Nadal won a fifth French Open today when he made short work of Soderling, 6-4, 6-2, 6-4. This result surprised me. I thought Nadal was the favorite, but I thought Soderling would at the very least get a set off Nadal. Nadal didn’t drop a set throughout the event, and only two sets throughout the clay court season. It’s safe to say the king of clay is back. This also means that Roger will lose his number one ranking on Monday. I know this is probably not the result you wanted, but the fact that Nadal won is actually a good thing. The better Nadal’s record gets, the better for Roger. Nadal is now well on his way to becoming the clay GOAT. No one can say Roger played in an era that lacked great players. In fact there are many good players around, it’s just that Roger and Rafa are so good. The duo have now win 23/28 slams since 2003. Seven years of almost complete dominance.
And those who thought the Fedal era is over have to think again, after the duo claimed the first two slams of 2010. Nadal is slightly fortunate that Del Potro was not around during the clay season, but he’ll take it nonetheless. He has achieved what he wanted to this clay season, which is to resurrect his career after a difficult eleven months for him. The dominance he has shown in the clay season should do his confidence wonders. It will be interesting to see how he fares off the clay now, starting with the grass court season and Wimbledon. It’s a shame Roger is not going to break Sampras’ record any time soon, but he is mostly to blame for it himself. Since the Australian Open he has hardly done anything by his own high standards. The bout with lung infection didn’t help much, but he had his chances against Baghdatis and Berdych in Indian Wells and Miami.
The hard court season in North America and the clay season was therefor a failure for the GOAT. It’s a shame because he played so well in Australia. I even thought there was a chance for winning the calender slam. These are not great signs for Federer, but I don’t think one should draw too many conclusions from his latest poor form. If he wins a seventh Wimbledon, the outlook will be positive once more. I think Roger needs the grass court season to find some confidence again as grass is probably his favorite surface. Having said that, it won’t be all that easy to win Wimbledon again. With Nadal back in top form he will pose a real threat to Roger at Wimbledon again, and Roddick looked in great shape before the clay season as well. But at least Roger showed some pretty good form during Madrid and the matches that he won at Roland Garros.
He will want to build on that form come the grass court season. The grass court season is already upon us by the way, with main draws of Halle and Queens starting tomorrow. You can view the Halle draw HERE. Roger is the top seed and Davydenko makes his return to the tour as the second seed. Berdych and Soderling was going to play but withdrew. The draw looks pretty good for Roger to win his sixth title in Halle after missing the event last year due to exhaustion. Roger likes the tournament in Halle so much, that he signed an agreement to play the tournament for the rest of his career.
“I am delighted,” said the world number one. “It feels a bit like I am getting married. I wanted to plan more long-term. I want to build up friendships and I get on really well with Ralf and Gerhard Weber.”
Roger has also spoken about the number one ranking.
“But my aim is to be at the top come the end of the year,” “Being number one remains my priority,” quipped Federer.
In other news, Roger has appeared in a new Gillette commercial. It’s funny how they made him look sweaty in the commercial, even though he sweats so little on court.