Roland Garros weighed in on Twitter on the significance of the all-Spanish finals matchup:
David Ferrer will face Rafael Nadal in the final, the 1st all-Spanish RG final since 2002 between Costa and Ferrero. #RG13— Roland Garros (@rolandgarros) June 7, 2013
Nadal outlasted No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic in a marathon five-setter to get back to the finals. Ferrer, meanwhile, dominated Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets to punch his ticket to the Roland Garros finals for the first time in his career. Not only will it be his first final in Paris, but this trip will be his first-ever Grand Slam finals appearance.
Last year, Ferrer reached the semifinals for the second time in his career. But he met Nadal and was easily dispatched in three sets.
The allure of this matchup is certainly lacking, as many believe the epic semifinals matchup between Djoker and Rafa was the de facto championship of this tournament. If you look at the high level Nadal is playing at and the history between himself and Ferrer, that seems to be the case heading into the match.
In three clay-court matchups in 2013, Ferrer has stolen two sets. He pushed Rafa to the limit in Madrid, nearly winning their quarterfinals matchup before Nadal came to life to force a third set. Historically, though, Ferrer has won just two sets in all 14 of his previous matches against Nadal on clay. Of their 17 total matches on the surface, Nadal holds a commanding 16-1 record.
Nonetheless, Ferrer is playing at the top of his game and may surprise many with a much better effort than his two previous attempts to unseat Nadal at Roland Garros.
Who wins the 2013 French Open?
Ferrer's French Open performance has been admirable to this point, as he hasn't lost a set leading up to his finals date with the King of Clay. But while his improvement against Nadal this season and his emergence in Paris are certainly significant, they won’t be enough for him to overcome his struggles against his opponent, the world’s best clay-court player.
Expect the 31-year-old to push the defending champion by taking an early set, but Nadal will recover and ride his dominant forehand and incredible defense to an eighth French Open crown.
Don’t expect different results this time around. It’s Rafa all day in four sets.