Rafael Nadal’s best memory – 2005 edition: First French Open title and the new era


Rafael Nadal’s career is studded with great successes and incredible records: with 19 Slams he is aiming Roger Federer’s record, but the Spaniard has achieved other great goals, such as the twelve triumphs at the Roland Garros and all the titles on clay-courts.

For each season, however, there is a particular goal, an achievement that should be highlighted. The French Open 2005 marked the beginning of a new era in the history of tennis and in the long story the Parisian Slam: Rafael Nadal’s first title on the Philippe Chatrier.

It was the beginning of a kingdom that spread almost fifteen years of tennis history. Nadal’s domination in Paris surpassed those of any other tennis player in any other tournament. Nadal started the French Open as seed no.

4, in the same side of the draw of his nemesis, the world no. 1 Roger Federer. In the first round, Rafa defeated the German Lars Burgsmüller in three sets. He needed three sets also in the second and in the third round, won against Xavier Malisse and Richard Gasquet respectively.

In the fourth round, he defeated Sebastien Grosjean in four sets. In the quarter he eliminated Victor Hanescu in straight sets. At his first Slam semi-final, he challenged Roger Federer, in what was one of the first real and important comparisons between the two players.

Nadal defeated Federer in four sets, reaching his first Slam final. In the Parisian final, he fought and defeated Mariano Puerta in four sets, with the final score of 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-1, 7-5, winning his first Roland Garros and starting a legendary series.

“When I won Roland Garros for the first time, as I always thought to game by game, but I was aware that if I had expressed the level of previous tournaments I would have had a chance. I was very young, I had energy, I played with great intensity at all times important and I was unconscious of when we were very young, a lot of passion.

“In the semi-final with Roger Federer, I played a great match. The final had been complicated but I had the confidence to have won many games. It happened so quickly, to be world no 50 to fight to win Roland Garros. I had received the correct lessons to be ready to continue working with the same enthusiasm,” he said in 2016. Rafael Nadal won 10 titles in 2005.


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