Roger Federer's Resurgence Makes Likely Date with Rafael Nadal a Sure Classic
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s potential quarterfinals clash is sure to be an instant classic at Flushing Meadows.
In truth, perhaps the idea about Federer’s decline was a bit overblown.
Heading into the 2013 U.S. Open, it was hard to see a clear path to an 18th major championship for the Swiss living legend. That’s especially true given his seventh seed and a potential quarterfinals showdown against red-hot Nadal looming at the tournament’s start.
Now we’re seeing things a little bit more clearly, though.
His path to a title is definitely there after looking masterful en route to three consecutive blowouts. The stage is still set, too, for a date with Nadal—also currently in top form. Rafa has won 18-straight matches on hard courts this summer after breezing through his first three opponents in New York.
Their potential matchup will be just the first time the two rivals have met at a U.S. Open event, but it’ll be one for the ages. Neither of the two fierce competitors have dropped a set and both have lost just 21 games through their first three matches.
But how great both of them are currently performing doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of the importance of the outcome.
A win for Federer would be a gigantic victory for a player aiming to add to an already legendary career. And a win over Nadal could help propel him to another Grand Slam crown—an unthinkable encore for a world-class player who has dominated the tennis world for much of the past decade.
In true Pete Sampras-form, winning a Grand Slam event in the waning moments of his career would be a fitting end to one of tennis’ all-time great stories.
For Nadal, it would further propel the 27-year-old into Federer’s company in the history books.
Winning the French Open on clay has never been difficult for Rafa, but consistently beating the world’s best on other surfaces has proven to be problematic at times throughout his career. His new-found success on hard courts adds a changing of the guard feel to the match, making it even more invigorating.
Truly historical and significant moments are few and far between, but this will be one of those fleeting moments in time.
With both playing at such a high level, the actual play on the court will have to live up to the hype—and more—as these two giants fight for their legacies as much as the right to compete for yet another Grand Slam crown.
If you're not excited; you don't have a pulse.
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