The Final Showdown : Federer vs Nadal
It all comes down to this. The mother of all tennis battles is finally here. A long list of questions lingering on since last month's Hamburg masters will be answered tomorrow. Can Nadal and Federer reach the finals of French Open again and set up a dream final? Can Nadal make a hat-trick of Roland Garros titles and match 27 years old record set by Bjorn Borg? Can Federer carry his performance and confidence from the Hamburg Masters to finally break the Pars jinx and achieve the feat which even the likes of Sampras were deprived of? Can Federer join the likes of Don Budge and his idol Rod Laver for the record that stands unmatched for the last 36 years or will it be Nadal for his consecutive 21st victory on the clay of Paris?
For Roger Federer, it was a simple route until the quarter-final, where he faced Tomy Robredo. Federer, who had not dropped a set in the last 11 grandslam matches and had won consecutive 35 sets was finally made to drop a set by 6-1. After which he made a champion-like comeback and wrapped up the match in 4 sets. The semi-final, on the other hand, was probably one of the most lackluster performances by Roger Federer in recent times, in spite of the fact that Roger won in straight sets even after getting broken in each set. Both players were winning points by the opponent's unforced errors, rather than their own winners. Rafael Nadal on the other hand has been impeccable. No opponent has been able to snatch a single set from the king of clay. Former French Open champion Carlos Moya and new Serbian sensation Novak Djokovic tried hard and played some fabulous tennis but couldn't stop Nadal reaching the final and the result is eagerly awaited on Sunday.
The most important question - Can Roger Federer win to make history? Federer defeated Nadal in Hamburg Masters final on clay including a bagel (set won by 6-0), but Hamburg although having a clay surface is a lot different from other clay surfaces say Monte Carlo, Rome or Roland Garros. Traditional clay surfaces have much higher bounce as compared to grass, but Hamburg had very low bounce, which suited Roger Federer's game as opposed to Nadal's, so win at Hamburg although good for confidence doesn't help much game-wise. If performance of respective semi-finals is any indication, Federer doesn't stand a chance against Nadal, but it's The Mighty Federer we are talking about. You can always bet on Federer to come up with shots coming from all corners of the court and drop at the corner of the court where you least expected, so only time can tell. Only on STAR sports. 1830 hrs IST (GMT +0530).
Verdict : Heart = Federer, Head = Nadal