Rafa Nadal, Williams send out French Open messages
MADRID - Agence France-Presse
Spanish superstar Rafael Nadal has won his fifth 2013 title in ATP Madrid. REUTERS photoRafael Nadal and Serena Williams firmed up their credentials as French Open favorites by sweeping to victory in Madrid.
Nadal eased to his fifth title in just seven tournaments since returning from a seven-month injury layoff due to tendinitis in his left knee as he beat Stanislas Wawrinka 6-2, 6-4 in little over an hour to claim his third title in the Spanish capital.
Having also won on the clay in Sao Paulo, Acapulco and Barcelona this season, the 11-time Grand Slam champion looks well set for a tilt at an eighth French Open crown at Roland Garros.
“It’s true these last matches I have been able to reach that goal, that line, that place where I want to be playing, the kind of play that I’m aiming for,” he said.
However, Nadal refused to accept that he is the clear favorite for Roland Garros.
“Next week I will be in Rome and I will be thinking about Rome. I won’t be thinking Roland Garros,” said Nadal.
Williams, meanwhile, has a second title at Roland Garros firmly in her sights as she claimed a title on the red clay for the first time 11 years ago.
“This court definitely plays more like Roland Garros, so I think that’s a plus. It’s a little slower than it was last year and plays more like a true clay court so I think it’s great preparation,” said Williams who now has 50 career titles.