The semi finals at the 2010 Mutua Madrilena Madrid Open men’s singles event provided great entertainment and plenty of high quality tennis with both matches going to deciding final sets. The Madrid Men’s Singles Final will be played on Court Manolo Santana at 6:30pm local time in Madrid and promises to be a classic that has been 12 months in the making.
This is only the 2nd year that Madrid has been an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament and for the 2nd straight year No.1 seed Roger Federer and No.2 seed Rafael Nadal will play off for the between Madrid Singles Final. Federer won their last meeting 6-4 6-4 to snap a 5 match winning streak by Nadal against him. Nadal holds a 13-7 advantage over Federer in their rivalry and holds a 9-2 advantage in the matches they have played on clay and an 11-5 lead in the finals they have played off in.
Anytime 2 of the greatest players in tennis history play against each other, it is great for tennis and a must see match. Both players will be out enforce their supremacy over their rival and take the mental advantage into the 2nd Grand Slam of the year at Roland Garros. The 28 year old Federer has won a record 16 Grand Slam singles titles whilst the 23 year old Nadal has won 6.
In terms of Masters 1000 titles today Federer will be trying to equal Andre Agassi and Nadal’s record of winning 17 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles whilst Nadal will be looking to take the record for himself with No.18. Nadal is trying to become the 1st man to win all 3 clay court Masters 1000 titles in one season.
Nadal’s great clay court season will see him return to the World No.2 ranking tomorrow, ensuring he cannot play against Federer unless they are playing off in a final. Madrid is the 17th final in the Federer/Nadal rivalry in which Nadal leads 6-3 in Masters 1000 finals and 6-2 in Grand Slam finals. From the 2005 French Open until now either Federer or Nadal have won every Grand Slam singles title in the past 20 events except for 2, the 2008 Australian Open (won by Novak Djokovic) and the 2009 US Open (won by Juan Martin del Potro).
Nadal was being out played in his semi final by Nicolas Almagro in the 1st set before coming back to win in 2 hours and 15 minutes 4-6, 6-2, 6-2. Almagro came out firing, playing aggressively, controlling the points, keeping the points short and going for winners as soon as he had the opportunity. Federer will need to recall his clay court final victories (Hamburg in 2007 and Madrid in 2009), over Nadal where he attacked relentlessly, kept the points short and closed out a number of points at the net. Federer is pictured above preparing to play a forehand volley.
Nadal who will be the favourite to win even though this event is played at a high altitude which quickens conditions and assists Federer more than it does Nadal. However, the conditions in Madrid have been cool so have slowed down the playing conditions, coupled with the fact that the match is being played in the evening which further negates the perceived advantage Federer has on the clay in Madrid as compared to other clay court events.
After his 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 win in 2 hours and 5 minutes against No.9 seed David Ferrer in the semi finals Federer spoke about playing Nadal in the final, “I’m finding my form again really nicely here in Madrid so it’s one of those finals you never know. It’s quick conditions; I was able to come up with the right plays at the right time last year; I will definitely have to do something similar again tomorrow to come through. So it’s interesting and plus we haven’t played in a year so maybe some things have been forgotten and other things you realise very quickly what is better to do and what not. I’m excited.”
It will be very interesting to see how the match is played out. If Federer tries to out rally Nadal like he did in the 2008 French Open final then Nadal will be able to use his superior strategical prowess and consistency to prevail. It will all come down to which player can make the crucial points be played out in a way that best suits their strengths. In match that could go either way the prediction is Nadal.
Stay tuned to this tennis website for further information about Madrid for both the men’s and women’s events. Click this link for more details -> Madrid 2010: May 7 – 16.
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