ATP World Tour Finals: Federer vs Nadal
Originally published on: 28/11/10 12:12
Barclays ATP World Tour Finals: Day 8
Final session 3.30pm
D. Nestor and N. Zimonijc vs. M. Bhupathi and M. Mirnyi
Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer
Preview: What a way to finish off 2010 – the world’s two best players and one of the greatest rivals in sport will do battle in front of a 17,500 capacity crowd inside the O2 Arena for the 2010 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals title.
RAFAEL NADAL could cap off a phenomenal season in perfect style. The Spaniard has captured three Grand Slams titles, becoming only the seventh man to complete the career Grand Slam in the process, winning three Masters Series titles and finishing the year ranked world No.1. And there is a strong sense that this tournament, on his weakest surface and the one major title that has so far eluded him, is the one he is most determined to win.
After going a set down against Andy Roddick, many were questioning whether this would be a repeat of last year’s limp exit but they were about to be proved wrong. The world No.1 battled back to defeat the American, he then followed that up with victories over Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych to progress to the semi-final’s against Andy Murray. In over three hours the Scot threw everything at Nadal in an enthralling contest, which witnessed some breathtaking moments but in the end the Spaniard’s will power and sheer winning mentality pulled him through.
Afterwards Nadal said: “I played one of the finest matches of my career”, in what was arguably one of the matches of the season – but to defeat Federer he’ll have big deep to produce one more.
Route to the final:
bt. Andy Roddick 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4; bt. Novak Djokovic 7-5 6-2; bt. Tomas Berdych 7-6(3) 6-1; bt. Andy Murray 7-6(5) 3-6 7-6(6)
ROGER FEDERER has been in superb shape since entering the final hard court stretch and a victory at The O2 would send out a message out of intent to his competitors that even nearing his 30’s he is still a force to be reckoned with. The 16-time Grand Slam champion has looked back to his supreme best, reaching the final in Shanghai before winning titles in Stockholm and Basel. In an attempt to become only the third man (Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras) to have won this event five times (winner in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007), things could not have gone any better. Playing an offensive brand of tennis, the world No.2 simply swept past David Ferrer, Murray, Robin Soderling and Djokovic with relative ease to come into today’s final without even dropping a single set.
With the fresher legs you would think Federer will come in as the clear favourite but you can never right the tenacious Spaniard off. Cast your minds back to the final of the Australian Open in 2009 – the last time they met on a hard court – Nadal came in after a brutal 5hr14 battle with compatriot Fernando Verdasco but still summoned enough strength to down the Swiss in five sets.
Including that final, the pair have fought over some epic duals in their 22 meetings, none more memorably than the 2008 Wimbledon final, which Nadal won in one of greatest matches of all-time. And the way their styles match up against each other, tonight has the potential to produce something spectacular once again.
Route to the final:
bt. David Ferrer 6-1 6-4; bt. Andy Murray 6-4 6-2; bt. Robin Soderling 7-6(5) 6-3; bt. Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-4
Nadal: “I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, how I’m going to feel. You can imagine, right now I am very tired.”
Federer: “Rafa showed today [against Murray] showed why he is the best player in the world at the moment and it should be a good match. We haven’t played that much recently but I’m looking forward to playing him. Our styles match up well and he’s always very respectful, which I appreciate. We’ve had some epics and some matches that didn’t quite live up to expectations. Hopefully tomorrow will be a great match.”
Last meeting: Nadal won 6-4 7-6(5) in the Madrid Masters final
tennishead’s prediction: Too tough to call. Why not you decide? Cast your views on our facebook page