Roland Garros is buzzing

Jun 3, 2011

Today is one of those days when the French Open just teems with excitement, when there is a buzz in the air that lets you know that even in this amazing tournament: today is something special. This is because there are two world class semi finals being played out today. Andy Murray will be playing Rafael Nadal to make it into the French Open for the first time, and Novak Djokovic is up against Roger Federer in a delectable set up to who will reach the finals this year.

I’m not sure even sure if predictions is the best thing for a day like today. This is going to be a day to be remembered, until of course the final comes and likely blows these competitions out of the water. The four top players in the world do battle, and then there will only be 2 left to fight it out for the ultimate title.

On the one hand, there are the Andy Murray doubters; myself among them. He is not the best on clay, he is struggling with an ankle injury, and his quarter final against Juan Ignacio Chela was hardly an epic match up to test his strength. Troicki unnerved Murray, and if that can be done by a low seeded player then what will Rafa, the King of Clay, do to him? On the other hand there are the Murray-believers (made up predominantly of the British press who would have dropped interest in the French Open if it weren’t for Murray, but that is a different debate for a different time), who are stalwartly behind him. This is his moment. He has played well so far, he has a certain grit, and Rafael Nadal is looking a little wobbly and has opened spoken about his lack of self confidence. I have yet to be swayed by this side of the argument. Murray’s Moment is always a possibility on hard court surfaces. On the clay? Maybe not.

In the other match up, Novak Djokovic has got a winning streak that has beaten so many records. But winning streaks mean nothing if the other player is not intimidated by them. It is unlikely that Federer will see Djokovic has a towering champion to beat. In fact despite Novak’s amazing run, Federer is still the man to beat at this tournament. This is the match up that has me in swings and roundabouts. On the one side we have powerful, aggressive, confident Novak who has a proven winning streak. On the other side we have Roger Federer who is, well, Roger Federer. It takes a lot to beat him when he feels comfortable.

The first match kicks off at 13:00 BST, that’s 2pm local time. It’s 27 degrees, the skies are blue, and Paris is the place to be watching this afternoon.

Written by: SophieG

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