Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer eyeing French Open glory

Jun 5, 2011

Rafael Nadal & Roger Federer eyeing French Open glory.

French Open men's final - Rafael Nadal v Roger Federer
Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Date: 5 June from 1400 BST

Rafael Nadal reaches final after defeating Andy Murray in straight sets.
Rafael Nadal will have to contain a rampant Roger Federer if he is to secure a record-equalling sixth French Open title on Sunday, and keep hold of his world number one ranking.

The Spaniard, who turned 25 on Friday, has won 44 matches and suffered only one defeat in seven years at Roland Garros, and one more victory will bring him a 10th GrandSlam title and draw him level with Bjorn Borgas the tournament's most dominant man.

"For me, seriously, I don't think about that," said Nadal. "[I have] a lot of respect for the great Bjorn but I am focused on trying to play well. For me, it's much more important to win Roland Garros than equal Bjorn."

The weather forecast is not good for Sundayand interruptions are possible, but Nadal rejected any suggestion that heavier conditions would favour him.

"I don't have the power to control the weather," he said. "So if it rains, I'm going to think it's an advantage for me; if the sun shines, I'm going to think it's an advantage for me. I have to think positive all the time because I cannot control that."

Nadal Federer
Record - 16 8
Age - 25 29
Pro since - 2001 1998
Height - 6ft 1in 6ft 1in
Weight - 13st 6lb 13st 4lb
Ranking - 1 3
ATP titles - 45 67
Slams - 9 16
Earnings - $40.1m $62.5m

Having beaten the 29-year-old Swiss in all four previous meetings at the French Open, including the finals of 2006, 2007 and 2008, Nadal would seem to be a prohibitive favourite once again, but Federer has been so impressive in Paris this year that a 17th Grand Slam title appears possible.

His victory over Novak Djokovic in the semis, ending the Serbian's six-month, 43-match unbeaten run, has already been hailed as one of his best ever.

"Honestly, I feel very well," said Federer. "I think I move very well, I'm never stressed. If there is a ball that you miss, it's just because the other one played it very well, and not because I made a mistake or I played bad tennis on the return, or on my serve.

"That's why I'm very happy at the moment with my game. Is it my best? I don't know."

Sunday will be the eighth time Nadal and Federer have met in a Grand Slam final, two more than any other pairing, but it will be the first time since Nadal's victory in the 2009 Australian Open and Federer's first Slam final anywhere since Australia in 2010.

Last year, Federer made an unusually early exit at the quarter-final stage of both the French Open and Wimbledon, but asked whether he ever doubted he could get back to a Grand Slam final, the world number three responded: "No, not really. I was very close in the US Open [semi-finals] and then I'm playing a final here against Rafa.

*. Madrid - Nadal
*. Miami - Nadal

*. ATP World Tour Finals - Federer
*. Madrid - Nadal

*. Madrid - Federer*. Australian Open - Nadal

*. Wimbledon - Nadal
*. French Open - Nadal
*. Hamburg - Nadal
*. Monaco - Nadal

*. China - Federer
*. Wimbledon - Federer
*. French Open - Nadal
*. Hamburg - Federer
*. Monaco - Nadal

*. China - Federer
*. Wimbledon - Federer
*. French Open - Nadal
*. Rome - Nadal
*. Monaco - Nadal
*. Dubai - Nadal

*. French Open - Nadal
*. Miami - Federer

*. Miami - Nadal