Monday, June 4, 2007

Quelling the Doubts

Rafael Nadal is quite intent on winning his third straight French Open.

Two weeks after pulling out a closer-than-comfortable win over Lleyton Hewitt in Hamburg, Nadal made quick work of the clay-savvy Australian, downing him in straight sets today 6-3 6-1 7-6(5).

After turning 21 last Friday, Nadal has strode into his new year with confidence and, with the win over Hewitt, a spot in the quarterfinals against childhood mentor Carlos Moya.

For Rafael Nadal to win a third-straight French Open title will take not only a continuation of said confidence and on-court success, but will most likely require a win over Mr. Federer, a daunting task after their encounter just weeks ago - in which Federer won.

Coming into Roland Garros, Nadal's star seemed to be fading a bit - his streak stopped at 81 - and his clay persona somewhat human. Meanwhile, Federer's star was on the rise, ending his skid on clay and against Mr. Nadal.

With both playing tremendously throughout this tournament, a meeting in the finals will only be appropriate. Just who will come through?

2 comments:

Troy said...

Even though Davydenko took out Willy Canas, Federer's two time 'dragon slayer,' he doesn't even think he has a chance against Federer. And let's face it he probably doesn't - but I wouldn't announce that if I was Nicky.

So a Federer-Nadal final is pretty much guaranteed. It all depends on the aftermath of the Hamburg final. Will Federer's re-established confidence outweigh Rafa's thirst for revenge.

If Rafa loses, they could just arm wrestle.

Nick - who's your pick?

Nick McCarvel said...

Yes, Davydenko will get squished like a bug into the dirty red clay.

I still like Djokovic a lot in the semis. He was my original pick to get into the finals and I still feel like if he's on and Rafa's not, we might see a new Prince of Dirt emerge.

However, Nadal has been charging like a bull through his part of the draw, just like Federer through his.

My only hope, if it is a Nadal-Fed final, is that we get a five-setter. I'd love to see those to go the distance. Boy, that'd be good.