Lawn Tennis
French Open - Roland Garros
Paris, France, May 25-Jun. 8, Grand Slam The French Open - Roland Garros
May 25th-June 8, 2008
Paris, France
French Open - Roland Garros
Paris, France, May 25-Jun. 8, Grand Slam
Rafael Nadal Or Roger Federer To Make History Sunday
French Open "Paris Picks" - Day 15

By Tripp Mateschitz, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Sunday, June 8, 2008 4:12am CST USA
Rafael Nadal Or Roger Federer To Make History Sunday, French Open
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal
PARIS, France (—History will be made Sunday in the French Open men's final as world number one Roger Federer of Switzerland and world number two Rafael Nadal of Spain meet for the 17th time for another claycourt battle.

A win for Federer would potentially stake his claim as the greatest tennis player ever. For Nadal victory would tie Bjorn Borg's four Paris consecutive titles record and keep him undefeated in Paris at 28-0.

Rafael Nadal is 27-0 at the French Open.

Roger Federer (SUI)[1] v. Rafael Nadal (ESP)[2]
Federer has won every major tennis tournament multiple times except the French Open where his best finish was as a finalist to Nadal the last two years. To push ahead of American and 14 grand slam title winner Pete Sampras as a contender as greatest ever, Federer will need to win the French Open which Sampras was never able to do.

Federer trails Sampras with 12 grand slam titles. But at only 26 years old, Federer most likely will pass that number before the finish of his career if not this year.

In his semifinal win versus Frenchman Gael Monfils, Federer approached the net 64 times and will need to do more of the same versus Nadal. The problem with this strategy however is Nadal's groundstroke pressure will not permit Federer to cover the net as much as he would like.

Federer is the pick versus Nadal on any surface other than clay. But on clay, a slower surface which allows Nadal additional time to hit more perfect groundstrokes and retrieve extra balls, Federer is challenged to finish points as quickly as he would like. Nadal also is allowed more opportunities to pressure Federer's backhand from the baseline.

If Federer can volley well and Nadal turns in a flat performance, Federer can win. Nadal however is one of only a handful of players who leads Federer head to head (10-6) and has destroyed all competition this year at the French Open while going 18-0 in sets.

Winner: Nadal

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