Roger Federer is through to his first major final since the 2010 Australian Open.
He was written off. Yet he bounced back.
Novak Djokovic can console himself that he almost took the match into the final set. It says a lot for the progress he has made in the past six months. His confidence has skyrocketed and setbacks are to be met with unequivocal defiance.
Federer may not have captured a Slam in over a year but he was unlikely to let a 2-0 lead in a Grand Slam semi-final go to waste. The writing was on the wall. The Djoker delayed the inevitable—splendidly.
Strasbourg 2010 and Amelia Island 2008 were her only clay court trophies of 22 on the WTA Tour.
But not now. With her victory over Samantha Stosur at Rome on Sunday, the Siberian staked her claim to the French Open this year.She stalked her adversaries and crept up on her prey, unsuspecting. Beware—Maria, the huntress, is on the prowl.
Was it expected?
Yes and no.
Yes, because Nole is on an unbeaten streak, second only to McEnroe’s 42 in 1984.
No, because it was in Spain, on clay and against Rafael Nadal.
You think that maybe he’s vulnerable , that maybe, just maybe, the challenge of Djokovic and the younger brigade is too much to push back; it’s just too much pressure to hold on but then along comes clay season, and Rafael Nadal rises to the occasion, undulating effortlessly to the top.
“You can’t touch me here, I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” is what the Majorcan sings out, scything through the field like a knife through melted butter.
This Sunday, it was the Barcelona Open making it two out of two for the Spaniard on his favourite surface this year.
Once again, it was his compatriot David Ferrer who succumbed to the No. 1’s might.
There’s nothing more dangerous than a wounded or cornered tiger and Nadal was a wounded tiger who had been licking his wounds ever since he was diagnosed with acute tendinitis in his knees in 2009. After being out for the most part of 2009 and unable to defend his 2008 Wimbledon crown, Nadal decided that it was time to ration out his appearances in the clay court season this time around. A little bit of rest and recuperation for his much abused knees could do no harm!