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January 22, 2023

Between 2005 and 2008, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer forged a great rivalry at Roland Garros, playing the semi-final and three consecutive finals. Nadal emerged victorious from all these matches to establish his supremacy in Paris.

Like in 2005 and 2006, Roger was able to take a set from Rafa in the 2007 final on June 10, but it wasn’t enough for an overall win. Nadal celebrated a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph in three hours and 10 minutes for his third straight Roland Garros crown.

Despite closing the deal in four sets, Rafa had to work hard and produce his best tennis to topple Roger. The Spaniard unrealistically saved 16 out of 17 break points to limit the damage in his games and keep the pressure on the other side.

Roger topped Rafa in the winners department which was insufficient for a better result after spraying nearly 60 unforced errors and missing a chance to force at least one decider. The Spaniard created ten break points and managed four to seal the deal and claim the title with a set loss in seven matches.

Federer avoided longer rallies in his matches, but Nadal ruined his plans after creating a substantial gap in the shortest points up to four strokes. Rafa overpowered Roger by a narrow margin in the wider rallies to secure the win.

It was a good start for the Swiss, as he got two break points in game four with a winning smash. Nadal saved them and held after Federer’s backhand mistake to avoid an early setback. Rafa faced two more break points in the sixth game and saved them with good serves.

Roger squandered the third chance with a forehand error, which would cost him dearly. The Spaniard denied two more break points to bring the game home with a service winner and lock the result at 3-3. Federer paid the price for his mistakes and missed chances on the return, breaking at love in game seven following a loose backhand.

Nadal was again forced to work hard behind the initial shot in the eighth game, fending off three break points and opening a 5-3 gap with a service winner.

Rafael Nadal won the third consecutive Roland Garros title in 2007.

Roger lost serve for the second straight time in the ninth game to give the set to his rival after Rafa’s forehand.

Nadal saved all ten break points in the opener, and he had a boost going into the second set. Rafa held twice at the start of the second set with a powerful forehand cross and missed a break chance in the fourth game. The Swiss had the chance to take the lead at 3-3 after creating three chances of break.

He grabbed the second to forge the lead and survived three break points in the next to open a 5-3 gap and improve his chances. Nadal fended off four set points in the ninth game, but his efforts were in vain as Federer wrapped up the set with a hold in the tenth game.

Rafa made a fresh start in the third set and took a break in the second game. He made another good hold in the third game to build the advantage and send the pressure to the other side. Nadal served well the rest of the set and fired a powerful forehand at 5-3 to clinch it and close in on a title defense.

Roger claimed three straight points in the second game of the fourth set to earn a break chance, his 17th and last of the encounter. Nadal stayed focused and denied it with a forehand down the line. The Spaniard had the momentum and broke in the third game after a loose forehand from the Swiss.

Rafa opened a 3-1 gap with a service winner and held with easy in game six to stay ahead. Nadal took a 5-3 lead with a forehand winner in game eight and served for the title in game ten. Roger sprayed a forehand error on Rafa’s match point, and the Spaniard is fell to the ground and started a massive celebration. Thus, Nadal became the first player with a hat-trick in Paris since Bjorn Borg in the early 80s.

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