Whenever great tennis rivalries are mentioned, the great matches between Jimmy Connors/John McEnroe, McEnroe/Bjorn Borg, McEnroe/Ivan Lendl, Martina Navratilova/Chris Evert and Andre Agassi/Pete Sampras come to mind. These rivalries caught the attention of the world and helped to grow the great sport of tennis worldwide.
Later today another great rivalry will be renewed as Rafael Nadal faces Roger Federer in the finals of the French Open. For the sixth time these two great champions will be squaring off in a Grand Slam Final and I for one can’t wait for the fireworks to happen!
Nadal is the odds on favorite to win this match. Throughout his career Nadal has dominated Federer on clay (and just about everywhere else) so it isn’t that much off a stretch to expect Nadal to win his 10th Grand Slam this afternoon.
Throughout this fortnight Federer has appeared relaxed and confident, as if he’s playing on a cloud. The graceful, elegant style that vaulted Federer to fame seems to have returned and he’ll need all of that and plenty more in order to defeat Nadal this afternoon.
For Nadal to succeed today he will need to engage Federer in long points by creating vicious angles to the Federer backhand with his buggy whip forehand and keep Roger on the run. From there it’s just a matter of putting the ball away with a volley or a drop shot. If Nadal is able to do this he will win this tournament.
Federer has his work cut out for him today but one thing I’ve noticed is that he’s playing as if he has nothing to lose….and he really doesn’t. No one expected him to get this far but he can win this thing. He’ll need to hammer away at the Nadal backhand and utilize his legendary all-court game to frustrate Nadal into making unforced errors. Easier said then done but if there is one man to be able to beat Nadal here at Roland Garros it is Roger Federer.
Enjoy the rivalry while it lasts tennis fans!
Prediction: Federer in five.