Novak Djokovic has his sights lined up on his third major and the No.1 ranking at the French Open. Barring his path to the final is Roger Federer, holder of 16 Grand Slams.
The duo fought it out at the semis at the last two majors, with Djokovic mastering his erstwhile conqueror. This year, Federer is content to lurk in the shadows while the top two seeds battle it out for the premier ranking in men’s tennis.
Commentators hail the Djoker for shedding all traces of jocularity—in his tennis—and pushing his way into the record books with a streak of emphatic wins in the hard and clay court seasons.
Combat rejoins when the Swiss takes on the Serb on Friday.
In the other semi-final, it is the mercurial Scot, Andy Murray, who hopes to pull one over the No.1 seed and defending champion, Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard complained that he is not at the top of his game.
No such remonstrance when he deflated two-time finalist, Robin Soderling, in the quarter-final.
The script played out as expected. The top four seeds are in the semis.
Will there be a twist in the tale? Or as expected, will Nadal and Djokovic slug it out in their second major final facing each other? The last time the pair met in a Slam, it was the US Open final with Nadal questing the ‘Rafa’ Slam. A mouth-watering rematch was spoilt when the Mallorcan injured himself in the round-of-eight against compatriot, David Ferrer at this year’s Australian Open.
This time , it is Nole who is the favourite.
Can Roger Federer upset the Serb’s apple cart?
Will Andy Murray fulfil his destiny and make it his fourth major final? The Scot, critics feel, could be the first male Briton since John Perry to clinch a major. He has potential and skill. Is this his time?
He has the game. Is he game? Can Murray overcome his fears and prevail over the ‘Beast’?
Rafael Nadal’s humility continues to endear him to his fans. He’s been termed ‘guileless’ for speaking his mind and baring his soul to the media. Can he refocus and recapture the Coupe De Mousquetaires on the courts he has dominated over the past six years?
By Sunday, the 5th of June, 2011, we’ll know.
Quote of the day:
Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate. – Thomas Jones