Roland Garros Re-Lived 2005: Rafael Nadal – The Dominance Begins

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer first met in a Grand Slam in the semi-finals of the 2005 French Open when the tone for their rivalry on clay, and Nadal’s dominance at Roland Garros, was set. Nadal won in four sets and then won the title two days later against Mariano Puerta.

In what way did Federer have the tennis world transfixed during this period? Did that cause people to underestimate Nadal in their matches? And what were the keys to victory for Nadal?

Mary Carillo explains what made the Nadal-Federer match-up so one-sided in the early days and reveals how she felt covering their many duels in Paris. 

Finally, after Christopher Clarey puts Nadal’s record of 12 French Open titles into context, we reflect on his extraordinary achievements at Roland Garros.

The Tennis Podcast is presented by Catherine Whitaker and David Law, featuring Matt Roberts. It is produced weekly year-round, and daily during the Grand Slam tournaments. It is crowdfunded by listeners each December.  


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We are producing daily shows throughout the original Roland Garros dates, looking back on 15 classic matches and stories from the tournament’s history. Tomorrow’s focus will be Robin Soderling’s run in 2009, including his historic victory over Rafael Nadal (Set 1, Set 2, Set 3, Highlights) and his final versus Roger Federer (highlights). We will also be doing editions for Wimbledon.


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