Friday, June 3, 2011

Roland Garros: No. 1 vs. No. 3

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The French Open Final is all set!

It'll be World No. 1 Rafael Nadal vs. World No. 3 Roger Federer in what should be a thriller.

Nadal easily beat World No. 4 Andy Murray (6-4, 7-5, 6-4) in their semifinal match and will move on to his 6th career French Open Final and possibly win his 6th career title, which will tie him with the great Bjorn Borg for the most ever in the Open Era. Nadal is now a RIDICULOUS 44-1 at Roland Garros.

Federer, on the other hand, won his highly anticipate semifinal match against World No. 2 Novak Djokovic (7-6, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6) ending Djokovic's perfect season. Djokovic is now 41-1 in 2011 and his overall 43-match winning streak is over. Incidentally, the last man to defeat Djokovic was Mr. Federer himself at the ATP World Tour Finals in November 2010. And just when many, including me, were doubting his skills at 29, Federer showed why he's a 16-time Grand Slam champion and perhaps the greatest player ever.

Federer will be playing in his 5th career French Open Final where he has a 1-3 record. All 3 of his finals losses were to, you guessed it, Mr. Nadal.

As for Djokovic, it was a disappointing loss but he is still in the conversation. Here's what's at stake-- if Nadal beats Federer, he will hold on to the No. 1 ranking by a whisker over Djokovic (12,070 points to 12,025 for Novak). If Federer beats Nadal then Djokovic takes over the No. 1 ranking as Rafa's points total will drop to 11,270. Federer will remain No. 3 with either 10,030 points if he wins or 9,230 points if he loses.
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On the women's side--

Defending champion and World No. 5 Francesca Schiavone will take on No. 6 Na Li, who is playing in her second consecutive Grand Slam final. Once again Li will be vying to become the first player (male or female) from China to win a Grand Slam title.

If Li wins the title she will move up to No. 4 in the world and if she losses she will still bump Schiavone and take over the No. 5 ranking. So regardless of what happens she will be the first Asian player ever to crack the Top 5.

As for Federer-Nadal-- seems like old times, doesn't it?

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