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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 June 2007, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK
Nadal playing 'better than ever'
Rafael Nadal
Nadal has never lost a five-set match on clay
Rafael Nadal says he played the best tennis of his career to win a third successive French Open title.

The 21-year-old Spaniard beat world number one Roger Federer 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4 in Sunday's final in Paris.

"I think I have just played my best Roland Garros," said Nadal. "I am a more complete player.

"I can go to the net, I can be more aggressive with my forehand and I have improved a bit with my backhand. I feel better this year than last year."

Nadal became the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win at Roland Garros three years running and extended his unbeaten run at the French Open to 21 matches.

"Three Grand Slams is a dream," he said. "When I started the season, I was not playing very well. I could not imagine moments like this.

"I am happy with my game and my season. I have said it before, this is my best season on clay."

If I had won I would not have had many other goals to chase in my career

Roger Federer
The Mallorcan was helped by an erratic display from top seed Federer in the final.

"He had some mistakes, and that helped me a little bit," said Nadal. "Finals are difficult to play in. It's a lot of pressure and a lot of things are going on in your mind.

"Roger sometimes plays very, very aggressive with his forehand and the truth is, yes, he made more mistakes than usual but I played well with my forehand and served well."

Federer converted just one of 17 break points and missed 10 in the first set alone.

"The bad thing was that I missed too many opportunities," said the Swiss player.

"That ruffled me in the end and I was disappointed I could not turn it around, and the bad start to the third set killed me, but you have to look at your opponent.

"Rafa is the toughest guy on clay and is tough to beat on break points. It's easy to create chances but you have to convert them. He played an excellent match and he deserved to win.

606: DEBATE

"He played consistently all the way through and made it tough for me. I can't say my forehand, backhand or volleys were bad."

And the 10-time Grand Slam winner looked on the bright side after his failure to collect the only major title missing from his collection.

"If I had won I would not have had many other goals to chase in my career," he said. "Like this it always stays open and eventually, if I get it, the sweeter it is going to taste.

"So hopefully I'll give myself more and more opportunities over and over again. I know I can do it now, that's for sure.

"It goes in phases, but I am right in my prime. I don't think my window is getting smaller. I'm still confident I can win here."

SEE ALSO
Federer v Nadal as it happened
10 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Lloyd on Nadal
10 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Roland Garros photos
10 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
22 May 07 |  Tennis
Contact the BBC TV tennis team
24 May 07 |  Tennis
Women's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis
Men's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis


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