It seems quite incredible that the next generation of tennis players progress into Grand Slam dominance is being held up by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Between the pair, they have scooped 3 of the 4 Grand Slam’s of the year, with the final title – the US Open – again up for grabs to the pair.
Nadal is in pole position
So talked about has been the almost unexplainable brilliance of Federer as continues to defy age, that Nadal’s reinvigoration, by comparison, seems almost to have passed the world by.
Let it be known though, that Nadal looks all the more likely to snatch the US Open title ahead of his fellow thirty-something compatriot Federer.
Why Rafa is the Favourite?
Nadal heads into the final Grand Slam of the season with a 49-9 record over the calendar year. His consistent performances over all surfaces have led him to regain the World Number 1 ranking for the first time since June 2014.
Hard court is an inconsistent surface for the Spaniard, and not his favourite by any means. He holds a 22-7 record in all hard court competition this year, but that included reaching the final of the Miami Open and the Australian Open
Yet on both occasions, he was beaten by Federer, who very much favours the hard court over the clay.
Yet the Swiss wizard’s fitness has been a cause for concern lately. He struggled noticeably in his third defeat of the year against Alexander Zverev. This concern was raised again when he took five sets to finally put unseeded Frances Tiafoe to the sword.
Not only that, but the list of absentees including (Sir) Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori puts Nadal amongst the headline acts again.
He was in ruthless form against world number 85 Dusan Lajovic, and has looked to be free of any wrist impediment which hampered the past few years of his game.
Should all go well for Nadal and Federer, they look set to meet in the semi-finals. Although Federer has a hard court advantage, the Spaniard’s imperious form and fitness looks like it will give him the edge over his longtime foe.
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