Madrid: The Spanish press on Monday hailed the return of Rafael Nadal, who regained the French Open crown to secure his fifth title on the Paris clay and reclaim his spot atop the men’s world rankings.
The Spaniard saw off Robin Soderling 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 in the Roland Garros final on Sunday to avenge his fourth-round defeat against the same player in 2009, his first and only career loss at the event.
Nadal “reigns once again on the Paris clay and over world tennis,” headlined the daily El Pais, under a photo of the champion stretched out on the clay of the Philippe Chatrier court just after his victory.
“The match reflected the tournament during which Nadal didn’t lose a set,” and regained the number one spot from Roger Federer, the newspaper continued.
Nadal “back on his throne,” headlined the daily El Mundo. “One year on, in front of a public more generous than ever, the Spaniard returns to the summit,” the newspaper continued.
For ABC, Nadal “reconquers Paris after a year of agony”.
“Only Nadal himself and his entourage believed in his recovery,” the newspaper added, referring to a year blighted by injury and personal setbacks for the 24-year-old star.
Sports dailies AS and Marca, who rarely give over the front page to anything other than football, made an exception for the Grand Slam winner.
For AS, “Paris pays hommage to the master of clay,” while Marca asserted that Nadal “is still the King”.
Catalan sports daily Mundo Deportivo warned that “the great Nadal is back”.
“He gave an exhibition in tennis against Soderling,” the newspaper added.