Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Fedal Final Finally!

Who knew it would take one whole year for the world to see Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal play against one another? Their last meeting was exactly one year ago in the Madrid finals with then world no. 1 Nadal in a tear winning the first Grand Slam of the year and dominating the other Master events leading up to Madrid. Federer in the meantime, reached finals and semifinals but was unable to capture any titles. Of course Federer won in straight sets against Nadal that year using the event as a springboard to a historic summer capturing his first French Open title and getting a record 15th Grand Slam in Wimbledon. Nadal, on the other hand, unceremoniously lost in the fourth round of the French Open and withdrew from Wimbledon.

A year later, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Federer continued his phenomenal Grand Slam record by winning the Australian Open while Nadal has so far gone 14-0 during the clay season grabbing titles in Monte Carlo and Rome. Based on clay season form, Federer will be hard-pressed to repeat his win against the Mallorcan. I'm just hoping it's not one-sided and that both of these champions put on a good show for both of their fans. Tomorrow's clash will be their 21st match. Nadal leads their head-to-head at 13-7 including a dominating 9-2 record on clay.

With his recent wins and the lack of form from other contenders, Nadal will re-take the #2 ranking just in time for the French Open. With a win in Madrid, he would have a record-breaking 18 Master Series titles breaking his tie with Andre Agassi. If Federer wins, he will tie with both Nadal and Agassi with 17 titles. Not sure about the math on this one, but I think no matter what happens in Madrid and at the French Open, Federer should still be able to break Pete Sampras record of weeks at #1 on June 14 where he will be ranked #1 for 287 weeks.

Update: If Nadal wins, Federer has to reach the quarterfinals at the French Open to retain his #1 ranking. If Federer wins, he retains his #1 ranking through the French Open regardless of results (i.e. even if he loses in the first round and Nadal wins the whole thing).

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