Madrid, Spain (Sports Network) - Rafael Nadal overpowered Stanislas Wawrinka
with a masterful service game in the Madrid Open final on Sunday.
The fifth-seeded Nadal didn't face a break point while cruising to a 6-2,
6-4 victory on the outdoor red clay court at the Magic Box.
Nadal dropped only seven points on serve and broke the 15th-seeded Wawrinka
three times on 11 opportunities.
The Spaniard captured his 40th career clay title, matching Thomas Muster for
the second-most in the Open Era, and joined Roger Federer as the only other
three-time Madrid champ. He added to his triumphs in 2005 and 2010.
Nadal appeared in his seventh final in as many events this year since
recovering from a left knee injury that sidelined him for seventh months,
improving to 5-2. He claimed his 55th career singles title and a 23rd ATP
Masters 1000 crown, extending his own record.
Wawrinka was under pressure from the get-go, falling behind 0-40 in the
opening game. He battled back to deuce, but Nadal converted his sixth break
point to jump in front.
Nadal closed out the first set with an ace in a love hold.
Wawrinka, who was riding a nine-match winning streak that included a title run
last week in Portugal, forced a deuce in the fourth game of the second set
before Nadal held. The Swiss then fought off three break points to go up 3-2.
After another hold at love, Nadal earned a critical break for a 4-3 lead when
Wawrinka double faulted. The match ended when Wawrinka sent a forehand long.
Nadal has won all 19 sets played in the nine all-time meetings with Wawrinka.
Despite the loss, Wawrinka will still return to the Top 10 of the world
rankings for the first time since Oct. 6, 2008.
The Sports Network