Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tennis: French Open Men's Winner! Nadal or ??

French Open is starting in exactly 10 days from now. Who is going to win it among men’s is a big question among tennis fans these days? Considering Nadal won Mutua Madrid Open and is doing pretty well in Rome Italy, answer the question about his fitness that critics has been asking and also his past success on the clay court, he could probably be an easy choice. But let’s analyze who all can upset Nadal: Djokovic, Murray, Federer, or Wawrinka.

Djokovic is currently world number one, so he is probably the best contender who can beat Nadal. He can do anything on the court. He can hit groundstroke winners off both sides, whether through power or placement. He can come up with big serves. And he has magnificent touch around the net. Plus he knows when to utilize his various abilities—the true key to his near-legendary year. Also, he has beaten Nadal in Grand Slams on various occasions in the recent past makes him the number one contender to beat Nadal.

Murray is best described as a defensive counter-puncher. His strengths include groundstrokes with low error rate, the ability to anticipate and react, and his transition from defense to offence with speed, which enables him to hit winners from defensive positions. He is capable of injecting sudden pace to his groundstrokes to surprise his opponents who are used to the slow rally. Murray is also one of the top returners in the game, often able to block back fast serves with his excellent reach and uncanny ability to anticipate. For this reason, Murray is rarely aced. Murray is also known for being one of the most intelligent tacticians on the court, often constructing points. Only time will tell if he will be able to repeat his 2012 US Open success at Rolad Garros 2013.

Who is not aware of Federer–Nadal rivalry? If we go by stats they have played 29 times, Nadal leads their ten-year-old rivalry 19–10. No one denies the fact that on his day Federer can beat anybody especially with his speed, fluid style of play, and exceptional shot making. He mainly plays from the baseline but is also comfortable at the net, being one of the best volleyers in the game today. He has a powerful, accurate smash and very effectively performs rare elements in today’s tennis, such as backhand smash half-volley and jump smash (slam dunk). He has very efficient movement around the court and excellent footwork, which enables him to run around shots directed to his backhand and instead hit a powerful inside-out or inside-in forehand, one of his best shots. His forehand and backhand slice are both known as the best ever to enter the game. 

Wawrinka was another finalist at Madrid Open and was beaten by Nadal recently. He is another contender who can upset Nadal in French Open. He has the best one-handed backhand in the game today according to John McEnroe. Wawrinka is characterized as a powerful offensive baseliner capable of playing well on most surfaces, especially on clay and hard courts. His largest weakness has been considered his mental strength as he has been known to falter in the biggest matches. Hope, he must have learned from his latest encounter with Nadal how to play him better.

Who is going to win French Open only time will tell but we tennis fans are very fortunate to be living in this era where in 2012 every grand slam was won by a different player. I just hope we will get to see a good tennis in French Open. Good Luck to  all the players!


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