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Nadal beats Soderling for 5th French Open title

By The Assam Tribune

PARIS, June 6 (Agencies): Rafael Nadal reclaimed his crown as the King of Clay on Sunday, and he did it with dogged defense.

Chasing down shots all over the court, the relentless Spaniard won his fifth French Open title and avenged his lone Roland Garros defeat, beating Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal improved to 38-1 at Roland Garros, with the only loss to Soderling in the fourth round a year ago.

Soderling, who has yet to win a major title, finished as the runner-up for the second year in a row. In 2009 he lost in the final to Roger Federer.

Seeded No. 2, Nadal won seven consecutive games midway through the match and held every serve, saving all eight break points he faced. He became the second man to win the French Open at least five times, and next year he�ll have a chance to match Bjorn Borg�s record of six titles.

With the victory, Nadal will move to the top of the rankings Monday, supplanting Federer.

The weather was mild and mostly cloudy � a nice day to go running, and Nadal did plenty of it. Playing farther behind the baseline than in their match last year, he skidded across the clay and lunged to dig shots out of the corners, repeatedly extending points until Soderling finally misfired.

The big-swinging Soderling tried to win points quickly and sometimes did, but most of the long rallies went Nadal�s way. Before the first set ended, the Swede was panting between points.

To compound Soderling�s woes, he had an off day with his serve, his biggest weapon. He totaled only seven aces, the same number as his opponent.

Nadal�s march to his seventh Grand Slam title was deliberate only between points. Advised by the chair umpire he was taking too much time with his methodical ritual before serving, Nadal responded, �Thank you,� and slightly picked up the pace.

Nadal�s persistence paid off big early in the second set. Facing a break point, he retrieved shots from both corners and punched back a Soderling slam, then charged forward and hit a deft drop volley for a winner. The stadium shook with a roar, and Nadal threw an uppercut accompanied by a leg kick.

Another eye-popping sequence came three games later. Nadal slid into the corner beyond the doubles service line to hit a forehand winner that left Soderling shaking his head. On the next point, Nadal raced to the other side and yanked a lunging backhand crosscourt for another winner.

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Nadal beats Soderling for 5th French Open title

PARIS, June 6 (Agencies): Rafael Nadal reclaimed his crown as the King of Clay on Sunday, and he did it with dogged defense.

Chasing down shots all over the court, the relentless Spaniard won his fifth French Open title and avenged his lone Roland Garros defeat, beating Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4.

Nadal improved to 38-1 at Roland Garros, with the only loss to Soderling in the fourth round a year ago.

Soderling, who has yet to win a major title, finished as the runner-up for the second year in a row. In 2009 he lost in the final to Roger Federer.

Seeded No. 2, Nadal won seven consecutive games midway through the match and held every serve, saving all eight break points he faced. He became the second man to win the French Open at least five times, and next year he�ll have a chance to match Bjorn Borg�s record of six titles.

With the victory, Nadal will move to the top of the rankings Monday, supplanting Federer.

The weather was mild and mostly cloudy � a nice day to go running, and Nadal did plenty of it. Playing farther behind the baseline than in their match last year, he skidded across the clay and lunged to dig shots out of the corners, repeatedly extending points until Soderling finally misfired.

The big-swinging Soderling tried to win points quickly and sometimes did, but most of the long rallies went Nadal�s way. Before the first set ended, the Swede was panting between points.

To compound Soderling�s woes, he had an off day with his serve, his biggest weapon. He totaled only seven aces, the same number as his opponent.

Nadal�s march to his seventh Grand Slam title was deliberate only between points. Advised by the chair umpire he was taking too much time with his methodical ritual before serving, Nadal responded, �Thank you,� and slightly picked up the pace.

Nadal�s persistence paid off big early in the second set. Facing a break point, he retrieved shots from both corners and punched back a Soderling slam, then charged forward and hit a deft drop volley for a winner. The stadium shook with a roar, and Nadal threw an uppercut accompanied by a leg kick.

Another eye-popping sequence came three games later. Nadal slid into the corner beyond the doubles service line to hit a forehand winner that left Soderling shaking his head. On the next point, Nadal raced to the other side and yanked a lunging backhand crosscourt for another winner.