 1989 final is perhaps even crueler than McEnroe’s defeat to Lendl in 1984, as he lost to a player who would never win a Grand Slam title again, Michael Chang.
With already three Grand Slams under his belt, Edberg was heavy favorite, despite the 17 yr old American’s incredible heroics en route to the final.The Swede led by two sets to one but could not finish it off and Chang became the youngest male player ever to win a Grand Slam title.

It was my great chance to win the French Open. Looking back, it was probably a match that I should have won with the chances that I had in the fourth set, but I should have been able to get out of that trouble. At the time, I thought I would get more chances to win the French Open, but I never did.

Read more on Chang’s victory in this portait by Rex Bellamy

Jimmy Connors

Grand Slam titles: 8
Best result at Roland Garros: semifinals (1979, 1980, 1984, 1985)

In 1974, Connors was among the players barred from Paris because they had agreed to play World Team Tennis, an American team competition which Philippe Chatrier, president of the French Federation, regarded as a “circus”. He had a stunning 99–4 record that year and won 15 tournaments, including all the Grand Slam singles titles except the French Open. His exclusion from the French Open may have prevented him from becoming the first man player since Rod Laver to win all four Major singles titles in a calendar year.

Although I’d missed the French Open for five years (it took four years for me to get rid of my anger and frustration after being banned in 1974), I always knew Roland Garros suited me. Not the surface or the balls they used, which slowed everything down too much for my game, but the atmosphere. It was hot, dirty, close and noisy… and I loved it. You had to be ready to grind it out. I’d buy a ticket for that any day.

Connors made the semifinals four times (1979, 1980, 1984, 1985) and the quarterfinals another four times, but one of his most memorable match at Roland Garros is probably his third round loss to Michael Chang in 1991. Read about it here.

Boris Becker

Grand Slam titles: 6
Best result at Roland Garros: semifinals (1987, 1989, 1991)

Despite his 49 career titles, Boris Becker never won a clay court tournament, his best result being a defeat to Alberto Mancini in Monte Carlo’s final in 1989. That same year, Becker had his best chance at Roland Garros but lost (ironically) to a serve and volley player, Stefan Edberg:

I reached the semi-final three times, playing on a surface on which my main opponent was always myself. My game plan has always been to attack; that’s in my nature. On clay, however, the aim is to make fewer mistakes than your opponent. Paris is won by those who minimize risks and who hang on in there for four or more hours. Once I was very close to victory – against Edberg in 1989 – but it didn’t happen. I lost the fifth set 2-6

Pete Sampras

Grand Slam titles: 14
Best result at Roland Garros: semifinals (1996)

One month after the death of his longtime coach Tim Gullikson, Pete Sampras reached the semifinals at Roland Garros, his best result ever on the Parisian red clay. On the way to the semifinals he beat two time winners Sergi Bruguera and Jim Courier.

When I hit the wall against Kafelnikov, and felt my dream – our dream – blow up in my face, it really did sink in. Tim was gone. Our dream was gone. It was gone for good.

Dominant on hard courts and grass, Sampras was just a pale copy of himself on clay. Winner of three clay titles overall (Kitzbuhel in 1992, Rome in 1994 and Atlanta in 1998), he just couldn’t adapt his game to this surface. After his 1996 semifinal, he seemed to give up any hope to win Roland Garros, but later admitted he should have done better.

I could have worked a little harder. I mean I worked hard but you always look back at your career and feel I should have done.

Read what Pete Sampras wrote in his autobiography about his 1996 run through the semifinals

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal reached his ninth French Open final after his 6-3 6-2 6-1 demolition of Andy Murray on Friday.

Andy Murray:

He played a great match. He missed hardly any balls. He served very well. His forehand, especially with the conditions the way they were today, was incredibly hard to control. As soon as he was inside the court he was hitting the ball so close to the line.

Toni Nadal:

I think he played one of his best matches at Roland Garros

Nadal will face Djokovic who ousted Gulbis in the other semifinal. Nadal and Djokovic will face for the 42nd time on Sunday, the Serbian has won their last 4 meetings. So, who’s your favorite for the final Rafa or Novak?

Roland Garros 2014 - Rafael Nadal & Andy Murray 01

Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal

Roland Garros 2014 - Rafael Nadal 05

Roland Garros 2014 - Rafael Nadal 06

Andy Murray

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rolland Garros 2014 - Rafael Nadal & Andy Murray 02

Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray

Rafael Nadal

Andy Murray

Rafael Nadal

Thanks a lot to Jérôme Chainay for the pictures!

Novak Djokovic

Djokovic cruised through the first two sets 6-3 6-3 and then suddenly seemed to suffer physically in the third set that he lost 6-3. He refocused in the fourth set to advance to the French Open final for the second time of his career:

The first two sets went well. Then suddenly midway through the third set I started to feel physically fatigued a little bit, and you could feel that.
I’m going to have now two days of recovery and get ready for the final.

If he wins against Nadal on Suday, he’ll become the eighth man in tennis history to complete a career Grand Slam, and will also return to No. 1.

First time Grand Slam semifinal Gulbis said he struggled with tiredness and tension during the match:

The difference in the match was, first of all, I’m not used to playing these kind of big matches. It’s just normal I felt extra nervous and extra tense. I can take one positive side out of the match: that I could still win a third set feeling that nervous and that extra tired, and I saw that he was feeling the same. So, it’s not only me.

Following his good results in Paris, Gulbis will enter the top 10 for the first time of his troubled career.

Rolland Garros 2014 - Novak Djokovic 01

Rolland Garros 2014 - Novak Djokovic 02

Rolland Garros 2014 - Ernests Gulbis 02

Rolland Garros 2014 - Novak Djokovic 04

Rolland Garros 2014 - Ernests Gulbis 03

Amélie Mauresmo

Ernests Gulbis

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Ernests Gulbis

Novak Djokovic 

Novak Djokovic and Ernests Gulbis

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic

Thanks a lot to Jérôme Chainay for the pictures!