Preposterous? Nadal and Barty win Roland Garros

OK, Roland Garros is over. Finished. Done. It is on the grass now, most of it is in England. There is almost clay throughout the year, and the same thing goes with the hardcourts. But before thinking about the famous Wimbledon, there are a few thoughts about the French Open champions Rafa Nadal and Ash Barty, and others, too.

So, let us do it.

Nadal has won 12 majors in Paris. When he came into the tournament, the Spaniard wasn’t sure that if he would be hurt, which he has done it many times, then maybe he would lose. But, he really knows what he has to do, pay attention all the time, don’t even think about how sore his shaky legs, and swing hard.

Many people have to try to out-think him, to get into his brain. But at RG, Nadal cracked Roger Federer and Dominic Thiem. Those two cannot shake him. Once again, he pushed Federer to the left and the right, and down the middle. Nadal would pass him, or he would nail a winner with his huge forehand.

In the final, against Thiem, he knew that in the first couple hours, the Austrian would attack him frequently, and he would mix it up, too. They split the first two sets, but in the third set, Nadal began to punch away. He made very few errors, while Thiem became too anxious, and he was confused. He was done. Nadal beat him 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-1, and now he was thrilled, a new record that may well never be broken.

In the last five years, Nadal has played great tennis, from 2017 until now, but in 2015-2016 he also had to stop for months because he frequently was injured. But he just moves on, and he pushes himself and improves. He recovered, and on clay, in the past year and a half, he won Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Rome and Roland Garros. Also, on the hardcourts, he won the ATP 1000 in Canada in 2018.

The question is, can he win Wimbledon again? The last time he did was in 2010 — 10 years ago, when he beat Roger Federer and Tomas Berdych. If his legs are fine, Nadal definitely have a good shot.

A new Australian champion
Four years ago, Ashleigh Barty wasn’t playing tennis anymore. She quit for a couple years, playing professional cricket, to be at home in Australia. Then, she came back in 2017, and gradually, she was much more tranquil and steady. Even last year, you could tell that she had a tremendous variety. She was strong, fast and patient. At Roland Garros, she smoked the very young Czech, Marketa Vondrousova, 6-1 6-3, in the final. Barty went out for the first time in the final and dived in. She was perfect.

Now she is ranked No. 2, and she is very close to the top spot, right behind Naomi Osaka. After Wimbledon, both of them can be No. 1. That should be preposterous— and fun.

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