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French 2009, Where Federer will become Legendary

The tennis world is a buzz as the 2009 French Open gets underway. And as usual the excitement is derived from the sporting world's top rivalry Nadal vs Federer, or rather the 2009 version which is Federer vs Nadal.

Nadal broke through last year in Federer's home at Wimbledon winning arguably the greatest match ever played. He then reasserted his stature with a resounding win at the 2009 Australian open, demonstrating he has the game to beat federer on his two most natural surfaces. But as the 23 year old Nadal sets to defend his unbelievable, unparallelled undefeated record (4 and 0) at the tour's only clay court major, the tennis world is asking is it Roger's turn to break through?

The French open is the one major that has thus far eluded federer in his remarkable career thus far, and if it weren't for Nadal's emergence at the exact time 4 years ago Federer had learned how to play on clay, he probably would own a couple. But with a very shallow pool of clay courters with the game to match the fed on clay, it is just assumed we will be looking at another federer vs nadal final at Roland Garros. And I must say, Nadal looked very beatable last week in Madrid. I say this not only because of Federer's straight set victory, but if Jokavich possessed any bit of competitive metal, Nadal would have been out in the semis. And although I still have to give the statistical nod to Rafa should Federer and Nadal meet two weeks Sunday, I believe Federer will do something legendary, and that there is a good chance Rafa may fall victim to an earlier round foe.

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Comment by Ryan on May 31, 2009 at 4:59pm
Hey Jazz, Thanks I appreciate the admission. And I do know what the cynics will say if Federer takes it this year. And I agree, it would be ashame not to see it happen against Nadal. But nontheless you still have to make the final to defend the crown. And who knows, perhaps soderling will continue his run to the final ala richard Krajcek after he ended Sampras's wimbledon run. My biggest hope is that this is a sign of some depth beyond the top 4 seeds returning to the mens tour.

Cheers,

Ryan
Comment by Jazz Burks on May 31, 2009 at 3:57pm
Yup, "Bum of the month" Soderling took out the King of Clay. I submit to your prognostication skill. Ryan you know what the cynics will say if and when Fed takes it is that he didn't beat his main rival at Roland Garros when he won it.
Comment by Ryan on May 31, 2009 at 3:05pm
Well Jazz and Richard, my favourite naysayers. I hate to say I told you so a week before Federer takes the French crown, but well I told you so. Nadal fell short to a an early round darkhouse, as I said he was looking beatable, all be it still one heck of a battle. And Novak, well he is starting to remind alot like a youg Safin. All teh talent to be number one, but only when his head is screwed on tight enough. I am excited to watch Federer move to legend status!
Comment by Mark / The Mayor on May 26, 2009 at 2:59pm
Interesting pick Richard. Could very well happen taht way. I picked Rafa over Fed - but my storybook ending would be for Fed to beat Rafa in 5 on sunday!
M
Comment by Meags on May 26, 2009 at 2:33am
Madrid was at altitude and the ball moved faster which caused some problems for nadal. Secondly Djokovic played absolutely amazing in the semi and made Nadal look worse than he was. Thirdly we expect too much of nadal fighting for every point but we are allowed a few poorer games but grind out results.
He has just shown that in the first round at RG against a Brazilian who played out of his skin.
As for Fed winning, well he will probably have Nole in the semi so he has to get thro that??? also he has a chance like Madrid if Nadal plays Murray and Murray does a Djokovic on him, wears him out for the final??
Watching Murray in his first round he was as good as Ive seen. I posted a blog not long ago about Murray playing too defensive and not going for his shots, well he played very aggressive on Sunday against admittedly a weak opponent, but still its the attitude I want to see and if he can keep that momentum up to the semi??
Nadal v Djok final for me, close again even 5 sets with.........Nadal coming thro again!
Comment by Jazz Burks on May 25, 2009 at 6:26am
I don't know about an early round exit to an ATP "bum of the month". I do think that Madrid gave Rafa something to think about and more importantly has given Fed something to think about. Fed has stopped Nadal's two long winning streaks on clay. Throw in the Monte Carlo "meltdown" of last year and Federer has to know that he can beat Nadal on dirt. If Rafa has another "knock down drag out" semi-final this year Federer would have to be licking his chops if he coasts through another draw like the Aussie of 2k9.

As I've said before some of those Melbourne tears may have come from the crowd support and the baby news and everything. The rest of the crying must have come from knowing that he let a "beat up" Nadal off the hook and the chance to tie Pete in OZ. Going back to the title of the blog, to beat the King of Clay in his own House would be legendary! To beat Rafa in a match that rivals the Wimbledon 2k8 final would be G.O.A.T material.

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