federer’s date with destiny?

Posted on May 20, 2007


He’s won, beating his toughest rival on clay, no less.

Roger Federer’s victory on clay over Rafael Nadal – tennis’ undisputed king of clay – in the Masters Series 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 yesterday puts Federer a step closer to approaching a date with history – he could be the first man in 38 years to win all four Grand Slam tennis titles in the same year.

Hopes are high that Federer could finally hold aloft the French Open crown, as his win yesterday not only ended Nadal’s uninterrupted two-year, 81-game winning streak on clay, Federer also exorcised doubts about whether his split with long-time coach Tony Roach so close to the French Open was a wise move. Federer had admitted to emotional stress due to the split.

As an even more potent psychological edge, Federer’s win yesterday was his first against Nadal on clay. This, coming just a week before the French Open in Paris.

Perhaps Federer has finally found a way to outwit and outplay Nadal on the Spaniard’s favorite surface. By all accounts, Federer was aggressive, brilliantly coming from one set down to attack Nadal with his famous forehand. His victory is all the more amazing, considering that he is now coach-less, heading into two back-to-back Grand Slam tournaments, first the French Open, then Wimbledon.

His mastery on the grass is undisputed and his consistency could ensure his winning Wimbledon again this year.

But it’s no doubt that all eyes will be on the Swiss in the coming weeks, as anticipation grows of him fulfilling his destiny of being tennis’ greatest player ever. Hopefully, he would finally take the French Open, the one Grand Slam title still eluding him and go on to dominate for the rest of the year, picking up both the Wimbledon and US Open titles.