Nadal wins 40th clay crown with dominant performance in Madrid

By
Updated: May 12, 2013

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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.

“Forty titles on clay are far more than I ever dreamed of (winning),” Nadal
said.

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.

“I think he started really well,” Wawrinka said. “Even if I’m playing my best
tennis and (am) completely fresh, it’s really, really tough to beat him. It
was tough for me.”

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.