So the tennis purists got their Federer Nadal final and a good final it was at that. Federer showed that he still has the hunger and desire to keep on winning and if anything the man that is driving that is Rafael Nadal. Nadal has had a new lease of life this clay court season, winning his 18th Masters 1000 event in total and 3rd in a row, an incredible feat considering his injury trouble and personal family problems last year. Surely Nadal must now be considered favourite to lift the Roland Garros title in 3 weeks but it sure wont be easy. I was surprised ( on current form) that Federer wasnt simply steamrollered by Nadal. The matches tend to follow a pattern, points in Nadal and Federer matches are played like chess, Nadal peppers Federers backhand, Roger looses patience and makes an approach to the net with a hard flat groundstroke and seemingly from nowhere Nadal scrapes the ball past a dispairing Federer. If only Roger would learn, but in the same situation we would probably make the same mistake ourselves. Its very easy to be an armchair critic watching these matches easy to point out the obvious, if only it were as simple.
Who is likely to challenge the established order at Roland Garros this year? There is a strong Spanish challenge in JC Ferrero, David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco all at their most effective on the red clay. Big serving americans Isner and Querrey have had a good season on the dirt thus far and with that in mind could go deep into the draw. Cilic is a guy who has as yet failed to make any impact on the bigger Masters series events, many have been tipping this guy for superstardom, similarly built to Delpo but with a more all round game, surely he must start doing the business soon. Latvias Gulbis could also do damage having had high profile wins lately against Federer and taking Nadal to 3 in Rome. Murray is coming to the boil just nicely and with the absence of several high profile clay courters such as Gonzo and Delpo a lucky draw could see him make the semis even the final, but a win in Roland Garros would certainly be a distant possibility. A question mark also surrounds Djokovic, having pulled out of his Belgrade semi with hayfever and then the subsequent event in Madrid, what kind of shape will he be in, not having played a game in several weeks…….
Check out our poll tomorrow pick your winner of Roland Garros 2010