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?


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.