Saturday, June 5, 2010

French Open: The Finals Are Set

The first set of Nadal-Melzer was the only thing I saw during the semifinal stage. So I didn't get to see Elena Dementieva retire with a calf injury or Francesca Schiavone kiss the court when she became the first Italian woman ever to reach a Grand Slam final. Nor did I see Samantha Stosur reach her first Slam final after trouncing Jelena Jankovic. She also defeated Justine Henin and Serena Williams en route to the finals.

While I wasn't really particular regretting missing those matches, I wish I got to see the five-set brawl between Tomas Berdych and Robin Soderling. The Swede won after being down 2 sets to 1 6-3, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. Lest anyone forgets, Soderling is the only person to defeat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros and it will be a rematch of last year's fourth round match in this year's finals. Nadal admittedly has not played his best this whole tournament, and yet he still hasn't lost a single set and was able to beat Jurgen Melzer handily. A win over Soderling would see him overtake the #1 ranking.

Seeing as how I've been just AWFUL at predicting this tournament, there really isn't any point in doing them. But I'm going to anyways... Stosur leads her H2H win Schiavone 4-1 with Schiavone's only win coming at 2005 and since then the Australian hasn't dropped a set. Stosur also has shown the better form of the two during the fortnight and so she should give Australia it's first Grand Slam champion since Lleyton Hewitt.

As for the men, on paper it's all about Nadal. Their H2H is 3-2 in the Spaniard's favor, but Soderling has won their last two meetings including that match last year at Roland Garros. Nadal will be extra motivated to avenge that lost, however, and with Soderling going through a marathon with Berdych, I see Nadal winning this one. Soderling should still be able to take a set.

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