The first became champions: Halep’s debut title and 11th Roland Garros Nadal

A bright victory for Mayu and Herbert

In Paris ended 122nd Roland Garros Draw. At first glance, it ended in a mundane way: victories of the first seeded in singles. This happened in Paris for the first time since 1992. So, Simona Halep won a big trophy for the first time in her career, and Rafael Nadal updated his own record and became the champion for the 11th time. These are the main results of the French Open, but there were other heroes. For example, one of the best stories of the tournament is the victory of Nicolas Mayu and Pierre-Hugues Herbert in doubles. Why? If only because in the first round they played a double matchball against Robert Lindstedt and Marcin Matkowski.

Having passed through the most difficult match, then the hosts of the tournament played out and did not give the opponents a set again. In the final the sixth seeded players beat the second – Oliver Marak and Mate Pavic. The French were stronger with a score of 6: 2, 7: 6 (4) and won their third joint pair “Helmet”. Interestingly, Mayu and Herber have played in the Helmets finals four times, all of which are different. On three occasions, Nicolas and Pierre-South were successful. Thus, they have the US Open, Wimbledon and now Roland Garros in their asset, and only the Australian Open is missing for the complete set. But the 6-year-old son Mayu made this victory really bright, who at the end ran out onto the court, hugged his dad, and then began to dance energetically.

Barbora Kreichikova and Katezhina Sinyakova were successful in women’s doubles. At the start, the Czechs had two difficult meetings: first they won, losing 3: 5 in the third set, and then turned out to be stronger in the decisive tie-break. But since the quarterfinals they have not lost more than three games in the set, and in the final they won Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya – 6: 3, 6: 3. Unseeded Japanese women beat the best pair of the world Timea Babosh / Kristina Mladenovich in the quarterfinals and allowed Elena Vesnina and Ekaterina Makarova to ascend the podium. Now it is the Russians who will lead the pair rating for the first time.

Halep’s long-awaited great success

The issue with the first place in the women’s singles ranking was resolved at the semi-final stage. Simona Halep defeated her direct rival, Garbinje Mugurusu, in a full-time battle. And in the final, she met with Sloane Stevens and hoped for the first time in her career to conquer the Grand Slam tournament. The American, of course, was against: she won six of the six finals in which she participated, and intended to extend the series. As for Halep, she plays average in the finals overall (16 wins in 30 matches), and at the Helmets she lost all three decisive matches.

Halep was nevertheless considered a favorite. Simona is, in principle, a tennis player of a higher level, and she plays much better on clay. Suffice it to say that this is the third time she made it to the Paris final. The key to the victory over Mugurusa in the semifinals was a quick start. This time it turned out the opposite: it was Stevens who played fast attacking tennis in the first set and allowed little to her opponent. Moreover, Sloane took the lead with a break in the second set. Will Halep miss her chance again?

It seemed that the Romanian was making the same mistake that prevented her from winning the trophy in last year’s final: having led 6: 3, 3: 0 with Elena Ostapenko, Halep began to play too carefully and passively. What did Simone change on Saturday, losing 3: 6, 0: 2? She practically stopped making mistakes and began to play a little wider. Stevens, despite generally good movement, makes more mistakes when hitting in motion. And the Romanian woman completely forgot what it means to hit in the corridor or in the net. Quickly winning four games, she moved the final to the third set.

Film There the struggle did not work out. Stevens became nervous, scolded herself and did not understand what to do to get the threads of the game back into their own hands. Halep showed very tenacious tennis, physically she was ready for the final perfectly, which allowed her to reach almost any balls and neutralize Stevens’ attacking potential. With a score of 3: 6, 6: 4, 6: 1, the Romanian woman won her first big trophy and immediately ran to the podium to hug her coach Darren Cahill and her parents. “After the victory, we celebrated my success a bit, then I went to the room, but I still couldn’t stomach this triumph. I slept a little, but I did it with a trophy in my hands “, – said the champion.

Nadal is still king

On Sunday, the men’s final took place, in which the favorite was also obvious. Rafael Nadal has lost only two matches on clay in two seasons – both to Dominic Tim. So who else, if not the Austrian, should have checked Nadal in the main match? However, in reality, no verification was obtained. Interestingly, his coach Gunter Bresnik did not even believe in his ward. Tim, who beat Nadal in a beautiful style a couple of weeks ago in Madrid, played much worse. Rafael, on the other hand, was extremely concentrated and attentive. Short and extra-long rallies ended with mutual success, but in the middle Nadal had a big advantage.

Rafael was just a little more accurate in the game on the back line, and on the reception he clung much more often and more successfully than his opponent. The most interesting was the second set, approximately in the middle. Both tennis players reached the peak of their form and presented the audience with 10 minutes of extra-class games with an abundance of beautiful combinations. But the problem is that Nadal was ready to play like that for the whole match, and Tim only 10 minutes. In fact, at no point in the final did Dominic come close to seizing the initiative. Intrigue suddenly appeared in the very ending, when Nadal’s left hand cramped. “I was in such pain that I just could not take the racket” , – the Spaniard will say later.

A doctor came out onto the court, bandaged his hand and gave the Spaniard some kind of pill. Rafael calmly finished the match in his favor and won the 11th title on the Parisian courts – 6: 4, 6: 3, 6: 2. At the awards ceremony, the Spaniard struggled to keep from crying. He once again proved that during the season he can occasionally lose to someone on clay, but Roland Garros and the five-set format are exclusively his fiefdom. In total, Nadal’s collection now has 17 “Helmets”, three less than Roger Federer. By the way, only these two have won the last six major tournaments.

The soil season is over and the grassy one begins. In a couple of days Federer will play his first match since March – this will happen in Stuttgart. If he wins three meetings, he will become the first racket in the world, but then he will have to defend titles at Halle and at Wimbledon.

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