The 2010 Roland Garros men’s singles champion could be 1 of 3 players vying to win their 1st Grand Slam singles title or 6 time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
At Roland Garros the men’s singles event is now down to the semi final stage. Today is men’s semi final day, the only singles matches being played today are the men’s semis.
Play will begin at 1pm local time in Paris, France with both matches being played on Court Philippe Chartrier one after the other. The 1st semi final to be played is from the top half of the draw in which No.5 seed Robin Soderling plays No.15 seed Tomas Berdych. Soderling conquered No.1 seed Roger Federer to come through that section of the draw and is pictured above w .
The 2nd semi final is between No.22 seed Jurgen Melzer and No.2 seed Rafael Nadal. Nadal came through the bottom half of the draw and Melzer took out No.3 seed Novak Djokovic in the semi finals to emerge form that section of the draw.
Berdych and Soderling have played each other 10 times (8 on the ATP Tour and 2 on the Challenger Tour), with Soderling leading 6-4. However, today will be by far the biggest occasion, so will depend who can come through with so much at stake. This is the match of the big serving power players and should be a great battle.
The past 2 matches between these two were one sided straight sets wins. Berdych won in this year’s Miami semi finals 6-2 6-2 and Soderling won the time before that 6-1 6-1. This tends to suggest that the 1st set may be critical in this match. The player who can serve better under pressure and is able to convert a greater amount of the limited number of break point opportunities he gets. Prediction: Soderling.
Melzer and Nadal have played each other twice with Nadal winning on both occasions. Their most recent match was just before Roland Garros at Madrid where Nadal won 6-3 6-1. The 1.83m Melzer is playing in hsi 1st Grand Slam semi final and is the 1st Austrian to progress this far since Thomas Muster, who won the 1995 Roland Garros title.
Melzer has defeated two top clay court players to earn his semi final spot. He defeated No.9 seed David Ferrer and No.3 seed Novak Djokovic after being 2 sets to love, indicating his desire and ability to fight it out. Melzer needs to take calculated risks and try to control the points against Nadal. If it becomes a battle of attrition and a match where both players are rallying and trying to draw an error out of their opponent, then Nadal will run away with this match.
In this battle between 2 left handers Melzer must be the aggressor, cut the points short and close points out at the net in order to turn the tables on the heavily favoured Nadal. Melzer as the No.22 seed is seeded one place better than Robin Soderling was last year, when Soderling defeated Nadal. Nadal has won every match in straight sets this year, so Melzer must go after Nadal’s serve in an effort to make something happen. Melzer really needs to win the 1st set to put Nadal under pressure and increase his chances of winning.
The 1.85 Nadal can become No.1 again if he wins the title and he goes into this match knowing that the man who prevented him from winning Roland Garros 5 years in a row is already in the final. If Nadal wasn’t motivated enough as it is, he will be jumping out of his skin to get a chance to take revenge against Soderling when it hurts the most, in a Grand Slam singles final. Prediction: Nadal.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information about the 2010 Roland Garros Championships for both the men’s and women’s events. Click this link for more details -> Roland Garros: French Open 2010 May 18 – June 6.
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