The pre-match analysis here said, “Statistically, Ferrer has played the best tournament of his career at a major – he’s played perfect clay court tennis against a variety of opponent’s who have games that are better suited to other surfaces. He has played solid, consistent, relatively conservative tennis, keeping the ball deep in the court, making it difficult for his opponents to attack and taking his chances when he has an obvious opening. Unfortunately for Ferrer, that style of play will not beat Nadal.”
“Nadal has played his way into this final by digging out matches against aggressive players with big games and big shots with the exception of Kei Nishikori who Nadal knocked off in straight sets losing a total of 8 games. The 7 time champion here has proven that he can handle whatever the opposition throws at him – even coming back in the 5th set against the number one ranked player in the world. Ferrer has nothing to scare him with.”
“Nadal has more power and aggression than Ferrer, Rafa’s high kicking forehand will make life difficult for the 5′ 9″ Ferrer – especially on his two handed backhand side – and will create many short balls that Nadal can attack. Ferrer’s only real chance is if Nadal is not on his game physically. Ferrer does not have the game to beat Nadal, he must hope that he’s still on the court when Nadal loses.”
So what happened?
Nadal dominated in pretty much every aspect of the match. He broke Ferrer’s serve 8 times in 13 service games. Nadal had more winners (35 to 22), fewer unforced errors (25 to 35), hit more first serves in play (70% to 62%) and won more points on both first and second serves than Ferrer. Nadal was able to overpower Ferrer with his serve and his forehand and won many more of the quick points with his high kicking serve and tough returns.
Ferrer put up a good fight but just didn’t have the weapons to do what he wanted to against the now 8 time Roland Garros champion. Ferrer wanted to be aggressive, attack off the ground and finish points at net. But more often it was Nadal’s heavy topspin that created the attacking opportunity and Ferrer was forced to play defense. Nadal started a bit slow but Ferrer was not able to take advantage early and as the match progressed the weight of Nadal’s strokes took their toll.
Nadal def. Ferrer 6-3, 6-2, 6-3 in 2 hours 16 minutes