Well, it’s been almost a two-year wait but we finally have our Federer vs Nadal rematch. The rivalry has become very one-sided of late with Nadal winning the last five encounters so the break was not the worst thing to happen, but it is too big a rivalry for it to just be over. For Nadal at least, there is still ground to conquer. For Federer too, but if things keep going the way it has been between them of late then Nadal will beat Federer at the worst possible place for him.
Nadal has infiltrated just about all Federer’s territory and made himself at home. He’s done it at Wimbledon and the Australian Open and recently even in Cincinnati and the world Tour Finals, two tournaments where you would still have called Federer the favorite even after all the losses to his big rival. The only ground left for Nadal to conquer now is Basel, the Swiss’ headquarters on tour.
Will Nadal infiltrate Federer’s last stronghold and make the ownage complete or will Federer be able to at least defend his home turf? I think the psychological toll on Federer would be big if Nadal does defeat him tomorrow. If that happens you gotta feel sorry for the guy. It could even hasten his retirement. Nadal is on his way back and a win over Federer tomorrow on a fast indoor court would be his best victory of the entire year.
It has often been said that Nadal needs a match against Federer when his confidence is low. Well, he will get that opportunity tomorrow and if he wins that may just be the victory that makes his return to form official. It will certainly give him a huge confidence boost. Nadal has never made it past the quarterfinals of Basel. He has lost in the first round twice and last year he lost to Coric in the quarterfinals.
It’s surprising that he got this far and I hope the people who keep saying he is not getting back to form will at least admit that much. Nadal is supposedly playing desperately poor tennis and yet he defeated four more than competent indoor players to make the final. Today he defeated Gasquet 6-4, 7-6(7) who was having a great week and is a very decent indoor player. The weird thing is he still hasn’t impressed me this week.
Something is still missing. How can that be when he’s just had his best result ever at Basel? I don’t know the answer to that, but Federer has not impressed me either. I didn’t watch his match today, but I saw the scoreboard when it was 6-3, 5-2 in Federer’s favor. I thought Federer would win 6-3, 6-2 and it looked to me like he was making a statement. Then when I got home I saw the final score was 6-3, 6-4.
Advantage Nadal. If both are unimpressive then I have to give Nadal the edge. Federer needed to make a statement after looking pretty average this week if he wanted to be my favorite. Certainly Federer could win. We can’t see the future. But I’m gonna have to give Nadal the edge here given the rivalry’s history and their respective forms. That’s just the way I see it.
The bookies have Federer easily as the favorite which I find somewhat strange, but then the odds will probably adapt as more people put money on Nadal. Certainly with the odds I have seen so far if you are into betting then I’d put money on Nadal. And by the way, I don’t condone betting at all. Just saying it doesn’t sound like bad odds to me. I’d rather not you run the risk of giving your money to people who don’t deserve it.
Whatever the case may be, I’m glad we finally have our Fedal rematch and I’m very much looking forward to it. Federer can certainly do with a win over Nadal and another Basel title. He’s looked burned out of late and a victory can help him get some of his mojo back and end the season on a high. On the other hand, the tide has been swinging in Nadal’s favor of late and we know what happens to Federer in that case…
The is in your court.