Federer Wins Madrid & His Timing Couldn’t Be Any Better

May 17, 2009

The past few weeks have seemed like Groundhog Day in the world of clay court tennis.

This week the Monte Carlo Masters…Nadal wins.

This week the Barcelona Open…Nadal wins.

This week the Rome Masters…Nadal wins

This week the Madrid Masters…Federer wins???

What…Nadal got beaten…at his home tournament…a week before the French Open?

I don’t want to get too optimistic about the result, but in terms of creating excitement just before the second major of the year I don’t think there could have been a better scenario.

Nadal just seemed to be steamrolling everyone he came across, barely losing a set let alone looking vulerable enough to get knocked out of a tournament.

The Swiss underdog (it’s not often you get to use that phrase) not only won the match, he battered his opponent in straight sets to claim his first victory over Nadal in their past 6 encounters, three of which were defeats in the finals of a major.

Now before anyone starts getting too excited, there are a few things that need to be mentioned which partly explain why the defeat was so emphatic.

The clay at Madrid is faster than the surfaces at the other venues, including Roland Garros, which is always going to make things a little more comfortable for Federer.

Then there is the matter of Nadal needing four hard fought hours to defeat Novak Djokovic the day before, with the Spaniard being troubled by his knees throughout that match.

Federer on the other hand coasted through his semi-final and was always going to be the man with the most gas in the tank for the final.

So Federer has definitely walked away with an all important boost of confidence before the French Open which starts on Sunday. His victory would have gone a small way to erasing some of the doubts that he may have had about his ability to get the job done against the world number one.

But Rafael Nadal has in no way felt let down by his own performances. He congratulated Federer on playing the better tennis on the day, but soon moved to talk of how things will be different when the tennis rollercoaster rolls in to Paris.

Nadal is still way in front as the favourite to claim his fifth straight French Open.

Dinara Safina Claims Second Straight Clay Court Title

Dinara Safina has shown that her number one ranking is justified by being the most dominant woman on tour over the past month.

She claimed victory in the final of the Madrid Masters with a straight sets victory over Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki 6-2 6-4.

Safina was the losing finalist in last years French Open, and it is obvious that she performs well on clay and has the form at the moment to go one step further in her search for her first Grand Slam title.

Wozniacki’s consistent performances this year will push her up in to the top ten for the first time in her career, but her 3-10 record against top 5 players suggests she still has a little way to go before she will be considered a serious rival to the top players at the big events.


Written by: Crooksy

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