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Rampant Rafa leaves Roger reeling in Paris.

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RAFAEL NADAL destroyed world No.1 Roger Federer and joined super Swede Bjorn Borg as the only man to win four straight titles at Roland Garros last night. The Spaniard stormed to a stunning 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 triumph, in just one hour, 48 minutes. The win was so one-sided, left-hander Nadal took the last nine games in a row to seal his third straight French Open final over the Swiss sensation.

Federer was powerless to stop the barrage of heavy top spin fired at him, and he looked so far from his best as he slumped to a demoralising hiding. Nadal has now won all 28 matches he has played at Roland Garros. He did not drop a set all fortnight, but he was not about to show too much sympathy for his floored opponent.

"Sorry for Roger, but to win here is incredible and especially to win this tournament four times," said the world No.2. For 26-year-old Federer, he will have to wait yet another year to attempt to win a first-ever French title.A He entered Paris looking to join the history makers as just the sixth man to have won all four Grand Slam titles. Instead he leaves with the sorry record of being the only player in Grand Slam history to lose to the same player in three consecutive finals.

But he has promised he will be back next year for another crack at the elusive crown. "I would like to have won more than four games but Rafa has played an incredible tournament and he fully deserves to win," he said. "But I'll be back to try again next year and I am looking forward to the rest of this year."

Crowd favourite Federer got off to the worst possible start when he dropped his serve and then squandered two break points in the following game.

He saved two break points to open his account in the third game, but Nadal stepped on the accelerator, reeling off four games in a row with two more service breaks to take the set 6-1.

Nadal opened the second set with a love service game and broke Federer for the third time in a row as the world No.1's famed forehand badly misfired. There was a brief moment of hope for Federer's many fans as he nailed his first service break of the final and levelled at 2-2. Federer got the crowd going when he had a break point on the Nadal serve to lead 4-3, but failed to take it.

He then let slip a 30-0 lead and Nadal grabbed a vital break on his fourth break point, before serving out for a two sets to love lead. There was no respite for Federer and he promptly dropped his serve to open the third set.A Nadal was in total command bludgeoning Federer with his groundstrokes when he stayed back and rifling his passing shots beyond him when he came into the net.

A sixth break of serve in the third game and Nadal was home and dry. The Spaniard showed no mercy to wrap up a commanding victory.

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 9, 2008
Words:542
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