Predictable but impressive

Jun 9, 2012

This one was pretty easy to guess from the start. Bar an enormous upset, Ferrer was never going to have the ability to beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open. This is Nadal’s home, and he never let up in his barrage to the final. In fact at one point he won five games in a row, saving two break points in the progress.

Ferrer barely had time to get his feet into gear before he was getting blown away. Nadal was chasing his fifth consecutive French Open final. Even more terrifying statistics poured out after the match; he may have beaten Bjorn Borg’s record of French Open finals, but tomorrow he could be the first player to win the French Open title seven times in the Open era.

The most awe-inspiring record of them all is his winning record; out of 52 matches at the French Open, Nadal has only lost one. One. That’s 51 out of 52, in case you couldn’t do the maths. One. And that was to Robin Soderling in 2009, the year when his knees gave out and he was a shadow of his former self.

His knees – and the rest of him – were bionic yesterday in his defeat of his fellow Spaniard. The wind was kicking, and the clay heavy with the falling rain, so everyone’s tactics had changed. Thankfully Nadal is the leopard who can change his spots and he adapted easily to the conditions. Whether Ferrer found it more difficult to adapt we will never know.

The match was marred by a 50 minute delay, with Court Philippe Chatrier shrounded in a messy dark green cover. Not quite the slick operation of Wimbledon’s ball girls and boys at the sign of rain spots, after all rain is rarely a feature at Rolland Garros, but once the clay was covered the players could only sit and wait. Ferrer no doubt contemplating how to use this to his best advantage.

The rain break was not to Ferrer’s advantage, and the second set whizzed by in 36 minutes. The final impressive score line was 6-2 6-2 6-1. Predictable, maybe, but it doesn’t make it any less impressive. Anyone who watched the match would not see a Nadal who rocked up to the court expecting a victory, who simply went through the motions to wear Ferrer – an older and lower-ranked player with arguably his best years behind him – down. He stepped up to the mark and he let his competitor in the final know – not that he knew who it would be at the time – that he was here to take his seventh title.

I wonder if the golden boy of the moment – Novak Djokovic – is up to the challenge.

Written by: SophieG

(1) Comment

Tono says:
Jun 9, 2012

Is Novak up to the challenge indeed….we will soon find out huh, should be a great final!

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