Tag: French Open odds
At the end of it all, even when the Spaniard is not having his best run, even when he is on the verge of losing his top spot in the ATP rankings, even when a Serb is stealing his thunder; even when he is facing the most successful player in the sports history, Rafael Nadal is going to be ok, for he will always have Paris. Excuse the Casablanca allusion, but its hard not to get excited with what just happened today at Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have played 5 times in the French Open. Four different times have these two player meet in the tournament Final. All of these matches have gone to Rafael Nadal. Federer, who many believe is the best tennist player the world has known, has no answer for Nadal when it comes to the clay courts of the French Open. Let’s not forget that the only year that Federer won at Paris, Rafa Nadal was seriously injured and not in the game.
Nadal is still the King of Clay. Yes, he lost two of the previous clay tournaments to one Novak Djokovic. But he didn’t have to deal with the Djoker on the final. Roger Federer was kind enough to get Djokovic in the semifinals so that when Nadal arrived into the Championship match, it was the Federer Express waiting for him. And as it is usually the case in Paris, Rafael Nadal defeated Roger Federer by 7-5, 7-6 (3), 5-7, 6-1 on Sunday.
Considering that the top ranked Nadal improved his record at Roland Garros to 45-1, and to 17-8 against Federer, one can’t help but to wonder if the slightly cocky Spaniard is writing off his own history in the shadows of Roger Federer. Let’s not forget that in Grand Slam finals, Nadal is 6-2 against the Swiss Maestro. And now, after this win, Nadal has reached double figures in Grand Slams and at 25 years old, the Federer’s 5-year junior is only 6 Grand Slams behind his record breaking 16 tournaments.
Coming into the tournament, Nadal had lost four straight finals to Djokovic. Now we can’t help but to wonder what it would have been like if Novak Djokovic had survived Federer in the semifinals. Because one thing is clear: Federer is the best player as of press time, but Nadal knows exactly what it takes and most importantly, how to deliver it, when playing against Roger Federer. But I can’t help but to wonder if Rafael Nadal knew what it took to beat Novak Djokovic or how to deliver it. And I have the slight impression that had Federer not given Nadal that choice, this article would be about how Novak Djokovic was still holding on to a perfect season and how he had just managed to win his second consecutive Grand Slam.
Here are a couple of pointers we should reconsider. Although Nadal has been almost unbeatable on clay — winning 11-of-13 — he has evolved dramatically on Federer’s favorite surface, the grass at the All England Club. Just as Nadal is the king of clay, there is little argument that Federer rules on the grass fields of Wimbledon. Federer has won six titles in the British Open. But this is where things change. Nadal has managed to improve his game considerably at Wimbledon. After losing the finals to Federer in 2006 and 2007, Nadal took the 2008 final. Likewise, Rafa won his first Australian Open championship in 2009 and his first at the U.S. Open a year ago. If Rafa manages to stay healthy and in the top of his game for another 4-5 years, there is a really good chance that he is going to break all the previous records and get out of Federer’s shadow for good.
The Serb Novak Djokovic had a day off on his quarterfinal round of the French Open after his opponent, Fabio Fognini, had to pull out of the competition due to an injured leg. Fognini injured a muscle in his left leg on his previous match on Sunday against Albert Montanes. He announced on earlier today that he wouldn’t be able to face the unstoppable Novak Djokovic because after a check-up, his doctors advised him no to play as it could be a fairly risky situation.
Novak Djokovic is having a run to remember. And he is just a couple of matches away from making it legendary. His numbers in 2011 are nothing short of spectacular. He has won all of the 41 games he has played this season winning every single tournament he has been into, including the Australian Open. As a matter of fact, Djokovic has won 43 straight matches overall, including the Davis Cup final in 2010 that he won for Serbia.
While trailing 7-6 and serving at 15-30 — meaning Montanes was two points from victory — Fognini hurt his leg. Fognini, on the other hand, beat Montanes 4-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9 to reach his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. He was struggling a lot on Sunday’s game. Fognini winced in pain at the baseline after hitting a serve and show some pain on his left leg. The game was temporarily suspended. He had his leg massaged by his therapist and the game resumed, but eventually the game was suspended again. He had his left thigh wrapped in a bandage before coming back to win the game.
Djokovic’s next match could be against 16-time Grand Slam champion, the legendary Roger Federer. If Djokovic wins his very demanding semifinal match, he would equal John McEnroe’s Open era record for the best start to a tennis season and clinch the No. 1 ranking. I would say that could easily be considered on heck of a n achievement, specially considering that the No. 1 seed, Rafa Nadal seemed unstoppable last season, as he won three Grand Slams. If the Djoker can manage to stitch together three more wins, the second-seeded Serb will match the record of 46 straight wins set by Argentinean Guillermo Vilas.
The two-time Australian Open winner has never been too great on the clay courts. Until this season has come around. Djokovic is expected to have a very tough game against Rafael Nadal for the championship game. Nadal is currently the No. 1 seed in the world and he is going to be defending his 2010 men’s single Championship. It’s a known fact that the Spaniard is a dominant force in the clay. He gets inspired at the Roland Garros. Nadal is the king of clay. But Djokovic has been unstoppable, even in a surface where he is not the strongest. He has won 3 tournaments in this surface so far this season, including wins against Nadal in two of those tournaments final matches.
This is certainly one Roland Garros you are not going to want to miss. There is a lot in stake for both Djokovic and Nadal. And of course one must consider that Federer is still a force to be reckon with when it comes to Grand Slams.