Rafael Nadal has the chance to win his 10th French Open title on Sunday when he faces Stanislas Wawrinka in the final.
Both players came through their semi-finals on Friday, albeit in contrasting circumstances.
Nadal, the King of Clay, would have been the favourite regardless, but his chances became even more favourable when Wawrinka was put through a gruelling five-setter by Andy Murray.
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The Spaniard, meanwhile, needed just three sets to defeat Austria’s rising star Dominic Thiem, who knocked Novak Djokovic out in the quarters.
Most concerning for Wawrinka, who beat Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 6-1 in a match that lasted four hours and 34 minutes, is that Nadal was rarely troubled by his opponent.
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Nadal came through 6-3 6-4 6-0. Just incredible.
King of Clay
The 31-year-old hasn’t won the French since 2014 but it will be a major surprise if he doesn’t lift the trophy on Sunday. Wawrinka showed grit and determination to come back from two sets to one against Murray, but he trails Nadal 15-3 in their head-to-head record and, of course, the surface favours the Spaniard.
The Swiss star, a three-time Grand Slam winner, will be delighted to be in the final. He’s made his route look rather easy, beating Gael Monfils and Marin Cilic both in straight sets before overcoming the world number one, and he’ll use his win over Djokovic in the French Open final in 2015 as motivation.
But Wawrinka won’t be pleased to see Nadal at the other end of the court.
Roddick's brilliant tweet
Andy Roddick summed it up best on Twitter.
While watching Nadal’s win over Thiem, Roddick responded to a tweet from former professional Mardy Fish, who said: “Thank god I didn't ever play Rafa on clay. Oh and oh and oh and oh and oh”.
Roddick, who won the US Open in 2003, simply replied: “I did ...... it sucked”.
According to matchstat.com, Roddick played Nadal twice on clay, both in the Davis Cup. He lost the first encounter, in 2004, by three sets to one and was beaten in straight sets when they met in 2008.
Look on the bright side, Andy. You took a set from him.
What's your prediction for Sunday's final? Let us know in the comments section below!
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