Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer – Final Preview: French Open 2011
Nothing can be bigger in the world of tennis than two of the greatest arch rivals of all times, world number one Rafael Nadal of Spain and world number three Roger Federer of Switzerland, clashing in the final of a Grand Slam tournament. The two top ranked tennis gods will face each other once again in the final of the French Open on Sunday, on the clay court of Paris, France, for the battle of glory.
The biggest tennis match of the year, featuring two of the best men in the sport, will take place at the Court Philippe Chatrier and the winner will be crowned with the French Open title. The defending champion Nadal has made it to his sixth Roland Garros final and has won the Grand Slam tournament on five prior occasions.
The top seed has been very consistent with his performance in the tournament so far and has disposed off a number of top class opponents to make it to the final. Rafa had an early hiccup in his opening match at Roland Garros this year, when he was about to suffer a defeat after losing two sets to John Isner of the United States, but he recovered with great mastery to conclude victory.
The Spaniard then defeated his next five competitors in straight sets, including an authoritative victory over the fourth seed Andy Murray in the semi-final on Friday. He took down the Briton 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, to get an opportunity to defend his French Open title in the final.
The Swiss maestro has been in sublime form throughout the tournament so far and has dropped just one set in six matches en route to the final. Federer annihilated every opponent he faced in the French Open, including Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 14th seed Stanislas Wawrinka, ninth ranked Gael Monfils and then took down the world number two, Novak Djokovic of Serbia 7-6(5), 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(5), in the classic semi-final to book a date with Nadal in the grand finale on Sunday.
“It always seems to me that Rafa needs to be in a French Open final to make it special, and I got the match I guess I was hoping for,” told Federer after winning the semi-final.
The two arch rivals have been in the final of Roland Garros on three prior occasions, with Rafa bagging victories every time. The ‘King of Clay’ is still the hot favourite to successfully defend his French open title this time but Federer is always reckoned to be the most lethal competitor on any surface. The Swiss has faced Nadal on his favourite clay surface 13 times, winning on just two occurrences and trails the all-time head-to-head record against the Spaniard by 8-16.
No doubt Nadal is the best player on clay surface in the entire tennis world but the current form of Federer hints that it won’t be easy for the Spaniard to win the final this time round.
“I have another opportunity to beat Rafa here and get the Roland Garros title,” said Federer after defeating Djokovic in the semi-final, “I’ve got to play some extraordinarily special tennis. I’m aware of that. But I obviously took a huge step today, and hope I can get everything together for the final.”
The defending champion can be said to be the hot favourite in Sunday’s final but Federer will give him a stiff contest certainly before he touches glory. Surely it will be a mouth watering treat for the tennis fans all over the world to watch the two of the biggest names in the sport of tennis facing each other in the final of a Grand Slam after a long time.