French Open Schedule 2013: Day 15 Matchups, Predictions and Analysis

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French Open Schedule 2013: Day 15 Matchups, Predictions and Analysis
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The 15th and final day of the 2013 French Open will wrap up on Sunday, with the men's final between seven-time champion Rafael Nadal and Spanish compatriot David Ferrer headlining the action.

Nadal has lost just once at Roland Garros in his entire career and is the three-time reigning winner of the year's second Grand Slam event. However, it took him five sets to defeat No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic in an epic semifinals showdown, while Ferrer enters having not lost a set in Paris thus far.

Italy's top-seeded tandem of Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci will defend its title in the women's doubles final against a formidable Russian duo—No. 4 seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina.

Errani lost in the singles semifinals to eventual champion Serena Williams, but still has a good chance to walk away with some hardware. Williams also defeated Vinci in the fourth round.

Here is a look at the schedule for the final day at this marquee tennis showcase, followed by predictions for how each championship match will play out.

 

Where: Court Philippe Chatrier, Roland Garros, Paris, France

When: Sunday, June 9 at 9 a.m. ET*

Watch: NBC

Live Stream: NBC Sports Live Extra

*Women's doubles final starts at approximately 5 a.m. ET, but will not be televised. NBC lists the beginning of the men's singles final at 9 a.m ET.

 

French Open Day 15 Matches

Round Match Time (ET)
Women's Doubles Final Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci (1) vs. Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina (4)
5 a.m.
Men's Singles Final Rafael Nadal (3) vs. David Ferrer (4) 9 a.m.

Note: Schedule information and statistics are courtesy of RolandGarros.com.

 

Rafael Nadal's Reign as King of Clay Continues

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

It is appropriate that Ferrer's name is David, because he is facing Goliath on this clay surface.

Ferrer is in his first Grand Slam final at the age of 31, though, which is a testament to his persistence in an era featuring at least three all-time great players in Nadal, Djokovic and Roger Federer.

However, the older Spaniard has his work cut out for him if his past against Nadal is any indication, per ESPN Stats & Info:

It is worth pointing out, though, that Ferrer was able to nab the first set off Nadal in their most recent encounter in Rome and in the previous match in Madrid, both by scores of 6-4, h/t MatchStat.com. That indicates a recent improvement, but it takes three sets to beat Nadal.

Only twice has Nadal been pushed to five sets at Roland Garros, including the epic clash with Djokovic that got him in position for his eighth French Open title.

Video Credit: ESPN

While it's possible that Nadal will get off to a flat start after the Djokovic tangle, it would be quite the collapse if it caused him to lose to Ferrer.

This should be an entertaining match between two of the game's most competitive and physically fit players, but the superior firepower and serve of Nadal will be too much for his opponent to overcome.

Prediction—Nadal wins: 7-6 (4), 6-2, 6-4

 

Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci Team to Win Second Straight French Open

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They are the top-ranked doubles tandem in the world for a reason, and it will be on display yet again on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The run Errani and Vinci are currently on on has been dominant, as they currently hold three of the four Grand Slam trophies after winning the U.S. Open in 2012 and this year's Australian Open.

Yet Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina have put together an impressive run to date in not dropping a single set throughout the tournament. Meanwhile, Errani and Vinci dropped a set as early as the first round.

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However, it's clear that Errani and Vinci are the better individual players, which was evident in singles play. What's scary is that Errani and Vinci are even better—and borderline unstoppable—together.

Vinci has the power to complement Errani's gritty, competitive style of tennis that has boosted her profile as a singles player.

It wouldn't be surprising to see this match go the distance, but it would be a bit of a shock if the Italians don't find a way to pull off the victory.

Prediction—Errani and Vinci win: 7-5, 3-6, 6-2

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