2010 French Open – Nadal Beats Meltzer to Reach Final

Roland Garros 2010Rafael Nadal is back where he belongs, after losing in the 4th round of last years French Open, Rafael Nadal has now earned the chance to avenge that defeat by Robin Soderling in the final of 2010 French Open.

Nadal beat the Austrian 22nd seed Jurgen Melzer with a comfortable 6-2 6-3 7-6 (8-6) win in just over two hours.

Nadal’s clay court record now for 2010 is played 21, won 21. After his semi final win the Spaniard spoke to the international press

I think I played my best match today here in Roland Garros, 2010. First two sets I played really well and with my serve I played well all the time, with the forehand too. And with the backhand I am playing better and better every day, but I can improve a little bit more.

Nadal had so far not even dropped a set this year in Paris and with surprise semi-finalist Melzer, he wasnt expected to be troubled today. Meltzer was appearing in his first Grand Slam semi-final and had won just 8 games in two previous meetings with Nadal.

Despite Melzer attacking from the start,  the heavy topspin from Nadal broke the Austrian down and the Spaniard made his first breakthrough in game six when a steady pressure brought about three break points and Melzer lost the game with a double-fault. The result was rarely in doubt after that, Nadal went onto secure the second set and although Melzer kept the second set interesting it was in vain and with searing afternoon heat intensifying Nadal secured the second set.

The third set was a much closer affair with Melzer breaking back with  Nadal serving for the match, Melzer’s had comeback from two sets down against Novak Djokovic in the quarter-final and the  crowd on Chatrier came to life as they sensed an amazing comeback could be on. The Austrian forced the tie break and Nadal found himself drawn into a real contest when he double-faulted at 3-3 but found inspiration when he needed it, sending up a magnificent backhand lob to level at 4-4.

Melzer would not go away though and saved 2 match points, but at 6-6 Nadal made a powerful forehand winner and Nadal secured the set on his third match point.

Should Nadal win on Sunday he will become second on the list of French Open winner with five and only be one behind Bjorn Borg’s six titles. The other carrot dangling in front of Nadal is the world number 1 spot, the Spaniard will retake the no.1 spot with victory tomorrow and with no major points to defend in the next 6 months he will likely remain there until at least the end on 2010 – This is highly significant as Federer will be one week short of matching Pete Sampras’s record of 286 weeks at the top, with Nadal on top again, will Federer ever be world number 1 again.

Though in his way is Robin Soderling – the man who inflicted upon him a first and only Roland Garros defeat in the fourth round last year.