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Rafael Nadal won his third straight major title tonight, battling through heat, wind, rain, delays, and a game Novak Djokovic over the course of the past fortnight, slashing his way to the title with the loss of only one set. As a result, he now has assembled a career Grand Slam, just over a year after his rival Roger Federer accomplished the same thing. Particularly impressive about the Spaniard in this event were the new dimensions in his game that didn't exist a year ago: a much more formidable serve, greater comfort attacking the net and finishing points with both touch and firm volleys, and the versatility of his underspin backhand.

The slower surface in Melbourne is even better for Nadal's game--he won there in 2009--which means he might be able to hold all four Slam crowns at once (though technically would not constitute the traditional "Grand Slam," since the titles would be spread over two calendar years).


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