Rafael Nadal: Why Rafa Should Be Considered Wimbledon Favorite

Connor Muldowney@@connormuldowneyCorrespondent IJune 11, 2012

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 11:  Rafael Nadal of Spain poses with the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy after his victory against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during day 16 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 11, 2012 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic after a rain delay pushed the French Open finals into a Monday morning finish.  The world's No. 1 and No. 2 players battled it out on the rain-drenched clay until Nadal took the 2012 French Open Championship with a final line of 6-4, 6-3, 2-6, 7-5.

Nadal had relatively no problem with Djokovic in the first two sets, winning them handily.  Djokovic bounced back with a vengeance in the third set and dominated, 6-2.  The fourth set began on Sunday with rain falling and forced the two into a Monday finale.

The set was tied at 5-5 when Nadal took the next point and the lead back.  While it looked as if Djokovic was going to extend it to another set, Nadal ended the match, defeating Djokovic to win the championship.

This was yet another red clay victory for the 26-year-old Spaniard at the French Open, his seventh title there.

Nadal told ESPN.com, "This tournament is, for me, the most special tournament of the world."

After Nadal's victory at the French Open, he proved that he can, and should, be the favorite at Wimbledon starting June 25.  The field will not be easy to maneuver through, but Nadal just showed that he can be the best in the world when he beat the best in the world.

Wimbledon is one of tennis' biggest stages, and that does not scare Nadal one bit.  He has been called "The King of Clay" by some and is regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time.  He has won 11 career Grand Slam titles, tying him for fourth all time, and may be the best tennis player to ever play on a clay surface.

Nadal can play on any surface though, including the grass at Wimbledon, on which he has won two titles.  He has been to the Wimbledon finals five times in the past six years, showing his near-dominance in the tournament.

Although Nadal did lose to his most recent opponent, Novak Djokovic, in last year's Wimbledon final in four sets, he looks to make this year a career year.

Before today, the man known as "Rafa" had lost to the Djoker in three straight finals matchups in major tournaments.  He put that thought aside and went out looking for revenge, and there was no better place to do it than the French Open.

This could be a sign of things to come for the young phenom.  Nadal will surely be considered the player to beat at Wimbledon, and Djokovic will be coming at him for his own taste of revenge. 

If this the French Open was any indication of what the future holds, it's looking good for Rafael Nadal.