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    Roland Garros Men's Final

    Rafael Nadal vs Roger Federer

    Rafa has owned Roger at the French in the past, but there were three reasons to think today might be different: 

    1 - Federer looked sharp in dismissing Djokovic, who had been undefeated this year.

    2 - The Babolat balls are very light this year. So Roger's serve will be more of a weapon.

    3 - The Terre Battue red clay is very dry and playing much faster than years past. So Roger's serve will be more of a weapon.

    Most of the story was the first set, and Federer served first. For the first four games, guess what? Roger's serve was more of a weapon. Also, his strokes looked sharper in the rallies as Nadal struggled to keep his shots deep. Rafa was broken early and returning badly. Rafa looked more competitive on Fed's next two service games, but he was still down a break.

    Before serving at 2-5, Rafa had a trainer redo the tape on the ball of his foot. Federer had set point in the next game, and was pummeling Nadal repeatedly. He stepped in, probably anticipating a short ball, when Nadal suddenly found a passing angle. Nadal saved the game.

    So Federer tried to serve it out at 5-3. The wind began picking up, and Nadal found more success working over Fed's backhand. Nadal got to break point. Fed controlled the rally, but Nadal chased down Fed's wide putaway and Roger netted the reply. Break to Nadal. Federer had missed only four first serves in his first four service games, but missed five first serves in that game.

    As Nadal served at 4-5, Federer hit two winners, but also found the net, and hit wide and hit long. Nadal held to 5-all. Serving at 5-all, Fed moved Nadal from corner to corner, but Nadal passed him anyway. Fed came in on a netcord and got passed. Nadal hit a backhand up the line that Fed could only shank wide. On break point, Fed's service winner was called out, then ruled good, but Nadal had touched it, so the Chair Umpire had them replay the first serve. Fed found the net. Game to Nadal. What a turnaround.

    Nadal served for the set, but had to dig out from 15-30. McEnroe said Rafa was purposely backing off on his serves. Perhaps Nadal was playing for the long, five-set haul, but it was enough to get to Set Point. Nadal hit an amazing angled forehand winner. Game, 1st Set Nadal, 7-5.

    After the high quality of the first set, the second was ugly. It was obviously dispiriting for Federer to have played so well then let it slip away, and he pouted through an awful first game to be broken at 15 by Nadal running down another shot. As Rafa served, the match looked all but over, but Fed's lack of energy seemed to somehow affect Nadal. Both men made a lot of uncharacteristic errors, but Rafa made fewer. After a very brief rain delay, Fed played better and the set went to a tiebreak, which Rafa won, to lead 7-5, 7-6. 

    Nadal seemed in control of the third set until 4-2, when Fed broke back. Fed broke again at 5-all, and served it out. Roger seemed back on form, but Nadal still led 7-5, 7-6, 5-7. 

    Roger quickly earned three break points, forcing Nadal to work hard to hold serve in the first game, but that seemed to be his last gasp. Fed only won one more game as Nadal took the title, 7-5, 7-6, 5-7, 6-1. According to Carillo and McEnroe, that's about as well as Federer has ever done against Nadal at Roland Garros. It was a great first set, but the rest was forgettable.

    So Rafael Nadal now has ten majors to his name. He will still be #1 next week, and has proven that he can win on grass, so he can fend off the lightly-injured Djokovic for a while longer.



    For crying out loud ... it's just tennis!

    I think a special sport section of Dagblog might be in order, just as I think a special "humor" section might be in order too. We are in the middle of an enormous political-economic crisis and the main section here is losing focus.

    Yes, sports, comedy, Weinergate.  Has everyone given up on being serious altogether?


    The Greeks are starting to stand up against Bankocracy:


    Yet Europe's decadent, neoliberal "socialist" parties remain bankrupt:

    I took a day off from being serious, though often it's hard to tell the difference between comedy and tragedy in politics.   Innocent

    and Greece was crushed by Latvia in Davis Cup.

    Tennis fatigue?

    Politics anyone?

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