Saturday, June 6, 2009

French Open: Men's Final Preview

Former number one and three-time French Open finalist Roger Federer is just one match away from making history. With a win at Roland Garros, Federer will join only a handful of male tennis players to have won all four Grand Slam tournaments. He will also join Pete Sampras on top with the most majors won winning 14 Grand Slams.

This journey has not been an easy one for Federer. He was pushed to two five-setters and played five tiebreakers in his previous matches. His semifinal match with Juan Martin Del Potro was a rollercoaster ride as Federer edged to win it 3-6, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in 209 minutes.

There is just one man who can derail Federer's hopes to make history and it's the same man who defeated number one seed Rafael Nadal who had prevented Federer to win this title in the previous four years. Robin Soderling is having an unbelievable dream run beating Nadal, Ferrer, Davydenko, and Gonzalez in the process. The latter he defeated in a thrilling 208 minutes 6-3, 7-5, 5-7, 4-6, 6-4.

On Sunday everything will be going against him. His record with Federer is 0-9 including a straight set loss this year on clay. This will also be his first Grand Slam final and the crowd will be pulling for Federer big time. Plus Federer has not lost to anyone not named Nadal in all of the Grand Slam finals he has played *and* no one has ever beaten both Nadal and Federer at the same Grand Slam tournament. But then again this is the guy who defeated Rafael Nadal in the fourth round, in straight sets.

Having said all of that, both guys have proven they deserve this title this year. The match will be decided between the ears. Both players have immense and very real pressure to win.

Prediction: I'm too nervous to make one.

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