The Rafa Roadtrain Rolls On…

May 4, 2009

Another week, another victory for the maestro from Madrid – Rafael Nadal. I use the word maestro very loosely there, for with Nadal it tends more towards massacre over music, brut strength over sweet strategy.

But it does the job more effectively than any player since, well, Roger Federer just a couple of years ago when he was at his unstoppable best.

Nadal seems to be on such a winning streak at the moment that it must feel to the opposition that his knees need to buckle (literally) for them to be in with a chance of stealing a victory from under his nose.

This week it was the Rome Masters, a tournament Nadal had won on three previous occasions. Novak Djokovic was the defending champion, and he managed to live up to that billing by progressing through to meet the Spaniard in the final.

And his strong showing in the first set gave hope that he could be the man to break the Nadal streak.

The Serbian stayed in touch throughout the first set and took Nadal to a tie-break, which he then lost 7-2. From there it was a case of attempting to rein in a runaway train. Nadal stamped his authority and walked away with the second set 6-2, to claim his third clay court title in three weeks.

Nadal Looks Unbeatable For The French Open

The French Open kicks off on the 25th of May, and the rest of the field on the men’s side of the draw must be looking to the gods for answers to the question of how to break the Nadal stranglehold on the event.

He is gunning for a fifth consectutive title, which will put him alone at the top as the holder of the most consecutive titles on the clay of Roland Garros.

He has lost just one set on clay so far this season, and by his own admission has not played as well as he would have liked. There are things in his game, most notably his serve, which he is fine tuning in preparations for the big one in Paris.

If he realises the improvements that he is currently working on, there is no way you can see anyone taking three sets from him the whole tournament, let alone in the one match.

In Other Tennis News

Andy Murray Highest Ranked Scot Ever

Ok, I know that should read highest ranked Brit ever, but I like to stir the pot – Murray’s vocally proud of his Scottish (not British) nationality, and I rightfully respect that.

Either way he has moved to third in the men’s rankings as a result of Djokovic failing to defend his title at Rome over the weekend…even though Murray was knocked out in the third round and Djokovic reached the final. That’s the kind of strange situation that a rolling points system will produce from time to time.

Kuznetsova Claims Victory In Stuttgart

Svetlana Kuznetsova claimed her first WTA title in 18 months in Stuttgart where she has defeated world number one and fellow countrywoman Dinara Safina.

Her straight sets win broke a run of six straight finals losses for the Russian and sees her hitting some of the best form of her career just in time for the French Open.

The tournament in Stuttgart is the first on the tour to played indoors on clay.


Written by: Crooksy

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