Although getting there wasn't easy, three-time defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal reached his fourth consecutive final at Roland Garros, and he will face countryman David Ferrer for the chance to be crowned the king of clay-court tennis, according to Sky Sports Tennis.
David Ferrer will contest maiden major final against Rafael Nadal at French Open after crushing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. http://t.co/x9YhrYlw9E— Sky Sports Tennis (@SkySportsTennis) June 7, 2013
The odds are obviously in Nadal's favor, as he has won the French Open seven out of the past eight years, and he is considered by many to be the best clay-court player ever. Ferrer is no pushover on the red stuff; however, as he has won 10 career clay-court titles and is ready for his first opportunity to take home a Grand Slam championship.
If you are unable to watch Sunday's exciting men's final on television, here is how you can catch the live stream. Also, check out the biggest storylines to keep track of while you enjoy the Nadal vs. Ferrer match at Roland Garros.
Where: Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France
When: Sunday, June 9 at 9 a.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra
Storylines to Watch For
Nadal Goes for No. 8
Anyone who watches tennis regularly is well aware of Nadal's clay-court dominance, but he has a chance to make even more history at Roland Garros if he is able to defeat Ferrer. Nadal's success in the French Open is already unprecedented, as he has lost only once at Roland Garros over the course of his storied career, and he could very well do something that no man has ever done in a Grand Slam.
Nadal has won the French Open in seven out of the past eight years, and he is hoping to make it eight out of nine on Sunday. If Rafa takes care of Ferrer, he will be the first man to win eight singles titles at one Grand Slam during the Open Era, according to BBC Sport.
Considering how great several players have been in one particular Slam over the course of tennis history, it's crazy to think that Nadal is entering rarefied air. At the same time, Rafa has own Roland Garros, and he is synonymous with the French Open. If he is able to accomplish this amazing feat, there is no doubt that he will have earned it.
Ferrer Looks for First Grand Slam Title
Nadal and Ferrer enter Sunday's final at opposite ends of the spectrum. Nadal has an opportunity to win his eighth French Open and to become the winningest male player at a single Grand Slam. Ferrer, on the other hand, is just reaching his first career Grand Slam final at the age of 31, and he is hoping to validate his career by putting his name in the record books.
Ferrer is a great clay-court player in his own right and could very well have multiple French Open titles already if not for the presence of Nadal. In order to reach the pinnacle of his career, though, Ferrer must go through his countryman. It certainly won't be an easy task, as Ferrer has beaten Nadal on clay just once in 17 tries, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
David Ferrer is 1-16 in his career on clay against Rafael Nadal— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 8, 2013
While Ferrer only has to beat Nadal once in order to be crowned French Open champion, history isn't on his side. Ferrer does have the advantage when it comes to freshness, though, as he hasn't dropped a set in this tournament, while Rafa is coming off a five-set marathon against Novak Djokovic. The smart money is on Nadal, but Ferrer shouldn't be counted out.
Fourth All-Spanish French Open Final
Spaniards have a long history of success at Roland Garros, and the duo of Nadal and Ferrer continue to wave the red and yellow flag of Espana. Nadal vs. Ferrer will be the fourth all-Spanish final at the French Open and the first since Albert Costa beat Juan Carlos Ferrero in the 2002 tournament, according to Roland Garros.
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
Who will win the 2013 French Open men's single title?
While Costa and Ferrero were exceptional clay-court players, the level of play in this final promises to far exceed that one. No player is a better shot-maker on clay than Nadal, and Ferrer could be the best counterpuncher in tennis. Ferrer will have to deal a knockout blow in order to beat Nadal, however, as Rafa has been virtually unstoppable at Roland Garros.
Regardless of how this match plays out, there is no question that the Spanish people will be proud of both men. Not only are they fantastic players, but they come off as great people who are gracious both in victory and defeat. Nadal and Ferrer have played against each other many times, and they have also teamed up in Davis Cup play. They are extremely familiar with each other, and it should make for a very fun final.
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