WTF Finals

Written By: achangeofends - Nov• 28•10

So I’ve managed to borrow a computer to write this and have planted myself firmly in front of the TV for today. At the moment I’m watching a repeat of yesterday’s semifinals, which means some pretty great tennis. As I expected, Nadal and Federer emerged as victors and will play each other in today’s final. In my last post, I mistakenly said this would be the first meeting for the two in 2010. Today’s match will actually be the second meeting between Roger and Rafa this year as they played in the Madrid final. Before I get too wrapped up in the match we’re about to see, I want to talk about the semifinals, or at the very least, the Murray/Nadal match. This was great tennis. For some reason Murray and Nadal always play entertaining matches against each other. I think Rafa sometimes raises Andy’s game. I didn’t give Murray much of a chance going into this match because of the way he played against Federer in the round robin stage. However, even after losing the first set in a tiebreak, Murray came back and broke Rafa twice to take the second set. After being broken early in the third, Murray managed to break back when Rafa was serving for the match at 5-4 to even things out, eventually forcing a tiebreak. However, we all now how it ended, as it often does, Rafa found a way to win and will face Roger Federer in the today’s final. Roger Federer had a much easier road to the final yesterday, beating Novak Djokovic 6-1 6-4.

So, there are already hundreds of previews out there for this match, and every other Fedal match that has occurred. We all know the stats. Nadal leads their head to head 14-7. But, if you exclude clay and grass, they are 3-3 on hard courts. I think this is meaningless. It’s not so lopsided that either player can feel completely confident that they will steamroll the other. They’ve played each other 21 times so I’m sure this match has become routine for them, but for us as fans, this is what we have waited for. This is a completely fitting way to end a year of great tennis.

Rafael Nadal has had a spectacular year, winning three of the four major tournaments, including his first US Open to round out a career Grand Slam. 2010 has been a different story for Roger Federer. He has had a year that any other player would be proud of, winning one Slam, making the semifinals of another, and two quarterfinals. But for Roger Federer, critics consider this the end. He loss in the quartfinals at the French Open meant an end to his amazing streak of semifinal appearances and his loss in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon was nothing less then gut wrenching. This isn’t the end though. Federer is not washed up and he looks hungry. Both men would gain from a victory today. This is the lone title that eludes Rafael Nadal now that he has the career Grand Slam as well as the Olypmic gold medal, but he has never advanced past the semifinal stage at the World Tour Finals. On the other side, Federer is quite familiar with the WTF final. He will be competing for his fifth title at the WTF, which would tie the record of five WTF wins.

I’m not going to make a final prediction because I really have no idea what’s going to happen. Both guys come into this match with a perfect record at this year’s WTF, although Rafa has dropped two sets along the way. What I do know is that whoever wins, both guys will fight and one will win gracefully and the other will lose gracefully, because that’s what they do. There is no classier rivalry in tennis. I just wish their fans treated each other with the respect that the players do.

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