Saturday, June 7, 2008

playing for history

tomorrow's French Open men's final is more than just another Grand Slam final, it's a rare showdown between two peerlessness alltimers. here's what's at stake:

for Roger Federer, a win would probably make him the consensus best player of all time, definitively vaulting him over Pete Sampras, who never managed to win at Roland Garros. Rod Laver is still in the discussion, but finally breaking through here against Nadal (who's beaten him here three years running) would be huge on Federer's lifetime resume.

for Rafael Nadal, a win would be a huge step towards becoming the best clay court player ever, and winning his fourth straight would put him decidedly closer to Björn Borg (six titles, four straight), who not so coincidentally was courtside today in Paris for the first time since he retired. Nadal has never lost a five set clay court match in his entire career, and has never even been pushed to five sets here.

all three previous matches here have been 4 set wins for Nadal, and if anything, the gap seems to have widened this year based on their play thus far. Federer's got another chance, though, now we'll see what he can do with it.

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