Rezai Takes Madrid, Nadal Number Two
Published: May 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Venus Williams will usurp Caroline Wozniacki's position at number two in the world rankings tomorrow after her performance in the Madrid Open, making the Williams sisters the top two ranked women in the world.
Her opponent in the final, 24th ranked Aravane Rezai, made an incredible run to the finals, beating the likes of Justine Henin and Jelena Jankovic this week. She's showing us how to win here in Madrid, only dropping one set all tournament.
Venus also had a great week of tennis, consecutively beating Vera Zvonereva, Francesca Schiavone, Samantha Stosur, and Shahar Peer just to to claim a spot in the finals.
In the championship match Rezai came out firing, breaking Venus twice in the opening set while hitting only five unforced errors. The second set started to go Venus' way as she broke serve early for a 2-0 lead. There was another exchange of breaks to follow before Venus failed to serve for the set at 5-3, only to drop her next two two service games and allow Rezai to serve out the match for a 6-2, 7-5 win.
The title was only Rezai's third in six appearances. After losing in the first round at Barcelona and the second in Rome, she and Venus are players to watch out for at the French.
In the men's championship match, the classic Federer-Nadal rivalry regained its fire as the two faced off for the first time since this time last year. After losing to Federer here last year, Nadal was hungry for this rematch.
Early in the first set, the two exchanged breaks before Nadal broke again to get the 4-3 lead. The players held serve the remainder of the set, giving Nadal a one set lead. In the second set, increased return pressure by both players caused each to drop serve twice, eventually sending the set to a tiebreak. Federer got the mini break early, but couldn't hold the lead as Nadal went on to win 7-5 to claim the title.
By winning here, Nadal set a new record for most Masters 1000 tournament titles at 18, surpassing Anre Agassi. To add to his record setting performance, Nadal also became the only player to win all three Masters 1000 tournaments on clay in the same year.
By making it to the finals, Venus and Nadal each reclaimed the second spot in the world rankings. Looking towards the French Open in a week's time, the new rankings could possibly set up a Williams sister final or the all-too-awesome Federer-Nadal final.