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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Between Federer and the French Open Crown

When he won Australian Open so authoritatively, the pundits were convinced that Federer will get his grand slam should he win French Open this year. But is the Swiss player really unstoppable? I prefer to think not! Generations of Spanish players have successfully denied players like Sampras and Courier, their chance at the Grand slam. Federer himself was thwarted twice by the young and muscular Rafael Nadal at the Roland Garros. So I think this year will be no different.

Here are some reasons

  1. Rafael Nadal
  2. The last 8 of 9 French open winners were players who did not win any other grand slam. Federer is more vulnerable here than at any other Grand slam.
  3. Every year the clay court season produces new players, who bump off the big names; for many of them knocking off Federer will be their ticket to fame. He will be sort of a "trophy" to win in every tournament he enters.
  4. Some formidable opponents like Baghdatis, Ivan Ljubičić and Safin, on their good days can stop the Federer Juggernaut; they will have their best chance here.

All said and done, the way Federer rolls over the opposition, as he did with Roddick and Gonzalez recently, bestowed him a certain aura among his contemporaries. Whenever someone becomes so dominant in any sport, there are complaints that he is killing interest in the game. This may be true, but if Federer somehow wins this one, I don't see anyone stopping him from emulating Rod Laver. Personally, I am sick of him already, so I wish that does not happen.

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