So the French Open is in its final week and the top 5 have made the Men’s quarter-finals. We are still on track for yet another Nadal-Djokovic showdown in the finals which will be 3rd in the last one month.
Djokovic, who is already in the Semis, courtesy a walkover from Fabio Fognini, will be awaiting the result of Roger Federer Vs Gael Monfils game with lots of interest. If Roger does come through that game, he will have to face up to Djokovic in the semis, which again throws up a great contest.
The other quarter-final which will be interesting is the game between Robin Soderling Vs Rafael Nadal.
Nadal himself will admit that he has not had a great tournament by his own standards. He barely scraped through in couple of earlier round games and hasn’t looked completely convincing reaching the quarters.
Robin who has been playing exceedingly well over the past couple of years will not be an easy opponent to face in the quarters. Nadal faces the prospect of meeting Andy Murray in the semis if he does get through the quarters.
The Semi-Final lineup looks incredibly exciting if the things go according to the script. We might have a Federer Vs Djokovic and Nadal Vs Murray Semis which will be a dream come true for the fans.
Now the question is that whether Nadal and Djokovic will meet once again in the much anticipated clash or will Murray and Federer spoil the party to make the finals themselves? We will have to wait and see; hopefully we will see some exciting games in the coming days.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal now have to battle for Supremacy with Djokovic in a three way race to the top
Few years back world tennis was all about Nadal and Federer. Even though there were others, none of them challenged the supremacy of these two greats and they remained the undisputed world number 1 and 2. In the last year or so, with the emergence of Novak Djokovic we can see there is a shift in the tide. Djokovic who won the Australian open championship this year has a perfect record of 24-0 in 2011 and is yet to be beaten on the tour this year. He has already displaced Federer at the number 2 spot as has constantly beaten Nadal in their recent encounters.
The recent win in Miami against Nadal further confirms his rise to supremacy. The year 2011 has just begun and it is already promising to be a great year for tennis fan. With the rise of Djokovic the battle to the top is now a three way thing and I feel that the Federer Vs Nadal rivalry is now thing of the past. Nadal also has been dominating Federer in their recent meetings. So I guess the rivalry between Djokovic and Nadal has more weight in the current scenario. Djokovic is now the man to beat in tennis, both Nadal and Federer have found difficult to beat him in recent times. The Serbian in his recent interview has said that becoming the world number 1 is his ambition will want to begin the quest with the clay court season. Clay is a surface which has been a fortress of Rafael Nadal and a win there would almost confirm Djokovic as the next tennis great.
So Federer and Nadal now have a battle in their hands and with players like Andy Murray and Del Potro also close to their heels, we might have a great 2011 ahead. The French open will be interesting as Djokovic would want to extend his supremacy on clay too. It will be interesting to see who will finish as the best player in the rankings at the end of this season. And for the first time in few years it will not be a battle just between Nadal and Federer, which is a good thing for men’s tennis.
Brilliant Djokovic with the tropy after he demolished Andy Murray in the Australian open finals
In my review of 2010 tennis, I had mentioned how Djokovic could challenge the hold of Federer and Nadal on grand slams. Djokovic though did not waste any time in proving me right. Djokovic thrashed Murray, the other player who had a great 2010 to win the first slam of the year. Murray stood no chance against a red hot Djokovic who was flying high after his three set demolition of Roger Federer in the semis. It was a great win as Roger was tipped to win the title after the shock exit of Nadal by David Ferrer in the quarters.
Murray will be disappointed as he has once again lost the opportunity to become the first player from UK to win a grand slam since Fed Perry about 70 years ago. Both these players were the ones to watch out for after their good performances in 2010 along with Robin Soderling. Now with Djokovic winning the Australian open, it sets up the rest of the year beautifully. I am sure that Federer and Nadal will want to bounce back soon and regain their supremacy. But at the moment all the accolades should go to Djokovic who played brilliantly to win his second Australian open title.
In the doubles, Leander and Mahesh joined hands together after a long time at the grand slams. Their brilliant reunion at Chennai open almost turned into a fairy tale when they reached the finals at the Australian open. They played brilliant tennis and reminded one and all that they still have a lot to offer to their fans. The final though was an anti-climax as the Bryan brothers were too good for the Indian pair. But nothing can be taken away from the brilliant run they have been having since their reunion. All in all a good beginning to the year and it sets up some great contests in the upcoming grand slams. Will anyone be able to challenge Nadal for the number 1 ranking? We will have to wait and see.
The year 2010 in tennis marked yet another year of domination from the two modern greats of tennis Nadal and Federer. Federer began the year by winning the Australian open but Nadal aced the rest of the Grand Slams this year to become only 7th man in the history to win a career grand slam. The year ended with these two stalwarts competing again with each other and rightly so, in the London Masters where Federer got one up on Nadal at the end of the year setting up an exciting 2011.
Even though these two giants have dominated the Grand Slams, there have been others who have made giant strides. The biggest achievers of the year have been Robin Soderling, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. Novak Djokovic has yet again finished as the number 3 player in the world just behind Nadal and Federer for the fourth straight year and has had a great 2010. Even though he hasn’t managed to win a major slam this year he has been brilliant as he led his team Serbia to Davis Cup glory. He played some of the greatest games in the US Open this year where he took out Roger Federer in a 5 set marathon in the semis, only to lose to Nadal in the finals. He for sure would want to do better in 2011 and hope that he can break in to the top 2 at the end of next year.
The other player who had a wonderful year is Andy Murray. After Tim Henman, Murray took over the expectations of his nation in a bid to become the first British player to win a slam in 64 years. Even though he came pretty close in the Australian Open 2010 when he reached the finals only to be denied by Roger Federer at the summit clash. He though had a fantastic year as he became just the 5th player to beat both Federer and Nadal in the same tournament as he went on to clinch the Toronto Masters. Murray also reached the Wimbledon semis for the second straight year and has finished the year at number 4 yet again for the 3rd year in a row. Even though Andy Murray has to wait little longer to become the first male player to win a Grand Slam from Great Britain, no one can deny that he has had a great year personally as a player and would for sure be looking forward for a better 2011.
The final player who has had a brilliant 2010 has been Robin Soderling. Even though the year began on a low for Robin losing in the first round of Australian open, the Swede quickly brushed aside his indifferent start to have another great year. Soderling became a giant killer in French open where he ousted Roger Federer in Quarters, only to lose to Nadal in the finals. He had a brilliant Wimbledon too as he made the quarters there for the first time and reached the US Open Quarters for the second straight year. Him following up on a brilliant 2009 meant that he ended the year at number 5 in the rankings.
Even though men’s tennis this year had some standout performances, no one can deny that this year yet again belonged to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The two greats are not letting up yet and the challengers have to still raise their games to upset these champions. But with Djokovic, Soderling and Murray close on heals 2011 promises to be an interesting year in men’s tennis. Will one of these three be able to kick one of the Grand Slams from Nadal and Federer? We have to wait and watch. Till then lets revel in the success of the these two tennis superstars who have taken the word rivalry to a new level.