Men’s Semi-Finals Thoughts (by PJ): For that slice of the historical pie
Semi-finals day for the men, and fittingly according to the draw, it will feature the Top 4, facing off against each other. All fighting for the place to cement their own bit of personal history in the record books on Sunday.
Here’s my breakdown of what it means for them to be in the final:
Rafa: The chance of equalling Borg’s 6th RG. Second man in history to win 6 RG titles.
MAndy: First British player in the RG final since Fred Perry in 1935. And of course, the giant: another shot at being the first British GS winner since Fred Perry in 1936.
Satan: #1 ranking. Longest winning streak. A chance to win his third Slam and possibly send Rafa into therapy.
Federer: Chance to play for 17th Slam/second RG. Kicking Satan’s ass.
So, who will emerge the victors? To play off against each other on Sunday? To kiss the clay and kiss the Coup de Mousquetaires? Why am I even thinking that far ahead?
Anyway, for the first semi – up at 2PM on Philippe Chatrier naturally, we have Rafa Nadal v Andy Murray.
Why I think Rafa will beat Mandy:
1) MAndy has a dodgy ankle. And he may also fall asleep mid-match from all his painkillers.
2) MAndy has never been a strong presence on clay and Rafa has never lost to Mandy on clay.
3) Rafa has found his form; MAndy seems to have lost his (as seen from the weird Chela match) although ankle issues again comes into debate.
4) Roland Garros is Rafa’s turf.
5) It’s Rafa. And it’s MAndy. ‘Nuff said.
Why I think Mandy will beat Rafa:
1) Mandy was not completely in-form in Rome, but took a set of Rafa. He may carry this with him and create his opportunities.
2) Rafart turns up for the day and stays for the entire match.
3) Bjorn Borg posses Mandy’s body.
4) The Curse of Breaking Bjorn Borg’s Records swings in Mandy’s favor (see Wimbly2008 and RG2009).
5) No, I seriously don’t think Mandy will beat Rafa.
And when the dust has settled for that one, we have Roger Federer v Novak Djokovic.
Why I think Satan will beat Federer:
1) He’s playing the tennis of his life. No question about it. He’s been solid and on-song.
2) He’s got everything going on his side – the momentum, 5 days of rest (in a SLAM WTF), the fact that he’s beaten Roger at the last two Slams PLUS two other victories in between.
3) The streak and the #1 ranking. He can smell it.
4) Being 5 years younger and having more days of rest than the Old Man doesn’t hurt.
5) Gone were the days when he brain-cramped when he was needed to play for the rankings (see Nienmen, Sydney 2009).
Why I think Federer will beat Satan:
1) Even if Satan has been playing well, so has Federer. He has been impressive throughout the tournament – minimal brain farts, minimal brain cramps – beat 3 seeded players in straights and fared well against a spirited Monfils in the windy and gale-y (Gaely HAHAHA lame) conditions. And he’s the only one not to have dropped a set.
2) Nobody beats Roger Federer four times in a row (I HOPE).
3) In the face of all of Djokovic’s streaks: the Universal Theory of Something’s Gotta Give.
4) After losing to Satan in the last two Slams, he’ll be more fired and more determined to end this before it goes any further.
5) Preserving the #1 ranking for his
boyfriend best bro Rafa.
6) He wants a crack at that second RG. YOU KNOW HE REALLY WANTS IT.
7) Because my heart says Federer. It always says Federer.