(stylish shoes, for play on the clay!)
If you're a Rafa Fan like me (and if you're not, the door is that way, may it hit you on the way out) then the first half of 2013 has been as much feast as the second half of 2012 was famine. Since returning to competitive play Rafa has reached the final of all 8 tournaments he's entered, wining 6 titles. In the past two weeks he's won in both Madrid and Rome in the lead up to Roland Garros. That totals 56 career titles. 41 clay titles. 24rd Masters 1000 title - a tour record he continues to increase. Now Rafa is going for his 7th title of the season (the most he's won in a year since killer season in 2010) his 8th French Open and his 12th Major title. He's surpassed Ferrer in the ranking's to get back in 4th place in the tour rankings and has his eye on Federer, Murray and Djokovic for the top spot.He looks to be in excellent physical form and top mental shape at the best possible time. So what can stop him?
(Madrid offers the hardest-to-bite trophy on Tour, but Rafa finds a way!)
WELL... there's always Novak. They got drawn into the same half so they could possibly meet in the semi's in stead of the final. Novak actually ended Rafa' win streak in Monte Carlo this year at 8 consecutive trophies, and it looked like that might portend a disappointing clay court run for Rafa this Spring. But since that time, Novak has kinda underperformed and Nadal has dominated. So who knows which Novak is gonna show up in Roland Garros? Nothing would make me happier than an early exit for Djokovic. He's obviously the player that stresses me out most facing Rafa. If he got upset in the early part of week 1 that would also mean he'd lose a bunch of ranking points from last year which would help Rafa (and Fed too) gain some ground on him (and the injured No. 2 Murray) in the points race. A man can dream! And maybe Grigor Dimitrov can help make that dream a reality.
(Rome is super-tasty delicious!)
I'm really excited about the start of the French Open. I think it will be an exciting two weeks of tennis and I hope Rafa can pull through for another Major title. On the women's side, I'm hoping Serena can avenge her shocking first round loss here last year with a title of her own. Whatever happens, we know Rafa will play every point the hardest he can and I'm sure we'll see some amazing shots and near-impossible gets. VAMOS!!!