French Open 2012: Rafael Nadal Will Coast to 7th Title at Roland Garros
In Sunday's French Open finals, someone will make history.
If Nadal, the No. 2 player in the world, defeats Djokovic, the top player in the world, it will mark the seventh time Nadal has won the French Open, thus breaking the record he currently shares with Bjorn Borg.
If Nadal loses in the finals, Djokovic will win his fourth straight Grand Slam tournament, something that hasn't been done in 43 years.
The last time these two met in a Grand Slam final was at the Australian Open in January. Djokovic emerged victorious at Melbourne Park, clenching the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after the five-set marathon that took almost six hours.
Whereas Nadal breezed past his semifinal match against David Ferrer, Djokovic traveled a more difficult path as tennis icon Roger Federer stood in his way in the semifinals.
Nadal's road through this tournament has been smooth from the beginning. "The King of Clay" hasn't lost a single set, and he's dropped just 35 games through six matches. Looking ahead to this weekend's showdown in the finals, Nadal is playing his best tennis at the right time.
With significant experience against both players, Federer believes Nadal will win his seventh French Open on Sunday. When asked what he thought of the final matchup in his post-match press conference, he didn't mince words in expressing his opinion.
Per ESPN: "I obviously pick Rafa. I think he's the overwhelming favorite. We'll see how it goes."
Nadal certainly has the upper hand in terms of experience at the French Open.
While Djokovic will be making his first appearance in a French Open final, Nadal has won the tournament six of the past seven years.
Not only has Djokovic never defeated Nadal on this particular court, he's never won a set against him.
Djokovic believes he's playing the best tennis of his career, and his recent play has echoed that sentiment. Entering Sunday's final, Djokovic views himself as the underdog and acknowledges that the statistics favor Nadal; however, he's not going to go down without an epic fight.
In his post-match press conference, he revealed that sentiment. From ATPWorldTour.com: "All the facts are on his side, but look, I feel different nowadays. I believe I'm at the peak of my career ... I believe in myself. I think I have a chance."
Whether Djokovic thinks he has a chance or whether he can truly threaten Nadal's reign atop this tournament may be two very different things, because as dominant as he's been this past year, Nadal has been even more dominant at Roland Garros.
Just as Novak Djokovic admits, the facts tell the story. Nadal has won the French Open six times, and he'll look for record-breaking number seven on Sunday.
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